Well hello to all these new words! Finally, our small guy is becoming quite the chatterbox and it is wonderful! He has so much to say and has an exploding vocabulary. He now commentates his own day and likes to give me instructions too, such as informing me when the traffic light turns green, “GREEN! Go, go green!” and asking me to pretend that I’m sad, “Mummy sad” (which then requires me to cover my face with my hands and mock sob), and telling me which gate to exit from at our apartment complex carpark “No, no! Gate 1!”
We are genuinely delighted that he’s enjoying finding his words and growing his vocabulary every day. It’s been a significant trend since just after Christmas which sees new words and phrases enter in his speech every day. Which is why it came as quite a shock when a family member of my husband’s decided to inform me they are concerned with N’s speech development and implored me to seek specialist help with a speech therapist for him. The person that said this considers themselves a self-designated expert (I do not agree with this designation at all) and so no doubt their message to me was well intentioned, albeit completely not requested and not well received.
Meanwhile, the same day, another member of family approached my husband saying very similar things and it became entirely apparent that some serious levels of collusion are going on here. My husband is such a strong character that he immediately shut them down and informed them that we are monitoring N’s language development in conjunction with his teachers at nursery school and if we feel he needs it we will seek professional advice, but we do not require unsolicited advice in addition. There are many people close to me who I would be glad to hear their opinion about N’s development and for those people I will ASK them their opinion. For everyone else, I would prefer if they F off and show some respect.
I also think the “advice” would have been better received by us if it was given by someone who actually invests in spending time with N and engaging him in conversation so that they could accurately gauge his abilities. I find it so frustrating that these judgments are made by people whose first choice activity to do with him is to watch videos on their phone and yet they are the ones complaining about his speech development.
I shall conclude this rant for now, but place it a reminder to us all to stay in our own lanes!
Anyway, so much is said about the “Terrible Twos” that I approached this age group with trepidation. We are more than halfway now and – save for a few choice moments – I have found this phase to be completely hilariously funny. I really love the huge leaps in development and N’s thirst for independence. It can be a lot messier and slower to allow him to do things solo but it’s so beautiful to see him learn and take pleasure from being able to do new things.
Just this week he has decided that toast is the greatest item of food in the entire universe (he is correct), I think primarily because he likes the process of putting the bread in the toaster and cooking it. He does eat it afterwards though so it’s all good. He also really loves to drink tea because I am a keen tea drinker. The other day we had afternoon tea which consisted of tea and toast and I felt like perhaps I have converted him to be a Victorian schoolboy by accident.
We also took another visit to our local camel farm on the weekend and N confidently fed the camels their approved snacks like a champion. I am so delighted he loves animals and has a natural capacity to communicate and interact with them. There are many other animals in addition to camels at this venue and N was interacting with a llama at one stage that was making some pretty funny whiny noises. N thought it was hilarious and started making similar noises back to the llama (which the llama seemed to like) and it was then I realized he has such empathy for animals and my heart exploded a little. He is excellent with our three cats and I’m struck by how he interacts with them differently. Our youngest cat, Lucy, is the one most obsessed with me and he is always chasing her and trying to mess with her. Meanwhile, he treats the other two, slightly older and more sedate cats with a lot more respect, gently stroking them and patting their heads. I think both N and Lucy realise they are in a battle for my affections.
I’ve not yet toilet trained N but I think he could do it from now. The challenge is it’s the thick of winter right now and it’s a bit complicated with so many clothes to deal with. I think we will wait until it warms up a little in a couple of months and then we will go for it. Same with the dummy. I have reduced the use of it significantly, but he REALLY loves the dummy for going to sleep and who wants to ruin his sleep? Not me!
I have now introduced a kiddie pillow to his bed and he really seems to love it. We are also starting to think about taking the side off his cot bed but haven’t done it yet. He isn’t bothered about not being able to get out of bed and he’s always been very good at communicating his needs, so why rush him? I’m sure these things will come in good time and when he’s ready. Like his speech, FFS! I have brought him to our bed on a few occasions recently in the small hours of the night when he’s been a bit upset. He’s had a bit of a cough but also I worry he is cold as we have had a big cold snap recently. In any case he sleeps really nicely in our bed between us and there’s something really beautiful about snuggling and waking up together as a family!
Things he loves:
- His scooter – he rides it all the time now
- The cats
- Telling me the colours of things, including informing me of when the traffic lights turn green
- His classmates – primarily the girls. I think he has two clear favourites!
- Anything with a light on it, toys, torches, the lights at home, the list is endless
- Counting his bunnies and monkeys (bedtime snuggle toys). He says “bunny one, bunny two…”
- Indoor soft play centres – he loses his mind when we drive past KFC near our home every day and can see their soft play
- His trampoline which he calls “jump”
- The song “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars (“Bruni”)
- Washing his hands – so much soap used but better to have clean hands!
- Likes to pretend he is sad or sleeping, or wants you to pretend these things
- Likes me to tell him “Ready, set go” when he’s doing something active, like riding his scooter
- Loves to blow out candles while singing happy birthday and wearing birthday hats
- Our new house! He has been to it many times (even though it’s a construction site and it is terrifying to have him walking around it) and seems to really love it.
His vocabulary now:
- His own name, although he refers to himself as his nickname (BooBoo) not his real name, so if he makes a small spill he says “BooBoo messy!”
- Names of family members
- Names of his friends and teachers
- Colours – only struggles with yellow, which he calls lemon
- Body parts – head, feet, toes, hands
- Animals – bunny, wolf, mouse, dog, cat, pig, bear,
- Various nouns – such as mummy car, daddy car, boot, car seat, bag, hat, pants, top, bed, book, milk, juice, apple, banana, ipad, dummy
- Various verbs such as eat, jump, sleep, wake, wash,
- Counting to 10 in both English and Greek
- He can say short sentences such as “Turn on the lights” or “Daddy at work” or “The pussy cat is running away” or “sit on the chair”
- Repeats some words after he hears them
- Obsessed with talking about the electric gates at home, known as Gate 1 and Gate 2