Its been a couple of months since I last wrote an update for our gorgeous girl, and she really has grown up so much in that time. As I type this the poor darling is snuggled up to me as she has caught chicken pox from her brother and she is really not herself. So it is quite nice to think about how happy she is most of the time!
I say most as she is incredibly strong-willed which leads to some doozies of tantrums. She knows what she wants and if she can’t have it she certainly knows how to tell us she isn’t happy about it even though she doesn’t have many words yet. She is really pushing her boundaries and asserting her will a lot, which is all part of her age but it can be hard work! Most of her tantrums are because she can’t do what she wants… Such as stand on the sofa, push buttons on the laptop or walk onto a road. Some are out of frustration too as she wants to be able to do things that she can’t always quite manage. She is doing so well though.
She is really good with her hands now is really quite dextrous. She loves posting things (as all toddlers do) and adores Monkey’s Mr Potato Head and she spends ages putting things in and out of the holes. She even made a proper face the other day which I was surprised by… Though then went back to random combinations so I think it’s just the law of averages that she would have got them in the right place eventually hehe. She is also learning how to build with blocks. I’ve seen her build a tower of 4 but for the most part she likes to build a few towers of 2 or 3 arranged just so, which is seriously cute to watch. She likes things the way she likes them!
She plays so well independently too, in a way her big brother never really has. She obviously loves being played with and she almost constantly what’s me to read her stories, but there is a lot of time when she is just content to potter about by herself, playing with toys. This also goes for little soft play areas. On a recent visit to a cafe with a play area she was happy playing in there by herself for ages and then loved it when some older girls joined her too. There is no way Monkey would ever have been happy playing on his own like this at her age! He only just does it now and even then he gets bored after a few mins. She is so sociable and adores other kids and for the most part other kids love her too.
She really is an independent little miss though and when we are out for a walk she often just decides she wants to go in a particular direction and off she trots. Again something Monkey never really did as he never wanted to leave our side. It’s obviously not always a good thing and she gets in such a mard when I have to stop her going the way she wants, to you know, save her life. I mean, how dare I stop her walking in the road!?
Another trouble we have with walks is puddles. I’ve actually decided she is addicted to puddles as she just cannot keep away from them. She is generally wearing waterproofs and wellies so is allowed in puddles, but it’s like she can’t walk away from them. She tries, and she takes a few steps, then stops and looks back longingly at the puddle. She can do this a few times before running back to the puddle and starting the cycle all over again. It does mean it takes a heck of a long time to get anywhere if there are puddles about!
She loves being out and about though so I can’t mind too much. She often gets her coat and shoes and demands (wordlessly) that we put them on. Even if she is only wearing pjs at the time haha.She is also trying really hard to put her boots on herself and is great at getting her arms in her coat. She often presents me with my shoes too or takes me by the hand and leads me to the front door bless her.
She is getting so quick on her feet too, running about everywhere, though she also still falls over a lot and constantly seems to have grazed or bruised knees. She also spends so much time running round the living room and spinning herself. She has also even taught herself to jump! She’s only managed both feet off the floor a couple of times but we can’t believe it as Monkey was nearly 3 before he learned to jump. She loves being active, she adores swimming and being the bath and is such a little water baby.
It also looks like she may be talking earlier than her big brother did. She is very vocal and there are definitely early versions of the words, hiya, dada, (often combined to be hiyadada) and duck are the main ones but there are more and more sounds these days and she understands so much that we say and ask her to do (even though she doesn’t always listen… ;)). She also makes the most gorgeous durdle durdle noises, and I managed to get a very cute snippet of this on film one day when she was just sat playing with toy food. Such adorable little noises I know I will miss when she is talking more.
She’s shooting up and seems really tall now which has really upped her climbing on things as she can climb onto some low chairs. She’s fearless too with climbing from one chair to another and scares the bejeeses out of me at times! Oh I could go on talking about her little ways for ages I think so I will leave it there.
