The frenzy Toddler Life

Do you have a toddler in the house?

Toddler is an age of wonder, humor and loud meltdowns over palm tree pony tails and spaghetti noodles. In fact, toddler is an age where if you don’t or can’t find the humor in all the little things that can go wrong in a day you will end up crying in the corner before breakfast is over. For me, I only appreciate coffee or tea if its made before my toddler wakes up.

Thankfully ,this stage I believed can be  survived,( As What to expect says so..!)

As I ponder on her toddler days, I can find  wisdom and humor to the generation below her, and hey, I know I am not alone.So, how is your life  been with all the messes?

Have you been bending a lot too?

Who pick-up most of the scattered toys?

For the last 1.5 years, I realized this ; “What is a home without children? ” Quiet. The silence is always golden.

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Natalie trying to ride her Papa’s wooden Bike when He was a Toddler himself. A memento for the 2nd generation.

I can know if a household has a toddler or not. Just listen to the loudness of noise or the total absence of it. When you call someone, the crying, shouting, and loud attention seeking tiny human is breathing out her lungs just for you to cut off that call short.

If you have a toddler, its like  having a blender without a top cap over it.Imagine staring down a blender full of berries and knowing you have to start it without the lid. That’s pretty much how I feel every time I have to take my toddler out amongst the general public even for a short 20 minutes —even to the nearby supermarket, you know it’s going to be terrible, but you don’t really have a choice. I cannot risk to let her loose in the aisles or else we’ll be paying for many broken items. Did I mention that all of a sudden she doesn’t want to sit in her stroller?

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Kissing frog is old school. Now its Kissing the barks of Trees. Very nature-Friendly Kid.

Silence is golden- unless you have a toddler.In that case, silence is very very suspicious.Be quick, be very very quick to check her out. She might be eating something from the floor or licking the window glass and trying to flatten her nose though it.

That exercise looks adorable though.

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It feels great to learn to scribble on my Face !

Toddlers have their own set of rules, and until you can convince them that your way or the highway is really the only set of rules in the house there will be a lot of screaming, yelling and maybe trying to tell you in their own language “HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME GO TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR?”. Spell rebellion. They’re so cute, but they can get SO MEAN. All she wants to do is to run, make a mess, cling to me and repeat the same routine.

She used to loved to devour grapes, but now, she just turn her nose up when she sees it. Has her taste buds suddenly twisted? Toddlers are like mini-versions of drunk people.

 

My daughter is no exception. For the past few months, I’ve been in a constant state of anxiety, worrying that my child may accidentally kill herself. She stumbles through life on unsteady feet, not paying attention to what is in front of her, off to the next adventure, and she never fails to inadvertently stumble (or rather, crash) into danger. We are always waiting to hear the next bang, boom, screech or howl.I cannot forget the sound when she fell out from her crib.It was horrible thug.

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The Frenzy life of a Toddler

I’ve heard many parents of toddlers complain about what a headache they can be. They pee & poop in odd places.  They stumble and fall into things and are basically one giant bruise. They throw tantrums. They refuse to eat their meals. They rip the pages out of their books, Hold on forever to anything that is color blue, eats wood etc.  They won’t sleep in their own beds but rather sleep on the edge! They splash in mud puddles and lick the windows and lick the tires of the stroller & bike. Toddlers are a pain in the ass. It’s just the truth.

As much stress and anxiety as my toddler causes me, most of the time, I can’t help but just laugh… Ahh Toddler Life!

For Mamas & Papas out there who can relate, How’s your  life with a toddler in the house?

 

The art of Slowing down at child’s pace

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Lessons learned from  raising a Toddler

My daughter, Natalie is a great teacher. She’s only 18 months and yet she have taught me far greater & deep lesson about Caring with Respect, a valuable lesson that I needed for my age, and at this time of my life. I never learned this from school, but only through life with her.She have given me the Gift of Slowing down in life, at her own pace.

We loved to take a walk together. This is one way that we bond. Oftentimes, when we get down from our building, we took the elevator. But as soon as we are out, my daughter immediately run to the stairs and starts climbing. Up & down she goes. I always grab her by both hands and pull her back to get on with our walk & immediately she pull her hand out from my grip & go on her way. We do this maybe for a couple of times but she has her own ways to go back again to the stairs. One time after scooping her up, she just screamed,cried & refused to walk. The next time we are going out and she did the same, I let go of her. She go on her own way, she climbed the stairs, up & down for a couple of times while I just stood there, watching her. She’s looking back at me from time to time & smiled . Then she continued with her “ways”. After 3 rounds, she came up to me and pulled my hand, going to the direction of the main door so we can go on for our walk. This time, she was willing. She was finally ready. I learned that just being prepared & present for her helped her. Now I fully understand what does it really mean to “walk with her “. Its not about my pace, but hers.

