twenty one month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
I can kind of understand why his brother gets mistaken for a girl – he does have a very pretty face and soft curls, and is often seen sporting leggings or a dress or armed with a Princess Aurora doll. This one though? He is mainly dressed in joggers, Crocs, a striped tshirt and carries a toy shark. There is really nothing to suggest ‘girl’ apart from that fabulous hair, (which by the way is still determinedly growing vertically over his face, despite my efforts to train it into a side parting) and yet. He gets mistaken for a girl all. the. time. I never let it bother me and it certainly doesn’t bother him, but come on people! This is Brighton in 2015, do we really still make assumptions about children based solely on hair length!?

On the Move:
The fact that the Mancub was a late jumper (like, 3 and a half, still couldn’t jump with two feet), meant that it was a bit of a shock when #2 started jumping last month. I had to remind myself that he’s not some kind of physical prodigy and just… normal. Hah! He does love bouncing around though and is now determined to walk down all steps on his own and heaven help you if you try to hurry him along.

Food and Drink:
He continues to eat lots of new foods the older he gets. He has (finally!) discovered a love of eggs, which makes getting protein (other than peanut butter) into him a lot easier. He’s started having porridge for his breakfast (a huge bowl with plenty of cinnamon and raisins), and enjoys snacking on breadsticks, houmous, most fruits, marmite crackers and smoothies. I’d like him to eat a bit more fish than just fish fingers, and a wider variety of veg (although at least he eats peas now, hallelujah), but on the whole I think he gets a balanced diet and despite him being a second child he still doesn’t get much sugar, so that’s something.

Sleep:
His night time sleep remains solid if a little early (6.45pm – 5.30am) and he loves getting into his cot and snuggling down with one of his La Las (a telly tubby doll). His nap has moved later in the day, so he now goes down after lunch and sleeps from 12.30 – 2.30pm. Since this happened he has been waking up happier again, so clearly something in that change means he is getting better rest.

Playing:
Him and his brother have so much fun at the moment. They both love toy animals and #2 still has a real love of putting things into other things, taking them out again and repeating this for hours (the miniature cannon and ball from a pirate ship is his favourite). Mainly though they are just playing silly imaginary games with lots of hiding and chasing and racing and tickling. They are super cute together and I’m grateful that they rarely squabble.

Language:
Okay, here we go! Suddenly his language has rocketed and he has gone from words that I was still just about managing to keep a count of to saying 3 or 4 words at a time. This morning he dropped his book as he walking to the car and exclaimed, ‘Oh no! Animal book!’. He’s starting to use verbs to describe things that are happening and he likes saying, ‘Got it’ and ‘I did it!’ when he’s proud of something and ‘Read it’ when he wants a book. He likes answering questions about himself and if I ask him what he is he usually tells me ‘yellow animal’ or ‘baby’, although yesterday he told me ‘Moon… on a boat’ and then ran around the room shouting ‘Moon Boat!’, which just about sums him up really. He knows a lot of his colours now and if there are two of something he will point them out and say, ‘doo’.

Personality:
This month he has been so, so affectionate, asking for lots of cuddles, doling out big, sloppy kisses and snuggling on our laps. If he gets too rough and I say, ‘Show me how you’re gentle’, he will ever so carefully stroke my face while he looks at me earnestly. He is always on the move, running around and fetching things and singing and spinning in circles and still has that glint in his eye of one who knows how to be cheeky and one who a few nights ago climbed on top of the table while I was out of the room and stole his brother’s spaghetti from under his nose. He has a whine that can drive you mad and I am very grateful that he is learning more words, so that this is happening less. But he’s pretty easy going, doesn’t tend to get bothered by other kids even when they’re rough or snatch from him, and will get stuck in at singing groups (calling More! More! after every song) and goes off on his own a lot of playgrounds. He has his clingy days for sure (especially if there are people he doesn’t know well around, and especially if they dare to look at him or try to talk to him), but at the same time he’s kind of a breeze and makes us all so happy.

nineteen month update.

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Appearance and Growth:
If I had to guess I would say that this guy is bang on average for his age. He’s got some chubby thighs and a toddler tummy, but otherwise is fairly lean and I am lucky that I can still carry him with relative ease on my back.

On the Move:
Last week we went to the park and all three of us piled onto the big slide together and went down. The Mancub is still kind of nervous when it comes to slides (except for water slides, that’s a whole other story), but his little brother totally showed him up by going down all by himself.

Food and Drink:
I feel like, I don’t know, but I feel like he’s getting a little less picky these days. I mean he licked some brocolli last night and ate a few peas the night before that. Typically though, at dinner he is all about the carbs, be it pasta, rice, noodles or cous cous. Lucky he’s a fruit bat, so he gets some vitamins from somewhere.

Sleep:
The other day he fell asleep on the way home, so I carried him upstairs and put him in his cot. I don’t know if the change disrupted him, but he woke up after only 45 minutes and in a real grump. It made me realised that he no longer wakes up sad from his nap. Most days, he is happy to come straight down to lunch and then is raring to go again. I have also been thinking about how he used to be such a crappy sleeper as a baby, waking up every 2 to 3 hours every night for at least the first six months. But now he’s been sleeping through reliably for such a long time, and we’ve carted him around a fair bit and he will go down easily in new places. I know we still have early mornings to contend with, but honestly, he’s a great sleeper and I know I’m really lucky in the respect with both of my boys.

Playing:
This month he has been all about his baby doll. He carries him around, lies him on the floor and says, ‘shhhh’, pretends to feed him or gives him some milk and takes off his nappy multiple times a day and announces, ‘poo!’. It is very cute. He’s still a big fan of things with wheels and his absolute favourite is to be allowed to stand on the driver’s seat of our car and pretend to drive. Oh, and heaven help anyone else at toddler group that tries to get in that massive yellow and red plastic ride on car (you know the ubiquitous Little Tykes one I mean?), because my guy has the monopoly on that and will scream at you from 100 paces if you so much as look at it, k? This month he is also getting the hang of counting. He can’t say his numbers yet, but if you ask him how many there are of something on a page, he will point to each one in turn while you count.

Language:
I have kind of been waiting impatiently for the month where I could say, ‘We’ve had a language break through!’, and by golly, this is finally the month! Not because I think it’s particularly important for them to talk early, but man, it is so exciting when they do. I had actually forgotten that this is one of my favourite ages, just because they start acquiring words so quickly. He is saying all sorts of words now. His firm favourite is ‘uh-oh’, to be used at every opportunity, even if he has to contrive a situation by dropping something on the floor. My favourite is ‘goggles’, just because it’s so random, and he says it so clearly. He says bye bye and hello really clearly too and is also starting to join in with songs and action rhymes by shouting out the last word. Oh, and he also surprised me by saying two colours, yellow and blue, so if you ask him what colour something is, he will almost certainly give you one of those for an answer.

Personality:
I swear there are weeks when I am about ready to give up being at home, because my littlest boy can be so clingy and whingey, but then every time I come to write an update we seem to be smack in the middle of a really lovely phase. He is so gentle and affectionate, not just with me, but with his brother, friends and his toys too. He’s a real sensitive little soul and gets very embarrassed if he falls over or thinks he’s being told off and drops his head and won’t look at anyone. He’s feisty too though. We had a long phase of him getting upset about getting in and out of his car seat and especially coming into the house after an outing, but I went back to Joyful Toddlers and reread some of their strategies and they seem to have worked a treat. He’s a pretty adventurous spirit and loves to be with the big kids, especially being thrown around on a trampoline or bouncy castle or copying his brother’s every move.