I’m probably going to get reported to social services but, in-line with encouraging Lo-Lo to be more self-sufficient I’ve been teaching her how to eat cherries. Over Christmas we had quite a few cherries round the house as I remember once 15 years ago my hubby telling me he liked them. SO at Christmas time I try to buy a few in as a treat. Of course Lo-Lo loves them. So we play the – ‘I eat the half with the pip, you eat the other half’ game. I figured it wouldn’t be a bad thing to start teaching her how to eat them whole and source the pips herself. I threw her in at the deep end and gave her a hole cherry with stalk. She figured out that the stem was not for the eating, but as expected the pip was a little more troublesome. So I showed her mummy eating a cherry, how I find the cherry and then take it out. 1st time: fail. So mummy demonstrated again. 2nd time: fail. 3rd time: she did it! She chewed gently, sourced the pip and eventually popped it out! So impressed. In my excitement I gave her her 4th cherry…
Fail. I’m not sure 3 pips in her tummy will kill her but at the same time I’d prefer her not to be filled with stones. And so the self-sufficiency experiment continues.
So, we’re getting in to the swing of giving Lolo little things to do and achieve. Trying to remind ourselves that we don’t need to do everything for her. She puts her own dirty nappy in the bin, at home in the evening she takes her coat, hat, boots and scarf off etc. Little things. But leaps in self-sufficiency as far as I’m concerned. So today we got her to peel here own orange. Peel here own orange by herself! She cleaned the whole thing without damaging the flesh or being told what to do. I’m ridiculously proud. What a clever sausage.
So many big topics I’d like to cover but you need a little space to think, to write and you just don’t get that with a toddler. But she’s been great this morning so here’s an update with a few key milestones:
- 1st started speaking at around 8 months
- She became a toddler at 10 months, pootling along
- She starting eating by herself around 9 months but seems to have regressed. Its like she wanted to start feeding herself because she couldn’t initially. Now I’m not sure she can be bothered so sometimes she feeds herself and then she gets bored. She had soup yesterday w peas, carrots and pots, she did a fab job but definitely needed encouragement toward the end.
- Drinking from a cup. We have been letting her drink from a cup from quite early on, around 6 months when we started weaning. It was initially to get her used to holding a cup and the idea that she can get more with an open top. Of course you move to sippy cups for ease and because you don’t want to have to change her outfit and clean the house every time she’s offered a drink. Lately however, especially since around Christmas while we had more time to spend with her she’s been drinking from a cup. We alternate between adult size cups, to smaller cups (lids from her bottles to be exact) and recently even using a tiny mug with a handle, from which she drinks TEA. Yes TEA people! Its Rooibos to be specific but she drinks a mini mug with me in the mornings on the weekend. Super cute.
- She loves putting all her soft toys into the recycling bin and pushing them around the hallway and living room (thank goodness for wooden floors).
- Potty training. I always wanted to know when people started it – how do they know or do they just crack on? We’ve had a potty in the bathroom next to the big people’s toilet from about 13 months so she’s familiar with it and knows what it’s for. I’d call her in to sit on the potty whenever I’d go. Just before Christmas she started asking about the potty, pulling her trousers down and then waddling to potty… nappy still on :) So this last week we started potty training in earnest and we’ve had a few good notifications pre pee pee and a few successful deliveries. V proud.
- Holding hands. She used to resist holding our hands when we were walking around anywhere. Not sure what’s changed other than we continued to be firm with her about holding our hands. It was such a struggle going anywhere, doing anything or carrying anything with a child who would run away, not to mention dangerous. So we are relieved about this development.
- Speech. She’s learning to count and even identify letters (care of foam letters in the bath): A is for apple, B is for ball, C is for Charlotte, D is for daddy and M is for mummy. Counting goes up to 6 at the moment… in the right order but of course the order can often change. We go down our stairs in the morning so we get up to 11 most mornings. Most impressively she will tell you to ‘sit there’ or ‘sit here’ and she’ll know the difference. Recognizing something similar and identifying ‘same’. She uses the possessive correctly, so she’ll say ‘coat’ OR ‘it’s Daddy’s coat’. She’s saying ‘yes pls’ and ‘thank you’ a lot. Biggest word pronounced correctly: Santa Claus. Great phrases: ‘let’s do it’, ‘where’s daddy gone?’, ‘ready steady go’. She has also started singing along to different nursery rhymes: Incy wincy spider, twinkle twinkle, old McDonald (he always has a cow), heads shoulders knees and toes…’, she inserts the words when she knows them. Quite cool.
