Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Taking the first steps into toddlerhood

Just days before his first birthday a few weeks ago, my son began taking his first tentative steps. Although I’m proud and excited, I have to admit, it wasn’t the big momentous occasion that I had expected, which once again led me to realize that I watch too many movies. Like most things, he built up to walking very slowly. Two steps one day, then five steps a few days later, and now a few weeks later, he can toddle his way across a room. But now that he’s getting the hang of it, he’s bobbing and weaving around the house on his little unstable feet like the town drunk at 3 am. It’s hilarious and heart-warming all at the same time.

This big “step” led me to realize that, holy smokes, he’s not a baby anymore! He’s officially a toddler! Lord help us all, we have a toddler in the house. It’s not just the walking that has made me realize that he’s crossed over into toddlerhood... there are many other signs that the time has come. Here are a few observations that made me realize that a new era has dawned in my home:

· There are Cheerios everywhere. I’m constantly stepping on them, finding them stuck in my hair, sweeping them out of corners and emptying them out of the dust buster. The little buggers are more insidious than bed bugs! When you think you’ve rounded them all up, more pop up out of nowhere. Makes me wonder how many actually end up in my son’s mouth.

· Temper tantrums have begun. In true mini-drama queen fashion, the littlest things will set off a full-on tantrum, complete with tears and a theatrical scene in which my son throws his head back on to the floor, kicking and screaming.

· On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, he can now perform cute tricks on demand: blowing kisses, giving hugs, clapping his hands, waving bye-bye, hiding his face behind his hands until we say “peek-a-boo.” In an attempt to turn him into the ultimate flirt, I’m trying to teach him to bat his eyelashes. I know, maybe I should start working on teaching him to count or learn the alphabet. Maybe my priorities are a little off...

· Food has become much more interesting and my son always wants to eat what we’re eating and to feed himself (or to feed us). I’m happy to encourage his independence at the table but when he’s watching us eat French fries and refusing his own mushy peas and carrots because he wants a fry, I don’t love it as much.... does this mean we have to start eating mushy peas too? Ugh.

· Similarly, he is very decisive about what he likes and doesn’t like. And when he doesn’t like something, he flings it onto the floor. Which somehow always makes my husband and I launch into a diatribe about how there are starving children in Africa who would be happy to eat this food. As if he understands. And when did we turn into our grandparents? I’m pretty sure the “starving children in Africa” argument pre-dates our own parents.

Do you have a toddler in your house? What are some of the classic toddler behaviours that you’ve seen?

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