Saturday, 2 July 2011

Amazing Toddlers

I am so in love with my boys right now.  Of course I always love them, but it just seems like at the moment they are both in these wonderful, easy-going, fun phases that make it so easy to enjoy every minute with them.

If you were to meet F today, you would never believe that he was the fussiest little baby that cried all the time.  Up until 6+mos it seemed like he was always so unhappy.  I know now that a lot of that was discomfort from his reflux which he has almost outgrown at this point.  But I remember at the time being so sad that he wasn't the happy, easy-going baby that T was.  He cried a lot.  He didn't like to be put down.  Everything with him was such a challenge.  I mourned not having an easy, happy baby who ate and slept well.  Now there is no way I would trade him for the world.

It is so weird, that when F was so miserable back then, it seemed so devastating.  It felt like it would never end, like that phase defined who he was.  Now I see what a short period of time it was in the long run.  He will never be defined by his infancy.  Today, F is the happiest toddler you'll ever meet.

He is sleeping very well now.  Despite still waking once briefly most nights, always after 4am and always returning to sleep after a quick feed until 7am or later, he has wonderful sleep habits.  Even with the one quick waking he is easily sleeping 11-12hrs each night, and he is a fantastic napper sleeping for 2hrs every afternoon.  He would sleep longer if I let him, but I don't otherwise he wakes earlier in the morning.  His routine is very set and predictable, and he follows it to a 'T'.  It is never a challenge to get him to go to sleep, and he always wakes up happy and babbling (unlike T who, even with a good night's sleep, was a cranky waker and would often take some time to come around).

When he is awake he is the happiest, funniest thing.  F has a laugh that is infectious and a smile that lights up the room.  He laughs with his whole body and it is impossible not to laugh along with him.  He loves interaction, loves being cuddled and tickled, and loves playing.  He laughs all the way into his crib at night, and then goes to sleep quickly after I put him down.

Eating is going quite well at the moment with him.  Around 12mos he got very picky, and seemed intent on throwing everything I offered.  I was getting rather worried (and annoyed!), but a few weeks ago his appetite returned and he is now eating most things I offer to him and in good quantity.

I can't believe how much he has learned recently.  It seems like his comprehension and communication skills have made a big jump.  He is clapping and waving and pointing at everything.  Lots of babbling going on too.  The only word I've caught so far is 'yeah', but I am pretty sure he uses it in the right context.  He is certainly babbling more than T did at the same age, so I think he will have some words earlier than T did who was 18mos when he started talking.  A few weeks ago I decided to start doing a few signs with F, and he has already picked up on some of them.  I borrowed a book from our chiropractic clinic, and we have also been to a few short baby sign classes at the EYC.  I forget to do it a lot of the time, but the ones I remember the most are 'more', 'milk', and 'all done'.  He has already signed all 3 back to me.  I have to try and remember to do more of them.  The amazing thing is that T has picked up on them as well, so he will often sign and say 'more' and 'milk' to F too which is great for both of them.

F is still very attached to me, although he is certainly much better than he was.  He is pretty good with strangers, but he does get a little weird if someone looks at him the wrong way.  He is likely to dissolve into tears after a sideways glance from a stranger, and if he sees me leave his sight he will get very upset.  But he is also very friendly and outgoing once he has warmed up to a situation.

I am so loving this age with F right now.  It is just a fun stage, where he is learning so much so fast but hasn't reached that really stubborn toddler stage yet.  No back talk yet!  When I look at him now, I just can't believe where we started, that he is the same child who cried all the time.  All that colicky, refluxy, food intolerance stuff is a thing of the past!  We have successfully reduced his reflux meds down to 1/2 his full dose, and hopefully it won't be long until he is off them altogether.

