I don’t remember when the change happened
I feel like I woke up one day and boom…. I had a toddler. It crept up on me when I wasn’t looking. One day she walked, then another she ran, now she climbs. They say baby proof the house – although who ‘they’ are I’m not sure but ‘they” never told me about toddler proofing.
Kids are smart too. Smarter than I ever realised. Obviously, I have met those with the smart mouths that aged 9 have an answer for everything and will most definitely be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company but I had no idea how much she was picking up on. Things like me moving the kitchen bench over to the worktop for the odd occasion we bake or so she can help with the dishes (there isn’t any help but its water play, right?). Now she scuttles the bench over so she can raid the fridge – she is 18 months old and my fridge is no longer safe.
Although she will now play happily with her toys will I run around the rest of the house with the hoover (who am I kidding, while I have a hot cuppa), she does need more occupying too. Colouring in is a minefield because heaven forbid you use the wrong colour or do the wrong kind of squiggle. With the independence though comes frustration. Yes, she knows what she wants and most of the time how to get it but sometimes she can’t communicate it and she gets so frustrated – not dissimilar to those rocking on all fours days just before the first crawl where they are all eager and scared at the same time. Every day we try and encourage her to ‘use her words’ but I’m not sure I’m making her feel any less frustrated.
Even with her new little sassy independence, she still needs her mummy. I mean I am now used as a climbing frame or a slave to the grunts but none the less needed. She now sweetly comes over for a cuddle or just to give me a kiss (or even just lick my face). She still needs carried to bed and tucked into her sleep bag – although we are trialling a duvet at the moment which feels like another massive move away from the baby days *sniff sniff*.
I wish I could go back and tell myself to hold on to the baby days a bit tighter. I suppose hindsight is a wonderful thing though. I wish I hadn’t got annoyed at the long sleepless nights and valued the time just me and her cuddled together. I miss the days where it wasn’t a fight to get her to sit in the buggy but if she walks more than 5 metres she’s done and wants back in. I suppose the advice is always from others that it gets easier and truth be told it does but it’s more that we learn how to manage our new life dynamic. The juggle gets easier as we figure it out more. We just have to hold on as tight as we can for as long as they will let us.