I’m falling ever so deeply in love with our growing toddler. This morning I cried over the lost of the baby days, not honestly something I’d have envisioned happening! She’s just so… cute. And smart. And clever, endearing, well you get the picture. The LO has learned how to truly communicate. She picks which side she wants to nurse. She nods yes and shakes no with a serious look on her face. She means business! She asks to play games: row your boat, pat a cake, little piggies, bottom of the sea. She’ll ask to turn the music on and then steps around in circles, flailing her arms. I mean, she dances.
She’s become quite industrious as well. She’ll set her sights on a project, such as pushing the laundry basket around the room, climbing the stairs, tearing a magazine to shreds,emptying the recycling, or putting blocks into their box then dumping. She works at it with dogged persistence, showing perseverance superior to that of our eldest. Of course when I try to gently redirect her, that’s often met with a screech. Conversely, when she wants something that’s out of her reach there’s a goose-like honking noise. If we let that escalates, we move into whiny puppy dog phase, followed by a cry. Usually we settle for honking and try to teach her the appropriate words/signs for what she wants.
Lately, she’s been wanting me to carry her around a lot more too. She’s still very social with other people but doesn’t want me to be far from her at any point. Yesterday I learned how to fold laundry in my lap, while she “helped” by folding her diaper liners. I continue to cook with her in the backpack, though rather than dozing she now joins the middle one in a pre-dinner snack. Sometimes I don’t mind the company, other times my insides are screaming for some alone time.
As a mother, I love watching her through all these different phases. The bigger ones are adjusting as well, intuitively understanding her need for control and allowing her to have some. However, I was just reading Sleepless in America (a GREAT book by the way, highly recommended). In it, the author discusses temperaments in more depth than I’ve seen so far, which isn’t saying much. Anyway, I learned about the “slow to adapt” temperament and after ascribing it to each of my children, I realized that actually I’m the one who is slow to adapt! In some ways it’s a delight, and in others it’s a struggle to be part of this changing person’s world. Not just one, but three. I find myself constantly working to set the kids up for success, for fun, for being engaged, and when they don’t respond in the ways I anticipated I frequently get frustrated. With me, with them, with the universe? Recognizing this about myself has been helpful in that it allows me to say “ok, let me look at this a bit more. Since I’m slow to adapt, what do I need in order to keep up with the quick pace and rapid changes around here?” I don’t have the answer yet, but feel encouraged about it nonetheless.