- TV & books. Her concentration has been getting better, she’s not getting up and running off every 2 seconds. Peppa Pig & Ben & Hollie’s magic kingdom are favourites.
- Sleep sack & Cot. It might be time to get her out of her grow sack and start thinking about getting her into a normal bed. Many reasons but mainly: she’ll need to make the transition at some point, she now gets out of her sleep sack within 2 seconds of being put in it and we often snuggle under the duvet for reading (as well as when she plays ‘sleep’ / ‘Wakey – wakey’) so she understands the concept of what a duvet is for. Now to get her to actually get her used to a duvet (we’ll start tonight) and probably in the next month we’ll start training her to sleep in a bed… biggest challenge will be to stop her escaping and playing when its time for bed. Sensing a long journey ahead.
Its been a while peeps but I wanted to give an update on where we are. I’d say it’s probably been in the last 2 months that we’ve seen the biggest developmental leaps. Of couse she’s been developing since day dot but it’s only now that those changes show you a glimmer of who she’s turning into and are stepping slightly into normal kid world.
So this week I was working late. I called home around her bedtime and daddy put me on loud speaker. She heard my voice, recognized it and started waving at the phone. She said mumma about 6 times at which point I was in tears. Then she started babbling w me and ate the phone. Lucky really as I was stood outside Chilangos waiting for my burrito w big enough tears in my eyes.
And yesterday. Shock of all shocks. After her bath I dry and oil her up in our room. Door closed to stop my not so docile child from escaping. She was by the door, I was oiling her legs and I could see it was starting to open. ‘Watch out hubby, we’re right behind the door’. But NO! it wasn’t hubby IT WAS LOLO! !!! I was totally shocked. In mild hysterics I called hubby over, closed the door and asked her to open it again. There she was, stretching on her tippiest of toes, finger tips barely reaching the handle. She failed about 10 times and then miraculously gained some purchase and OPENED THE DOOR! it doesn’t seem all that inpressive but considering she only just started walking 6 months ago we’re pretty chuffed…
She also knows which key to put in the front door to open it and puts the key in the right way round too. She’s saying Car, tree, doggy, woof woof, duck duck, juice, more, finished, off, bananana, shoes, babies, chat (yep she says cat in french) and can point to the lion, zebra and Capitan Dubois on the dvd cover of Madagascar 3!
She luuuurves Capitan Dubois! Especially her rendition of non, je ne regrette rien
Isn’t it funny how today our women’s rights are the best they’ve ever been and yet there’s never been so much pink in the world. I’m not saying pink in and of itself is bad but it is seen as being representative of being a girl/girly…weak. Some of the mums I know that would call themselves feminists hate pink. They are also the same mums who get annoyed when people can’t tell if their child is a girl or a boy and will dress them up in pink in order to prove their point. Are we not affirming the same stereotypes? I for one don’t really mind if people think Lo-Lo’s a boy or a girl. It’s not her gender which defines who she is. And who she is is an energetic, noisy, rambunctious, loud, adventurous little person.
So, do we ‘create’ girls? Old Virginia talks early on in her book about a library and a church she was not allowed to enter because she was not accompanied by a man. By stopping girls from being able to do the same things as boys, I think we create girls. Aren’t boys just uninhibited versions of girls? She talks about how men and boys are free to do, explore, create. A girl’s and woman’s place is more restrained. If we all have the freedom to do and learn as we want, surely we’d all end up being more like men? Virginia makes several points but a big one for me is that men just crack on with their life and do the things they want to do. Society however has expectations of you if you are a girl which can stop you from doing certain things.
