Wednesday 23 March 2016

Life with a toddler - a whole new ball game!

As I mentioned in my last post Ella is now 15 months old (approaching 16 months very soon), she's walking, babbling and using some words - generally, little Ms Independant. I'm not sure quite when this changed, or when she became a toddler but it's happened, the inevitable has happened - she's no longer my little baby!

With the beginnings of toddlerhood brings a whole new set of challenges - ones I'm not quite sure I was 100% prepared for. You know when those annoying parents say to you "If you think you're tired now, wait until you have a toddler!" well as much as it pains me to admit it - they were right! 

I mean bloody hell, she's exhausting, she's literally a walking "toddler tornado"! Don't get me wrong, some days she can be absolute sweetness itself and other days it's like she's been replaced with a little, cute looking, unassuming devil child.

The following are some of the few observations I have made over the last couple of months...

1. Do not offer toddler food or drink he/she doesn't want, this will result in an epic tantrum. How, you may ask, am I supposed to know if they don't or didn't want it? Well, simple really, you must be a mind reader. The other day, I offered Ella a drink of water (how dare I offer nourishment and sustenance to my child!) which then resulted in her throwing herself on the floor like life wasn't worth living.

2. If toddler actually does happen to take offered food or drink, (Yay!) but then decides he/she doesn't actually want it there is no hesitation in spitting out whatever partially chewed food is left or throwing it on the floor.

3. It doesn't matter whether or not you are eating exactly the same food as said toddler, you can bet your life they want what you've got on YOUR plate.

4. The smallest most unassuming things can cause the most epic toddler shit fits. For example, offering food, not giving food, giving food toddler DID want (but actually doesn't), not allowing toddler to grab my nose with her little clawed vice grip, not allowing her to walk onto a road or to play with light sockets or to jump on my stomach or pull my hair and so on and so get the gist.

5. Allow extra time for EVERYTHING. Everything takes twice as long as it used to. Leaving the house, or leaving anywhere for that matter, changing a nappy, bathing or showering said child, putting the washing on the line etc etc

6. Toddlers are like magnets to danger, you name it they want it or want to be near it. Roads? Sure, why not. Hot ovens? Yea, so much fun. Climbing onto things and almost falling off? Yea, living on the edge. Eating random things off the path or out of gutters? Mmm, yea tasty.

7. Tantrums, whilst normally quite entertaining and sometimes a little embarrassing, can be quite tricky. When an 11.6kg ball of muscle decides she doesn't want to do anything it's quite hard to make think otherwise. She throws herself onto the floor, arches her bank, goes limp, thrashes and kicks around. Only 2 or 3 tantrums in one day is considered to be a "good day".

8. You could own every single toy under the sun BUT you can guarantee your toddler would rather play with anything other than those toys. For example, a cell phone, the remote control, a keyboard, pulling all the wipes out of the packet, the stones in the garden, the toilet seat etc. 

It's pretty certain that toddlers are unusual little creatures, with huge personalities for the size of the person. They know (in their minds) what they want and what they definately DON'T want. One minute they could be the sweetest, most affectionate and calmest little thing then the next...turn into an absolute screaming, violent little dictator.

It can't be easy knowing what you want but not knowing how to communicate properly with someone or not being able to translate into words or gestures what you need. This new "phase" has been an interesting experience (one of many) and by far one of the most difficult. They are learning and changing at such a rapid rate, it's quite hard to keep up!

I'm sure those of you that have a toddler/s or have been through this stage can relate. To those of you that are yet to go through this or are fast approaching it, all I can say is "good luck"!

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