Recently I found out something unusual with her. I didn’t notice the change until I evaluate what have I done. Normally when she woke up, she cried and refused to go back to sleep unless I stayed with her. I used to do things without telling her what I’m planning to do with her. This always result that she gets upset. I felt like I need to do it in a rush way like changing her diaper, leaving the room, pulling out her onesies, or brushing her teeth. But lately, I decided to talk to her more often of what I want to do instead of doing it while she’s caught off-guard. I decided to take my time, to slow down & care with respect. To let her know if I am going to remove her diaper and wash her, or inform her that I am going to the kitchen to get her milk, or telling her I’m going to brush her teeth. Her reaction changed. She became more calm, more tolerant. She was there waiting for me, as if she really understood me. This really struck me. She let go of her defenses and behaved. This time, I finally knew the power of Narrating what was happening & just observing more to understand her needs better.

Many times, I see my toddler as uncooperative, as whining, and difficult. But I never evaluated my own actions as demanding, insensitive or harsh. But when I started to look deeper at my actions as a parent,I was really dumbfounded why I never realized these things before. I know for most of us parents whose both hands are full with work & day-to day responsibilities, it’s not always easy to be fully present and attuned to a baby or young child who can’t keep up physically or verbally to let you know, “Hey wait a minute! Slow down! “We thought we are always in-charge, that our child are all helpless creatures. We forget that although they may not be physically agile as we are, they have feelings, their perception of things is developing and therefore this stage is critical.

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Educating while caring : Slowing down at child’s pace.

I was deeply moved by the gift of slowing down to a child’s pace and the humbling  lesson  I have learned about “Educaring”. Educaring  means that we should educate while we care, and care while we educate; that these two things are intertwined. So the intimate caregiving activities of feeding, diapering, bathing, and dressing a baby, provide valuable opportunities for a baby to learn about himself and also about others, about the people who care for him. And these are also valuable opportunities for relationship building between parent and child.

The art of Slowing down at a pace of a child illustrates the profound connection and joy available to both parents and young children when we can slow down just a little to be present with, and allow for what naturally unfolds, leaving our agenda behind, and trusting our children to be active participants in their own experience, recognizing that they have a point of view too.

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Babies, even toddlers knows best.Let them eat sand if she like. She does it anyway!

How do we do this? How can we slow down at their own pace and educate them while caring?

I wanna share with you  what I have learned from the excerpt of the book “Baby knows best”  : Raising a Confident & Resourceful Child , the RIE way by Deborah Carlisle Solomon. I didn’t know that these things are so relative and yet it really opened my eyes. This definitely changed my relationship with my daughter.Here are some helpful tips ;

1 – Slow down. Just slowing down creates a sense of peacefulness and allows even a young baby to follow what’s happening. When you think about the difference in how you feel when you’re rushing or even just moving at a brisk pace versus when you take the time to move slowly, it’s not surprising that this would have such a difference for babies.

2 – Practice telling your baby what you’re going to do, before you do it. “I’d like to pick you up now. I’m going into the other room and I’ll be right back.” When we are in the habit of telling the baby what we’re going to do, the baby can relax. She knows there’s going to be no surprises.

3-Tarry time -It’s the time between when you tell the baby what’s going to happen and when you actually do it. So after you tell the baby “I’m going to pick you up now,” you tarry, or wait for her to process what’s been said and let you know she’s ready. She might raise her arms up or have a look on her face of anticipation and you’ll know that now she’s ready to be picked up. This is important because babies take more time to process than we do. If we just say we’re going to pick you up and then pick up the baby, it will still feel very abrupt for the baby and she won’t be able to quite keep up with what’s going on.

Childhood is fleeting. Time flies so fast that we might not realize it when were so absorbed by the hustle & bustle of parenting. But as for me, I wanted to grow along with my child as she learns from me and vice versa. It is more important than ever to remember that the simple act of slowing down and giving our full attention is a gift that we can give to our children, and to ourselves.

Can you relate to this post?

Or what have you learned about slowing down in Life to appreciate more of it?

I wish that you find your inspiration everyday.Thank you for reading.