22 months

Monday, May 29th, 2017 08:51 am
chanaleh: Mama with Aria, age 18 months (aria-18mos)
[personal profile] chanaleh
Etrace says Aria is getting steadily... not what you could call "worse", but more of a handful, more rambunctious and wanting to get into everything and create chaos. He is worried she's bored. I don't think it necessarily means she's bored just because she suddenly likes to methodically dump out every one of her toys (or books from the bookcase, clean diapers from the basket, etc) onto the floor and mess them around. That's a way of entertaining herself, right? Better than endless hours of Elmo videos (which she will beg for if not distracted by sufficient mess to create).

Basically, the operative principle nowadays is "what can we do to tire her out today??"

This concern is reinforcing my desire to enroll her in a Montessori toddler program for the fall, at least a couple mornings a week. But in any case, warmer weather is coming and she'll be able to play outside... insofar as he can keep her out of the mud and, more crucially, the pond. (See also: swimming classes.) This weekend we got two long, shallow plastic underbed storage bins and 100lbs of play sand, and set up a tabletop sandbox on the little picnic table nephew J made her last year. As soon as we showed it to her yesterday, she went straight to work and spent a solid hour playing quietly (well, two solid half-hours, interrupted by a walk around the pond to look for frogs and poke at the water with sticks). So I think that's a win. The second bin is to use as a water table; she can spend easily 45 minutes in the bathtub engrossed in pouring with her "cups" (a pint and a quart container discarded from the kitchen).

She has always been notably determined, but lately is getting more headstrong. If we take away or otherwise thwart something she wants, she wails "Come on!!" in frustration, which makes her sound like The Littlest Middle Schooler. (In fairness, she picked that usage up from me. See also: "dammit".) But, she is also more affectionate than ever and likes to give kisses as well as hugs. When we Skype with my mom, she will zip over and hug the iPad and kiss the screen. CUTE OVERLOAD.

Ever since the March time change, her bedtime has been slipping downwards until she's now getting to sleep about 10:15 most nights. This is partly due to, or at least reinforced by, her afternoon naptime slipping down; she often won't even go down until 4pm (or later!) and is just waking up when I get home at 6. Which means there's not much point in trying to put her back to bed at 8pm! We normally eat between 7 and 8 anyway, so nowadays, I take her straight upstairs after that and let her play or watch YouTube while I get my pajamas on. Then I try to get her in the bath by 8:30, out by 9, downstairs again to get the bottles and say goodnight to Dada, and back up in her room by 9:15. She's still a bit wound up at that point and spends another half hour toddling around the room tearing things up. We have this glowing musical seahorse thing that I use as a timer: three cycles with the closet light on, three cycles with the lights off, and then it's time to get in her bed.

The thing that's new is that, where she used to zonk out in my arms every night, now she will seem to be settling but still a little antsy and restless -- maybe because she's bigger and doesn't fit as neatly in my lap anymore. So I whisper "Are you ready to get in your bed?" and often the first time she calmly says "No," but when I ask again a few minutes later she'll say "Okay!" and let me kiss her goodnight and put her in the crib without a fuss. She'll say "Blanket?" and I get the little cotton throw blanket to spread over her. And then I just walk on out. It's wild.

On average, she then sleeps til 9 (with a 30-60min wakeup in the middle about half the time) and takes a 2-hour nap in the late afternoon, so the late schedule is not that concerning... but it does make it hard on Mama, who now has basically no baby-free time at night other than crawling straight into bed and doing the crossword until I pass out. However, we now get 2- or 3-night consecutive stretches where she does NOT wake up overnight, which is amazing. It's the little things.

I took Aria to shul this past Shabbat, and when we pulled up I said "Do you know who we're going to see? Danielle!" (her adorable little buddy, age 3.5) They weren't there yet, since we actually arrived close to on time, but then every 30 seconds Aria said "Where Danel? Where Danel?" SO CUTE. Danielle's equally adorable mom J (who is also the Hebrew school principal) commented approvingly on how well Aria is suddenly talking. She also mentioned they have a Sunday morning synagogue preschool class -- separate from the Federation weekday preschool which is never going to be practical for us -- and they normally start at age 3 but she thought Aria would do fine if we wanted to sign her up this fall, especially since Danielle will be in the class. "Oh, and it's drop-off!" MAGIC WORDS. Anyway, they have a sign-up/meet-the-teachers day in August, so we'll see how that goes.
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