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.
Playing with a Pringles tube and much happier mealtimes 16-17 months
This was another idea I got from Pinterest actually, but again I cannot find the place where I found it initially. So annoying as I don’t want to take credit for other people’s ideas! Oh well though anyway, the idea is that if you take a Pringles tube, (or any other tube of crisps, with a lid) and cut a rectangular slot through the lid so that business cards etc. can be posted though. This helps with fine motor skills apparently! Monkey loves it though anyway, he loves it putting the cards in the slot, and he really loves shaking the tin around afterwards!
He pretty soon discovered how to take the lid off the tube and that it was much easier to get the cards in… and lots of other things.
He basically loves this tube, but he also loves posting thing everywhere. He has a tunnel that granddad made for the brio train set, which he loves posting things through, and he spent ages posting crayons down an old wrapping paper tube with his Nanny the other day!
He also loves to post things under the sofa, behind cushions, under my legs, behind my back, through the bars of the door-gates, through the fire guard… you get the idea! The good thing about the Pringles tube though is that it is handily arm sized so he can get things out again, some of his other posting favourites lead to a lot more frustration, so I try to give him the Pringles tube whenever he is in a posting mood hehe!
In other news we have had a whole week of Monkey eating his dinner! Woohoo!!! I know that these things can change at a drop of the hat but please, please, pleeeeease let him be growing out of that phase! Even if not though I have enjoyed this week as it has made it so much less stressful that he has eaten his meals. Don’t get me wrong I have had to put in a lot of effort to get this to happen but at least it has paid off, so I am v happy 🙂
Stacking bricks and shape sorting, but still no talking – 16 months
Kids develop at their own pace, we all know that, but as a parent you are still looking out for those milestones and wondering when certain things will happen. It starts with the first smile, then the giggle, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking and talking. I think that covers most of the biggies, but there are smaller steps too with their coordination and motor movements, waving, clapping, stacking bricks etc.
Monkey was quite early with some things, as he was walking at 10 months. But talking, he is definitely not early with. My friend’s little boy was talking at 10 months but at the moment, at 16 months old, we have not even had a mama or dada yet. I mean he does say them, but he doesn’t seem to connect them with us in any way. My mother in law is convinced he says “all gone” but he makes loads of noises and yes, sometimes it is possible that they coincide with something happening that matches up…. but for every one of these times, there are hundreds more times where the same noise relates to absolutely nothing.
I try not to worry about it, because kids do develop at different times, but I can’t help keep all of the niggles at bay. I’m not worried about his hearing or his understanding as he definitely understands a lot of what we say. He can respond to simple instructions – such as ” where’s you ball? Go get your ball.” or “can you bring mummy the blue block” sometimes it takes a few goes but he definitely understands a lot of what we say. We try and encourage him to talk by labelling things and talking through what we are doing, and he does watch us intently sometimes and occasionally makes the sound of the first consonant but that is it. We don’t want to put too much pressure on as he is still young and I know he’ll get there when he is ready. Another friend’s nephew wasn’t talking until he was around 2 so I know we aren’t alone.
Sometimes though, it would just make life so much easier if he could talk. The other day he was screaming for ages and I had no idea why. It was really out of character for him and I was trying to ask him what hurt but nothing. Very frustrating! On the other hand though, he is so cute with all of the noises he makes that part of me doesn’t want it to change, as it means he is growing up. He does have other ways of communicating things with us even though he isn’t talking. He takes our hands and pulls us around places. He takes us to the kitchen or the table if he is hungry, he brings us our shoes if he wants to go out. He’ll get his postman pat toy out when he wants to watch the telly. He knows out to communicate with us, but just not with words. On the other hand he tries really hard and babbles away to us with such concentration on his face, usually something like ga gu go ga gu, and I feel bad that I have no idea what he wants to say!
He is developing really well in other areas though. He built a brick tower with 5 bricks yesterday, which I was really impressed with as normally he is clumsy and knocks the towers over at around 3 or 4 bricks. He has also suddenly got so much better with his shape sorter toy now. Whereas for ages we have been giving him the right hole for each block, he can now find the right hole to put them in, which I was pretty amazed by! He doesn’t get it right 100% of the time of course but he does get it right more often than not which I am really impressed with.
I’m sure that one day he will just come out with a word, and then there will be no stopping home. I’m sure that one day I will be reminiscing about these cute pre talking times but right now I can’t wait to hear his little voice say something, and for him to be able to talk to me.
Playing with Cloud Dough – 16 months old
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been searching for playtime inspiration, largely on Pinterest, lately. So this is the first post of ideas inspired by things I have found on Pinterest – Cloud Dough!
Now I have never heard of this before but it is genius and fills a hole in our playtime perfectly. With the change of the weather and the rain recently Monkey’s sand table was getting really gross, so it got washed out last weekend and we haven’t bought any replacement sand for it, but you can see he misses it. Whenever we go out in the back garden to run around and chalk he goes to where the table was and looks lost for a few seconds before moving onto something else.
So anyway, I came across this stuff called Cloud Dough. Simply you mix 8 parts flour with 1 part baby oil, until it is like the consistency of breadcrumbs. What you are left with is flour that is quite silky and resembles wet sand, in that you can press it together and it stays a bit firm.
When Granny came around the other day I decided to give it a go with him. I had thought it may be ok to use indoors but I am soooo glad we decided to use it in the garden! Thankfully the weather has been a lot warmer the last few days too so he is really enjoying it.
