Well, it’s official. We have an 18 month old. Or we will as of Sunday! Madness!
A is all about helping out and being involved in what we’re doing. She loves cooking which makes her self-proclaimed-foodie Mama so very proud. I let her help with as much as she can while I’m preparing dinner. She’s a huge fan of sprinkling various seasonings onto food, handing me items to cut, pouring oil into a pan before I heat it up and stirring food.
This obviously makes cooking go a bit slower, since I’m keeping a really close eye on her, especially around hot food and knives. But I make sure those perfect little baby hands are far away from danger (though I do let her get close enough to let it be a teaching opportunity so she understand that when things are hot or sharp, she needs to not touch them. I’m not about sheltering kids too much, but rather teaching them boundaries in a supervised environment).
She thinks it’s hilarious when I chop things quickly like parsley and tries to say “chop chop chop” while making a chopping motion with her hands. She also gets a kick out of me smashing garlic with my knife and tries to say “smash!” I go out of my way to make it as much of a sensory experience as possible letting her get her (pre-washed) fingers into the food to feel the different textures, encouraging her to smell various herbs and foods and sometimes letting her taste certain safe ingredients.
As she gets older, I’ll allow her to get more and more involved in food preparation. It’s been my experience that the more involved she is, the more she enjoys eating the food in front of her. On a normal night she’s down with broccoli without going too crazy for it. But when I let her sprinkle some Romano cheese over it by herself, she goes to town and asks for more!
A is still all about giving Macie her kibble and giving her treats when she’s good. She also helps us unload the dishwasher by handing us items to put away (or by putting certain things away that are kept within her reach like tupperware). We’re slowly working towards creating a habit of cleaning up her toys on a more systematic basis which can be hit or miss.
She really enjoys playing with clean laundry while we’re folding it. Folding isn’t exactly happening on her end. But when I’m folding, I’ve found that she does a decent job of respecting the boundaries that I set (she can only play with unfolded clothes, once they are folded and added to a different side of my folding surface, they’re off limits). Once in a while she even hands me clothes to fold, although this is rare.
I’m probably making it out like she’s such an angel. While she is a pretty good girl, she’s not without her challenges. Lately, A has been showing her defiant streak a bit more (which I think she got from me, sorry A!). During our Ikea-trip-from-hell, she actually started pulling my hair and when I said ouch and told her no she laughed and pulled harder. At that point I put her back into the cart (I was holding her because she didn’t want to be there) once again made it clear that she can’t pull hair and then let her cry.
She will often try to get one by us in a variety of ways. We go out of our way to be consistent with our boundaries, but at times it can be a challenge. I now understand why it’s so easy for parents to try not to say no to their kids and accommodate picky habits. It can be so hard to stand your ground! Luckily, A doesn’t throw tantrums too often (which I attribute to our unwillingness to engage that type of behavior- ignore, ignore, ignore!). While it’s very clear that Mommy and Daddy run the show, the challenging times can still be hard!
The first time I ended a meal because A was refusing to eat what we provided, I cried (while she’s generally not picky, she’s still a toddler and absolutely has her moments!). And thank goodness, J was right there to tell me that it’s gonna be ok, she won’t starve, she’ll just eat more tomorrow and in the long run, this is the best thing for her. And he was right. A woke up happy and ate a giant breakfast the next morning.
We were recently faced with a decision about whether to switch A to a toddler bed. This is because the crib that we love from Ikea, is not available in their stores (warehouse issues) and to order it online would involve $98 in shipping, which is outrageous. While I know many people who have had much success in a transition to a bed this early, I’ve also heard of many other situations that didn’t work out as well.
J and I weighed out the pros and cons. And above all else we talked about our daughter and her unique personality and situation. We considered the fact that she’s such an amazing sleeper and really loves her crib. She’s never tried to escape or even used it as a teether. Bedtime generally involves us putting her into the crib and her blowing a kiss and rolling over to go to sleep right away. We also took into account the huge transition that is ahead of her- not only the plan to get rid of the binks after the holidays but especially Baby Bubbles’ imminent arrival.
Bottom line, every kid is different, but for A’s specific situation, we feel that it’s best for her to stay in her crib. The great thing is, it turns into a toddler bed. So when the time comes, we’re already prepared.
Another area that we’ve started to consider is potty training. A is definitely not ready to potty train quite yet, but she’s started to show an interest what goes on in the bathroom and will wake up with dry diapers once in a while. We definitely don’t intend to begin potty training before Bubbles joins the party, unless something major and unexpected changes.
Still, I like the idea of her being comfortable with everything surrounding using the potty so that when she is ready to start, she’ll already be as comfortable as she can be with it. I was initially against the idea of a potty seat because it seems kind of gross and I’d rather not create an additional transition for her (especially when they make smaller seats that go on to the actual toilet).
But in thinking about it more, I’ve realized that maybe the potty seat will be a good thing for her when she actually begins potty training. I get that the big, adult toilet can be a potentially scary thing. And right now, when she inevitably follows me into the bathroom, she can at least sit on the potty chair in her diaper and get used to sitting in it. Keep in mind that I’ve never potty trained a kid before so this is all subject to change based on A’s unique needs. In the meantime, Santa will be bringing A her brand new potty chair a week from today.
So here we are, 1.5 years after A changed our world and life couldn’t be more awesome. I could never have imagined the amount of joy that would come to our already happy home once A arrived and I cannot wait for Bubbles to get here! And I still cannot believe that she’s 18 months old!
When did your kid potty train or transition into a bed?