Does anyone else fall into the trap of learning about something that children do at a certain again and deciding “oh my child won’t do that”? I think this must be some kind of survival mechanism of our brains to think our child will be immune to whatever difficult stage of their life this refers to. I mention this because I think I’ve suffered it throughout my parenting experience, always thinking privately, that “this will not be the case with our son” as though he is somehow excluded from the less attractive aspects of growth and development.
Well, newsflash, seems like I was a bit naïve! Our lovely N had his second birthday and then days later (seemingly seconds later) he started making some big changes. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we have experienced the full power of the Terrible Twos just yet (something to look forward to) but out of no where N went from being quite a good sleeper to absolutely point blank refusing to go to bed.
It was mad.
I was scratching my increasingly exhausted head about it as each day went on with no great solutions appearing in sight. This also coincided with our summer break so N’s schedule was a bit messed around with, but if anything, I would have thought all the sun and swimming would make him more tired and inclined to sleep rather than the opposite. Anyway, we persevered with it all and tried to make him absolutely physically exhausted at bedtime so that there was less of an argument. We had mixed success with that but we did fully wipe ourselves out.
Then just as quickly as it started, it pretty much stopped. Just like that. So I am guessing that this was a sleep regression. There is one at 2 years old so lucky us! In our attempts to “cure” the sleep issues we did make a couple of changes, one of which being that N’s daytime nap has now been shortened to only 1 hour in duration. I am starting to think that in 6 months time or so he might have no daytime naps. I guess if he’s sleeping well at night that at some point he might not need them anymore.
He starts nursery school in early September so I suspect that will make him more tired. The timings of his school are such that I can pick him up anytime until 2.30pm but there is no napping during school. He can stay awake that long without a nap but usually there is a knock-on effect from a late nap time to a late night bedtime, so I think some experimentation will be required during this phase. And, just to complicate these things further, I will be on a business trip a for 3 nights right when he’s starting school. Honestly, working mum life is hard! We will be ok, but that’s not to say that the bumps are pretty shitty sometimes.
Anyway, back to N and his development, we are seeing some words emerging ever so slowly, but they are coming. He says “mummy” a lot and in context – usually when he wants something. He also says “kaka” which is Greek for “poo”, but he doesn’t say it in context. I think he just hears it a lot and so repeats it. Yesterday he said to me “mummy pee pee” but I don’t think he actually meant he had gone pee pee or that he wants to, or that I should, just that this is something he has heard his nearly 4-year old cousin say he was going to do. I also think he is pointing to things and saying “that” but he sometimes says it wrong. I don’t know.
He is able to follow instructions and do what you ask him, such as “give the TV remote to daddy”, “put the nappy in the bin”, “climb in your chair for dinner” so he obviously understands.
He has really gotten into toys in a big way and he has become more emotionally receptive – he actively cuddles into me now where he really didn’t for some time. For example I will pick him up to take him somewhere, the car or something, and he will rest his head on my shoulder. Oh my goodness, it melts me EVERY TIME. He’s started noticing babies and so whenever we come in contact with a baby (whether they are strangers or not) he will peer into the stroller to have a good look.
He is also really cheeky and aware that bathtime comes before bedtime, which also means bedtime means no more playing. So during the pre-bathtime period he becomes kind of manic trying to use the slide a lot and play with all the toys, dance, sing, shout etc – I guess to show me that he’s not tired and definitely doesn’t need a bath or to go to bed. Bad luck, buster! Haha!
My husband lost his job a few weeks ago so he’s been around at home a lot these days, which has been really nice for him and N, although financially it would be helpful if someone decided to employ him! Anyway, N and daddy are now thick as thieves and it’s really beautiful to see. I think my husband also has a deeper appreciation of the things that were previously my responsibility, such as the challenges of changing the nappy and/or getting him dressed in the morning while he tries to run everywhere. Also he’s been doing a lot of the grocery shopping and chores and he keeps complaining every day that he doesn’t sit still. Every time he says this I simply laugh.
So a little summary of all things N.
Things N likes:
Things N does NOT like:
As for good old me, I think my health is mainly stable but I’m not feeling so great. I think my issues are mainly emotional these days and I’m trying to be kind to myself but it’s hard. My hair has started falling out and I lost some weight so now I am actively trying to make sure I eat better. My dentist told me I’m grinding my teeth and that it’s from stress/anxiety. No shit! I’ve started back at yoga this week and I’ve done some acupuncture too so I think I’ll try this for a few weeks and see if I feel any differently. Otherwise, I’m just trying to be kind to myself and not sign myself up for things that are too demanding of me. Let’s see how I go!