As you can see in the pictures, he loves it!! Yes our garden is a mess and flour now seems to be infiltrating every part of our lives but he is loving it. Having said that if we still had the sand pit I am sure he wouldn’t need this. Makes a change though. Oh and he is very much in a transporting faze, which means he picks things up and then drops them somewhere else! I think when he is a bit older it may work more indoors as he may not be so intent on carrying it around with him!
We’ve also had fun burying toy dolphins etc. so he can find them, and all the usual things sand is great for 🙂
Parcel Tape play and a slightly longer attention span! Age 16 months
I had to share this random half an hour of playtime we had yesterday!,I had to tape up a parcel to send back and Monkey was intrigued by the parcel tape. He used to be scared by tape, of any kind, he hated the noise of it, so I was a bit surprised by his interest!
Anyway as you can see in the pics, he loved it. Pulling it out to hear the noise, swinging the tape round, scrunching it into balls, and yep stuffing my shoes with tape! Comfy! Cheap and fun way to spend half an hour!
In general Monkey’s attention span has definitely grown and he can play with things for a lot longer which is great! We still try and get out of the house as much as possible but playtime in the house is a lot more fun these days as it lasts longer! Chalk is possibly still his favourite thing and as long as the weather is ok we let him loose in the garden with it. He also loves colouring with crayons, although colouring is limited to the conservatory at the moment to try and avoid crayon marks throughout the house! Let’s see how long that lasts eh? hehe
Monkey is also massively into playing with cars these days too, which we love! Hence buying the toy garage with a big ramp on ebay. He is dead cute pushing cars around the floor and down the ramp it’s brilliant.
His coordination is also so much improved and he is doing really well with his stacking rings and the various puzzles he has. He understands so much more of what we say now too, even though he still says no words himself.
I have been scouring the internet, mainly on Pinterest to be honest, looking for other mummy’s great ideas for playtime. I have a few and will hopefully be sharing them soon if I organise myself enough! 🙂
The realities of playtime with a tiny toddler
I wrote this post in the summer, when Monkey was 14 months old, but it seems apt for the theme of ‘Play’ for this week’s The Theme Game:
Right it is time to be honest here, keeping a little one entertained for longer than a few minutes at a time is practically impossible. I was going to say 5 minutes but hubby felt (and I agreed) that 5 mins was too ambitious, so a few minutes is more realistic. If you have read much of my blog you will know that I am trying out a lot of different play ideas with my monkey. He is constantly on the go and looking for things to do so I try really hard to find knew ways for him to learn through play.
I spend a lot of time (in short bursts between looking after monkey and trying to keep the house clean-ish) perusing the internet, via pinterest, other blogs and baby sites to get ideas. I read books and was even given a set of cards with things to do. Many of the ideas are common sense, such as ‘go outside’. Honestly I spend so much time outside as there is free entertainment out there in the form of oh, daisies, stones, mud … anything on the ground….. But these places do come up with some gems that I like to try out but really you have no idea if your little one will be ready for it developmentally, or will get bored uber quickly, or like it, until their attention is taken by something else.
Because, in reality, to fill a day of playing at home, you have to try out so many different things. In the space of an hour yesterday, we did some finger painting, played with play-doh, danced around to some music, played with the clothes pegs (basically spreading them around the room while I tried in vain to get him to “put them back” which I know he understands but complies with intermittently) played with his new kitchen, used mummy as a climbing frame, went in the garden (even though it was starting to rain, I was getting desperate) and played in the very wet sand pit, dug in the dirt, played in the sand and water a bit more, then as he was now filthy and it was nearly nap time, had a bit of a play sorting bottles out in the bath while I washed off the debris from playtime.
Whilst all this is happening I’m also trying to clean up the mess made my some of these activities, scrubbing a potential stain from the finger paints on our lovely dining table (I hadn’t realised he’d got paint on the bottom of his drink bottle until after it had sat on the table for a few mins – thankfully it came off though), trying to pick up all the teeny bits of play-doh off the floor as he likes too tear it up and spread it around the room (we confine this activity to the conservatory thankfully so it doesn’t get walked through the house), pull play-doh out of my hair and pick up the clothes pegs (until he sees they are back in the basket and decides to up-end it again -this was the point that we went outside). I’m sure this is all sounding very very familiar to the other mummies out there!
An hour or so of this I am ok with, but when faced with an entire day at home is it any wonder I go wibbly at the knees? It is fun, don’t get me wrong, but oh, so, tiring. Hence, this morning when my friend text me at 7:30am (I know if I get a text at this time of the morning that it will be another mummy) and suggested we go to the park for the day, I jumped at the chance! I had been sat contemplating my options for the day ahead and was relieved to be able to go and entertain him outside on the play area, in the sand pit and in the paddling pool there. Of course I also take stickers, a ball and other toys for when he is bored of those activities! 🙂 Plus it is nice to have a good natter with my friend and talk about our ups and downs, much more fun than taking the monkey on my own. He is making lots of word-like sounds at the moment but as yet he is not much of a conversationalist.
My point, ah yes, I don’t really have one, other than to any other mummy who puts in the effort of making homemade paints, play-doh etc, only to have the little one play for a couple of mins at a time, you are not alone! I have found lots of places to find the ideas of things to do, but very few people realistically saying, that this may entertain them for a max of 5 minutes. Who knows, maybe it is just my Monkey, maybe he is going to grow up to have ADHD or something? Though I have read that a short attention span is normal so I hope not. Either way though I will continue to try things out as I know that eventually he will play longer by himself and be occupied by something for a slightly longer period. Bring on that day is all I can say 🙂