We’ve reached the end of Diary of a One Year Old. Which is really tough on August as she was getting very good at typing. Up to nearly 40 words a minute she was.
It’s not sad though. Today she’s 23 months so this day, next month, we’ll be encouraging her to blow out two candles on the cake (which she’ll do by spitting on them). But we’ve been saying she’s two for a long time now. It probably happened around the time we stopped referring to her as a baby. She’s grown up ages now.
Because the changes have been so gradual, it hasn’t been hard to see her leave her baby ways behind. We applaud every progress she makes. We’re delighted to see her move on and grow and learn. It’s possibly the best part of parenting – along with giving her things that make her face glow. And that’s one of the advantages of her developing – she now likes things enough to appreciate them when we give them to her.
Today I gave her a bottle of milk and she nearly cried with joy. Not so in the mornings, when she snatches it from my hand without so much as a look to the eye of thanks. Sometimes I deflate at the thoughts of all the social etiquette we have yet to teach her. Thank you. Sharing. Kindness.
It doesn’t come naturally you know.
I had a vague notion of looking back through the monthly posts over the past year to chart some of her progression and point out all the things I’ve noticed as a mother. But one of the things I’ve noticed as a mother is how lazy I can be sometimes. So that’s not going to happen. Instead I’ll describe her to you now, in some of the things she does and where, as a 23 month old, her life is at.
Crying is in. Fake cries, forced cries and whinging are her new weapons of communication. Fake cries can sometimes progress into real cries if she tries hard enough. And crying is brought out particularly around the sweets press and if you take something off her that she still wants to play with. Like say, one of Daddy’s expensive guitars that he uses in the recording studio.
Most of the time, I can’t help but laugh. She doesn’t realise that we can see right through her. At first, it amused me so much that I always gave in, because I found her dramatics funny. Now, I see that this isn’t the best method of parenting, so I’ve had to stand up to her and tell her no and just let her at it. Distraction is always the key. I can have her laughing in a few seconds just by doing something silly or tickling her or removing her from the kitchen.
I’ve noticed I’ve been raising my voice to her a lot. I’ve had to get stern with her. There have been tug of wars over things. She has a grip of death in those pudgy two year old hands. And so I try to rein it in a bit, to talk to her and explain things and you know, be a good mother and all that.
But she’s not really interested in discipline. In fact, she doesn’t give a shite. I can’t really tell is she knows right from wrong yet. So I have to pick my way carefully – deciding when is a good time to do battle or just to roll over and give in. I give in more than Daddy. Who knew I’d be the soft one in this parenting share?
Her hair is long and wispy and the colour of barley. When she wakes up in the morning it covers the entirety of her face and she’ll greet you with a Hi!!!! when you walk into the room while madly brushing it from her eyes. I love those hi’s every morning.
She’s taken to flinging plates of food like frisbees to the floor. These are usually the times when I can’t help but roar at her. But she laughs as I give out and take away the plate and come back with kitchen roll and cloths to remove the extra work that she makes for me.
We’re into movies big style. We watch up to three a day. (What’s that about lazy parenting, hmmmm?). The first will go on in the morning just after wakening, one in the afternoon if we’re not busy and the last before bed. She rarely sits and watches them all, mostly she’ll give it half an hour’s attention before moving off to play or run outside to the garden.
I’ve found they help calm her down. They give her a rest in the day. And I’ll always break out the blanky and doddy – especially in the evening and we’ll cuddle, if she’s in the form for it. I love those cuddles, more than she’ll ever know.
As she’s fairly well behaved now and old enough to understand, she heads out on days out and play dates with family and friends. She’ll toddle down the driveway, give me a bit of backhand wave and be chauffeured off to her cousin’s or Nanas for a few hours of fun. It give us a break, but more importantly, she’s socialising and I always hope, improving her speech.
Ah the speech. Well, some things have developed and some things have not. Her understanding and expressionism are through the roof. She can make animal noises on demand, point to things when you say the words and fetch things or do whatever you ask her to do. It’s just saying the words herself that seems to be a bit slow.
Last month after I posted, two speech therapist friends got in touch and sent me on some information and helpful techniques. I was happy to see that we were doing most things right, so for now, I’m concentrating on making things fun, playing word games with her and reading.
Tonight I read her one of our favourite books and she took it from me when I was finished and turned the pages and said “Hoo ha ha, hoo hmmmm ha” for every page. This is her doing an impression of me. I think it’s pretty good, don’t you?
We play a game every day called, ‘Where’s Mammy?’ It starts off with me saying, ‘Where’s Mammy?’ to which she replies in her best Drawda accent ‘the she is’ and pointing at me. Then we’ll move onto ‘Where’s Daddy?’ and ‘Where’s August?’ and ‘Where’s Lucy?’ (our dog).
For the past few weeks we’ve added a new one to the pile. It’s called ‘Where’s the baby?’
And whereas previously this was her name and she would point at herself, she’s now come to learn that she’s not the baby anymore and the baby is in fact in Mammy’s tummy. And that’s where she points. Well most of the time. She also points at her tummy. Which makes me feel really weird.
So I’m not sad that we’ve come of the end of Diary of a One Year Old. Because next year we begin a whole new series. It’s called Diary of a two and a half year old and a zero old. Wish us luck. We’re going to need it.