The bumpy road from baby to toddler

It struck me after a very difficult week that I’m not a mum of a baby anymore. It really had been one of those ‘what the actual hell is my life?!’ weeks. I was wondering why he’s been so hard to settle and entertain. He’s been almost unbearable, nothing like my sweet little cub that never cries. I know that sounds absolutely terrible but I have to go through these big changes with him. I’m just as new at this as he is. I’ve struggled to adjust to every new stage and I get easily overwhelmed, a feeling augmented by cabin fever and lack of sleep.  It makes sense though now that he’s one year old, there have been some absolutely massive changes. He has literally morphed into a toddler before our very eyes. I thought that 1 would just be a number and he’d stay the same but I was wrong (as per!) He’s taken on all those little toddler behaviours that I’ve noticed in my friend’s almost 2 year old.
First and foremost, he’s bloody walking! After weeks of cruising and getting annoyed at himself, he took a couple of steps after his uncle offered him a chip! A couple more weeks pass, he does 2 or 3 tentative little steps here and there. But then on Tuesday, he let go of a cupboard door (after 15 minutes of hearty slamming that makes mummy want to run into traffic) and just slowly walked across my kitchen. About 10-15 steps. I just gaped at him. Why do these things always seem to happen when Daddy isn’t home?! All week since then, every few minutes he gets up from a crawl, steadies himself and then drunkenly lurches off across the room. It’s amazing!!! I do not feel ready for a toddler, but here he is, newly minted!

After a lot of trouble with his bedtime and his cot feeling too imposing for him, we’ve converted it to a toddler bed and he’s doing so much better. With his dinosaur bedding and a pillow and duvet, he’s like a different child sleep-wise. No more co-sleeping (touch wood!), Mummy’s back couldn’t take much more.

He’s very fiercely guarding his independence which is mostly lovely and earns him a little hair ruffle but he actually pushes my head away when I try to snuggle him. He was never very openly affectionate despite his soppy old Mum telling him I love him and rubbing our noses together. He’s just like his Dad! I’ve been told that the cuddly stage is later so I can’t wait for that. 

He used to be mostly spoon-fed because who in the universe can actually be arsed scraping shepherds pie off the wall after trusting an 11 month old to nicely eat it with their hands?! Same goes for spag Bol, I actually shiver to think about him eating that with his hands. Anyway, now he has toast and fruit for breakfast, sandwiches for his dinner, and something like fish fingers and veg for tea because he won’t let a spoon near him. Not even for yogurts which he used to adore, I swear when I took the foil top off, his pupils would dilate. But now if I advance on him with a spoon loaded up would with his favourite peach yogurt he puffs his cheeks out, sinks down in the chair and crosses his arms over his head. Ok, then, pal. I’m guessing you don’t want yogurt, then. Thanks for subtly letting Mama down gently.

He will sit and play now while talking to himself which I love! He doesn’t like being left in a room alone but if I just keep my distance and give him 15 minutes peace with his mega-bloks and his toy oven then it puts him in a good mood for a while. Having said that, he won’t watch TV and really needs to be stimulated at the moment. He’s really clever and developing so fast, he needs more than what I’ve been giving him. Picture books and most of his old toys hold no interest for him so it’s time to adapt and move forward. 

I’ll be meticulously planning an approach over the next few days and the first obstacle I need to overcome is my anxiety about taking him out in the pushchair alone. I just can’t do it. If I am meeting someone and/or have plans or an appointment to go to, I’m fine. But aimlessly going out on my own with him makes me panic and go all itchy. I’m working on it, I know I’ll get there.

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