T is still an amazing little guy too, and I am still constantly in awe of what a fantastic kid he is, especially when I see or hear of other children the same age.  I am finding that now, approaching 3, there are a lot of things that are more difficult when dealing with him.  He is at that age where he wants to be independent, and he is also developing very definite and strong opinions, likes and dislikes.  But the challenge is part of the fun, and what is most amazing at this age is how much he is learning and all the wonderful things he says.

I wish I could remember some of the amazing and hilarious things that come out of his mouth these days.  One great one from the other day, he was pulling a suitcase around the house exclaiming that he was "going to college"!  How funny is that?  I think Tyler made a comment once about him going to college, so that must have been where he got it from.  He took it one step further and said he was going to college with "Dr. Dave" (our chiropractor), so I'm going to assume he wants to be a doctor.  What is also funny is, I can't figure out who he thinks Dr. Dave is.  Because when we are at the chiropractor he insists that it is not Dr. Dave there, and says we must leave to go to Dr. Dave's.  He then gets angry when either Dr. Dave or I tell him that we are already there!

He has also taken to telling me that he simply HAS to or NEEDS to do certain things with such conviction.  Wish I could think of an example but they are all escaping me at the moment.  Another really hilarious thing is, because I always give him 5min warnings when we are leaving or stopping an activity, he starts to do the same to me.  So I will say "we have to go inside" and he will put up his hand and say "5 MORE MINUTES!"

Of course all of the stuff is much funnier when you are there, and most certainly less funny to anyone other than a proud mommy.

But I do love all the little things he says these days.  At this age it really becomes apparent how much of my own language or mannerisms he picks up on.  Kids really do see and mimic everything you say and do.

T is eating quite well too.  He went through a really picky stage at the same time as F.  It was really weird that they both went fussy at the same time, and really strange for T because he has never been that fussy.  Just as I was starting to worry his appetite returned as well, and now they are both eating lots again.  Thank goodness, because they are both so tiny!

Oddly T's sleep is not as good at the moment as it has been in the past.  Ever since about 2.5 he has been waking often, usually once a night most nights.  Prior to that we had such a long stretch where he hardly woke at all, so it has been hard trying to figure out why he is waking now.  It is not a huge deal, since the wakings are so brief, but baffling nonetheless.  I think that he is getting to an age where fears are starting to kick in.  He will say he is scared of a lot of things (even if he isn't), and I do think dark is one of them.  We bought him a nightlight which seemed to have helped, but he does still wake most nights crying for me.  I tuck him in and give him a kiss, and off to sleep he goes.  I do hope he goes back to sleeping all night again soon though.  He is still napping almost 1.5hrs a day too, which is nice. 

Potty training has been going well and he is essentially trained.  We have a few glitches to work out, but he is in underwear all day with no accidents, which is fantastic.

Overall things are going well with him too.  I can't believe how lucky I have it with him actually.  He is very sweet and obedient most of the time, and I don't find discipline too much of a challenge with him.  He still doesn't throw tantrums, and is very polite.  He is great at saying please and thank you without having to be reminded all the time.

The boys play fairly well together but they do fight over toys a lot, especially cars.  They both love their cars!  Good thing we have a lot of them.  They love to chase each other around which is hilarious to watch.  T has always been very gentle with F, and lately he has been quite affectionate too.  They both seem to be really into kissing lately.  If I say 'kissey kissey' F will lean and and open his mouth for a kiss, and T has been really keen to give lots of kisses to F lately.  It is just too cute for words.

Both boys are just doing so amazing at the moment.  They are both on really good routines, and are generally really easy going and happy.  Of course now that I have written it I'm sure things will fall apart!  F is due to start teething molars any day now, and I'm sure canines will be close behind.  Teething will likely make nights pretty bad so I'm bracing myself for having to get up a lot.  T will probably start into one of his trickier phases where he says no to everything and resists going to bed, which can be exhausting.  But by this point in the game I know that the bad phases are just that - phases - and they always pass.  We always get back to the good again.  So for now I'm going to beam with mummy pride and enjoy my amazing toddlers.

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