She is growing up so fast and while there are many things about the age that I won’t miss (such as poo in the bath, dinner thrown everywhere, the whining etc.), there are many things I will miss. The way she kicks her legs when she is happy and the way she screws her face up when she splashes herself. The sounds she makes… from growling to giggling to durdle durdle ing. The way she shouts hiya to everyone and runs for cuddles, and the way she picks up a phone and says hiya. The way she puts a blanket on her head and spins round in circles, laughing her head off because she can’t see where she is going. The way she sits cross legged when she is concentrating on something and the way she runs away giggling every time I come to change her nappy – especially cute when her little botty is bare! The way she shouts “duck” at every picture of a duck in every book we own! The way she closes the door to the conservatory then plays hide and seek through the glass panes. The way she loves running down hills, with even the tiny slope outside of her Granny’s house providing much merriment. The concerned look on her face if she hears someone crying, expecially if it is her brother. The way she sometimes lies face down on the floor like she has passed out. Such a randomer!
Sometimes I really wish I could bottle her up and keep her this way forever. But I know there is more fun to come too. For now I am looking forward to her feeling better and being back to her normal happy self.
Monkey seems to be growing into such a sweet little soul. He is in a really cuddly phase at the moment and is cuddling everything, toys, books, statues, fish tanks, crisp packets, receipts, crisps. Literally everything he likes gets a cuddle! He is also really generous and often gives out food to his friends and family, and even gave his favourite bus toy to his friend to play with (though she was less happy to share her toys with him!).
He’s also just a pretty good boy. I mean, he’s a toddler so he has his moments and obviously isn’t perfect but on the whole he does listen to us and does as we ask. I wish I could take credit for this, and say it must be down to my amazing parenting (lol) but I think we are just lucky and he has a sweet nature. Hubby says that even his nature comes from us, through his genes, but I don’t think it is that straightforward! And yes, I know this could all change as soon as hits the terrible 2/3s but, well, we will just have to wait and see with that one!
Anyway, I was chatting to a friend a few days ago about one of his cute recent habits, and she said something that surprised me a little, and really made me stop and think. I can’t remember word for word but she basically suggested that we should teach him to be less generous, and one bit I do remember clearly, was that she said “sometimes you have to teach them things that aren’t right” so they don’t get trampled on, or taken advantage of.
It reminded me of a conversation with another friend a while ago who was teaching her little one that if someone pushes him, then he should push them back. Her reasoning being that she was picked on a lot as a kid, and she didn’t want her kids to be picked on.
I was always taught from the old adage of “do unto others as you would have done unto you” (In plainer English, “Treat people how you would like to be treated”) and that two wrongs don’t make a right. I have to say that is always the way I thought I wanted to raise my children. Yes I want them to be strong and confident, but overall I want to raise them to be good people.
The comments from different friends, at very different times, have made me stop and wonder. Am I doing Monkey a disservice. Am I raising a child to be bullied or picked on or walked all over? Instead of encouraging what I perceive to be his gorgeous, gentle nature, should I be encouraging him to be tougher? Am I raising him to be gentle in a world which is tough?
I was pondering this as Monkey and I were wandering out of the supermarket the other day. He had been a really good boy (again he’s a toddler so he had a couple of meltdowns, but nothing too major) and was walking along holding on to the trolley. We were walking at his pace and it was taking a while. We were parked quite far away from the doors, and as we walked through the main trolley area near the entrance, I was thinking to myself whether to walk Monkey all the way back with the trolley after loading the car, or to pop him in the car, and rush the trolley back. I can’t carry him anymore because of my pelvis, and I also can’t rush very easily.
Just then I was pleasantly surprised by a very kind man. One of the trolley collectors saw Monkey and I, smiled, and came over. He then said to me, “I’ll follow you up to your car in a minute, and I’ll bring your trolley back for you.” It took us a few mins to wander to the car so he wasn’t far behind us, and actually helped me load the car, then used his key device to give me my pound back and took the trolley. For no reason other than to be a nice person.
It reignited my faith in people and reminded me of the good samaritan last year who found my purse in a car park, found my address inside, and brought it round to our house, rather than stealing anything. There are good people in the world. There are nice people. There is nothing wrong with encouraging Monkey to be a nice person.
I’m not saying my friends are wrong and I am right, and I’m not saying their children won’t grow up to be good people either. We’re all just doing the best we can and all just want the best for our children. Maybe I will regret my decisions and maybe I will change my mind over time. But, right now, I do feel more confident in letting Monkey be Monkey and encouraging his naturally kind, generous nature. I will stick to my guns and teach him to be a good person above all. I hope that over time I will be able to teach him to be confident enough in himself to not allow himself to be walked all over.
He isn’t quite 2 yet after all so who knows how his personality will develop in the years to come! What are your thoughts? Again, no judgement here as I could well be wrong, but I am just doing the best I can!