I decided I wanted to buy some new things for Lo-Lo to play with. I looked at the boys toys – ALL were blue, green, black. Either action figures, building, sport. We want our boys to be super hero like, good with their hands and sporty? The girls toys were pretty much all pink, soft, about looking good/dressing up, unicorns (I’m not knocking Despicable Me), fairies and, well, girly stuff. So from this I take it all girls are to be daydreamers, sedentary and if they’re not good looking they will never fit the social norm? I’m sure there are those of you rolling your eyes at this – they’re just children! This is true but this is nonetheless how we’re setting up our children’s core set of values and beliefs. What else informs them other than the world around them? In the end I bought her some plastic encased crayons (genius bit of design), a colouring in book, a see-through pencil case with butterflies (super gorgeous and you’re right I would not have bought it for a boy) – and volleyball for kicking, throwing and generally chasing around the house. It is light, orange and nothing to do with football. In as much as I want to keep all her options open – I also don’t want to make her into a boy. Does that make sense?
I came across the Always campaign ‘Like a girl’ which I thought was fascinating. If someone asks you to show them how to run like a girl for example, people demonstrate it as faffy, ‘girly’, weak etc. But girls aren’t really like that, that’s just what society thinks of us. And I think it all starts from the very start.
I was watching Lo-Lo the other day and she’s started to climb everything. Sure climbing a chair or the sofa is dangerous-ish. But isn’t it also a massive developmental leap? Rather than trying to stop her climbing everything, isn’t it more about teaching her how to come down safely? She fell off the dining room chair yesterday and cried a lot. But then after 30seconds wanted to climb it again. Kids are smart and they learn really well so I doubt she’d forgotten what had just happened. Do I say – no, didn’t you learn the first time? That’s dangerous, you failed once don’t try again? Am I teaching her not to bother persisting if she fails? She’s not scared of trying again – if I stop her wanting to try things again – am I creating fear in her for the future? Would I think too deeply about these things if she were a boy?
Growing up should be about fun and development. It should also be about the freedom to choose or more precisely at such an early age of 14months, being given less of a predetermined route? It’s up to everyone if they want to dress their son or daughter in pink or frills, but then that’s your choice and not your child’s. At the end of the day, again it’s not about the colour of the outfit – it’s about the girls we are making – the lives we are shaping, the assumptions we are creating. I want to give mine the opportunity to do whatever she would like to do by making sure she does not start off with a set of blinkers on.
Going back to work after holiday sucks. Badly. I went back on a Friday at least. Most people were either hungover or distracted by the sun so it was a great day to go through my 600 emails and catch up.
Holidays were great. 1 week in Madeira and then 3 days staycation. A perfect way to not have that horrible rush and stress when you travel back and then go to work the following day. It’s all a bit too much.
Holiday as always makes you take stock of things. I realised how much I miss and love my family. How much Lolo has grown in the two months I’ve been back at work. It feels like I’ve been back for ages but it really isn’t that long. Life cracks on with or without you.
We had a super lazy holiday sat in the sun, reading, having a few beers, exercising Lolo swimming in our pool and by letting her climb up and down the stairs a million times. It was a really basic holiday in beautiful surroundings. We talked lots as a couple and had noisy on a pretty relaxed routine. Spending this much together I started noticing some strong developments in Lolo from the last month:
– she babbles in full sentences. The noises she makes are all different and seem to mean something to her.
– she’s saying words more clearly. Today I pointed to a crab on her book and said crab. She then repeated it back, not fully pronounced but you could certainly tell it was crab.
– she’s identifying animal types. For example if she sees any type of bird she’ll say duck duck.
– she’s been walking for a while now but recently she’s started climbing up and on top of things, hoisting her little legs over everything and reaching quite firmly on her tip toes
– she’s taken to shrieking at the dinner table when she’s done, bored or just testing us. This is quite unacceptable so we’ve been trying a method out where we turn her high chair away from the table we’re eating at to exclude her from our conversation. When she’s been quiet for a couple of minutes we’ll turn her round and include her again. It seems to work quite nicely at the moment
– she now has 12 teeth in total; 8 incisors and 4 molars which she is starting to learn how to use
– we had our 1st family hair cut last week, all three of us. Super difficult to cut the hair of such an active one year old but we managed something and it does look better.
– she recognizes extremes in temperature such as something hot or cold but in both instances she calls them hot
– screwing and unscrewing lids and caps. Totally amused by it. She’s quite good with aim and alignment to get the lids in position in the first instance before she starts tightening
– she’s starting to use a fork or spoon quite well to feed herself although it is still messy. She much prefers to do things herself but does still like to be fed sometimes
– she’s drinking out of open topped cups too!