The magic of toddlers

At this time of year we’ve been hearing all about the magic of Christmas which is great. I love Christmas (and my birthday 3 days later) but it’s never been quite the same as when I was a child. It’s not had the magic it once held for me, which is fine because now instead of father Christmas and presents my priority is just being with those I love. But having a child has suddenly brought that magic back. Now Beatrice is older she gets it a bit more and I love seeing the amazement and excitement in her eyes. She still doesn’t fully understand it but the childlike innocence she has is amazing to watch and it begins to rub off on you again. Therefore I say the reason Christmas is magic is because of toddlers/ children.

Over this Christmastime filled with toddler magic we have learnt some new things that as a parent I wish I’d known before.

1) Just don’t bother with chocolate advent calendars, they won’t miss it if they’ve never had one before and it will save you a lot of tantrums as they don’t understand why you can’t eat it all at once.

2) They may learn new words as you go through the Christmas season which is wonderful. Beatrice learnt ‘star’ and they are now her favourite thing.

3) Toddlers don’t care if it’s the most delicious meal they will ever come across they will probably still tantrum and refuse to eat a Christmas dinner so save your stress and give them pasta.

4) At this young age of 18 months Beatrice actually slept longer than anyone else on Christmas morning and we were all waiting for her to open stockings. I know in years to come I’ll wish she still did this but we were so excited to see her open her stocking.

5) Christmas day will be planned around your toddlers naps. No present opening is worth a grouchy, tired toddler, it’s better too wait.

6) You will never be able to open a present without your toddlers help. They don’t understand that it isn’t for them.

7) And finally if you hear Beatrice say ‘ready, steady, go ‘ and you can’t see her run as fast as you can to find her as she will be flinging herself backwards or forwards and expecting someone to catch her.

We hope your Christmas was as magical as ours and a Happy New Year!

Advertisements

The joys of a toddler

With everything that has been going on I don’t know how I’d have managed without Beatrice. Yes, it’s exhausting trying to grieve, physically go through a miscarriage and look after a toddler and I don’t always get it right but she gives me a distraction.

I’ve been so numb and on the outside probably look really well and not grief stricken at all. I can only put this down to not having any time to dwell on my grief as my 16 month old daughter needs me. She’s been very needy recently and I’m sure she’s playing off my emotions. Luckily she has moments of pure sunshine that have brought a joy to my life when it’s clouded in fog.

Here are some of the things that have made me smile and I hope they do for you too:

1) when we try the count to 3 method of parenting she just counts along with us which is super cute and very clever for her age, although not effective in any way.

2) we taught her to sign please to try and stop her screaming and it’s worked but she now signs and says it all the time when we don’t even know what she wants. We’ll have to work on some new signs.

3) she has learnt to say badger. This is due to a wind in the willows toy at my parents and my dad was teaching her the names of the characters except badger is the only one she got.

4) she’s starting to learn to say the names of her 2 best friends, Annabel and Miriam. Except Miriam comes out as minion (I may have a love of minions and she’s just decided they sound the same).

5) we’re all about the dogs and when she sees them in park she runs at them with her arms open yelling doggie (yes she’s mine), and when they ignore her and walk off she shouts ‘no’ after them.

6) she loves to sing and dance so we often crank up the music and have a crazy dance and sing along.

7) and finally she has taken to trying to sit in her dolls pushchair to read books but this quite often ends in a stuck bottom and a lot of screaming.

These are things that help get me through at the minute. I hold her that extra bit tighter and keep them in my mind when the long and exhausting evenings and nights come along. Grief is so individual. I might be okay on the outside but really it’s only the toddler I love like crazy that is holding me together.

Be kind to yourself. Be selfish. Rest. Find joy in the small things and hold on to whatever you can to get you through. (Even if it may be binge watching friends).

Headbanging

Our little angel is now becoming very confident with her walking which is great! But it has led to a lot of headbanging. Her little wobbles have ended in lots of tears and bruises.

So far this week she has fallen out of our back door (cue bruised forehead), fallen into a door (cue bruised cheek), walked into tables thinking she could fit under them and had so many more knocks that I’ve lost count. This happens and toddler’s do get bruises but I can’t help feeling I have to explain the bruises incase someone thinks I’ve hit her. Particularly the cheek bruise. Let’s hope I learn to get over this.

This weekend we’ve got a family wedding so lets hope there aren’t too many bumps and tears to disrupt that.

Swimming bad luck

So now that our little one is walking I feel like getting out and about is even more important. I’ve always been one to need to get out of the house but it’s even more important now. Not only does it tire her our but it keeps me sane. Without my little walks or coffee dates I would not be the slightly sane person that people know.

So today we went swimming which is great but my friends and I do not have a good track record with parent and baby swim sessions. We choose these because they have toys out for them to keep them happy. Unfortunately the first time we went to one we made the mistake of turning up at the start time. What a stupid mistake as the session was then full but spaces would come up as people left. So we waited and eventually did get in, because if anyone has a toddler knows telling them we’re going swimming and then not is not an option.

So this morning we turned up 20 minutes before the session to make sure we got in only to find out their baby pool was shut as it’s heater had broken. We decided to wait until the adult pool opened to go in there. Cue 50 minutes of trying to entertain to 1 year olds with teletubbies (lasted 2 minutes), another childs push along trike parked in the reception (they broke it) and their display of swimwear and toys which Beatrice wanted to climb on. We even tried to entertain them with the touch screen vending machine, in the hope that if they pressed enough buttons and confused it we’d get some free food (didn’t work). But we eventually got swimming and had a great time. Maybe next time we’ll be able to arrive and just get in the pool without any hassle.