Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toddler Antics

Selena has always been a little monkey. Climbing on things. Jumping off things. But the older she gets the more acrobatic her antics become. She loves making dad be a jungle gym and climbs all over him. She also loves to ride on his shoulders. She likes climbing and flipping in and out of Allie's pack-n-play. We still go to Toddler Gym at the Y and she likes walking on the beam (the real sized ones), holding my hand, and then jumping off the edge. She also likes swinging upside down on the bars pretending to be a bat.

Her play is becoming more imaginative. She likes to play with her stuffed animals and baby doll and she makes them have little conversations. She likes blocks, and we build multiple story houses for her toys. She also really likes TV and her favorite show is Blue's Clues and she also likes to watch Kipper clips on youtube. I dislike her watching as much TV as she does, but it does make life much easier. I can have her watch a Kipper clip or two while I put Allie down for a nap and it prevents her from coming into the room and waking Allie. Or if I need to pickup the house I can have her watch an episode of Blue's Clues and get my chores done without her whining, or making messes faster than I can clean them up. It will be nice when she can read on her own, then she can read a book instead of watch TV.

For rainy day activities we've started doing some toddler yoga. I got Yoga Kids\ dvd from Netflix and got the books Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers and Little Yoga: A Toddler's First Book of Yoga. So far she likes the yoga dvd and the Little Yoga book. I haven't tried the Itsy Bitsy Yoga with her much. But she seems to enjoy it and it gives us something to do.

Halloween was fun. She dressed up as a pumpkin and was very excited about it. She remembered trick-or-treating last year and was excited to do it again this year. We just went around our cul-de-sac and she got plenty of candy. We've been slowly doling it out as bribes to go potty.

I'd like to say she is potty trained, but its still a touch and go sort of thing. Some days great, other days not so much. We're making progress, but it is very slow. We've tried potty charts, rewards, etc and they work to an extent but not completely. I think emphasizing that she is in control of when she goes and not showing any reaction when she has an accident is what is working the best right now. I really wished I had waited longer before we first started. With Allie I am going to wait till she can pull her pants on and off by herself. With Selena I was going to wait for this, but I thought it was a long ways off, but it really wasn't, and I was anxious to get her potty trained before the baby came.

We have a new bedtime routine with her and it has worked out well. She now lets Dad get her dressed, read her bedtime stories, brush her teeth, and tuck her in, while I put Allie to sleep. Then I come in and snuggle a bit and sometimes I will leave before she is all the way asleep, which is a huge milestone. Now if she would just stay in her bed longer through the night... But I'll take what I can get.

Dealing with new behavior issues has been a challenge. It seems every few months she hits a new behavior stage and I get really stressed trying to figure out how to deal with it, and then I figure it out and relax a bit. Thankfully running away has not been a problem for a while. (Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by writing that.) I'm not sure if she outgrew it or restraining her in the stroller as soon as she bolted was the key to fixing that problem. Right now tantrum/crying when she doesn't get what she wants, hitting, spitting, sharing and not doing what she is asked are what we are working on. I am very lucky to have a private message board I belong to with a wonderful group of moms to get support and ideas from. There are a bunch of us with 2 - 3 year olds and babies so we are all in the same boat. Specifically two pieces of advice I have gotten that have worked really well are for not picking up her messes when I ask her to and for dealing with spitting. When she says no when I ask her to pick something up, I physically take her hands and help her pickup what I want her to. As soon as I do that she picks the rest of the stuff up happily and willingly. It is like magic! To deal with the spitting I take her to the sink and have her spit in the sink over and over till she is tired and bored of spitting. So I have small successes and I am working really hard on maintaining my patience and teaching her acceptable ways to behave.

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