Let’s start with the big news- I’m pregnant again! 3 months down, 6 to go…
It seems to be going much slower the 2nd time, and obviously chasing after a toddler means that sleeping, and even throwing up, are luxuries. (I try and keep it down until Roo’s breakfast is made, then I run off while he eats!!). Honestly, it’s also less exciting. There’s nothing to buy! We have it all already. So the only thing I can get excited about are names. And the apprehension of having 2 children under 2 years old is actually rather overwhelming.
So, that’s the news! And all of this has obviously had an influence over how we parent Reuben, as we are attempting to get him to be more independent and patient, in preparation for sharing me with a younger sibling.
The big things we have been pushing are walking, helping around the house, and sleeping.
The aim is to get Roo walking everywhere by the time the next one comes along because I’m hoping to get away with a buggy board instead of a double buggy!!
We’re halfway there. He walks. Really well! Just…not always in the right direction. If we’re heading towards the balloons in Card Factory then we’re all fine. Anywhere else….takes a while and a rather circuitous route via dropped tissues, running down hills, flowers, balloons in Card Factory, and anything else that might take his fancy.
Like I said, we’re working on it. Direction will come later, once his love of walking is fully established!
Helping around the house
These are the ‘chores’ Roo is expected to help with:
- Putting a book away before getting out a new one
- Following instructions to help me tidy his toys
- Putting loose change in the money box
- Wiping his table after eating
- Putting clothes in / out the washing machine
- Watering the plants
- Putting toys in the bath then handing them back to me one by one at the end of his bath
- Putting his shoes on a shelf when we come home
These are all things he really enjoys doing! He has no concept of ‘chores’ so any activity is a game or routine for him. He loves the predictability of our bath time routine and really enjoys following instructions for the other chores.
Helping with the washing and watering the plants is all him- he LOVES those ‘games’. The other ‘chores’ have been gently introduced by us. I’m going to try and sneak in more and more until I have none left to do myself and can just supervise ;). He’s desperate to help Hoover and sweep the floor, so I’ve ordered him his own mop :). Fake hoovers seem a but pointless- if he wants to help it should be with something that works! (Montessori Practical Life skills )
We had to get on top of Roo’s sleep issues quickly as I needed my sleep more than ever.
Reuben slept very well, and fell asleep quickly, but he needed me there with him while he fell asleep. This meant if he woke in the night I had to get up and go to him. He would fall back to sleep the second I walked in the room, but by that point I was awake 😦
We tried gradual retreat, and then moved him to a cot but these changes made no difference whatsoever! So we went drastic, and went for the dreaded Cry It Out method. The aim was to teach Roo how to fall asleep without any sleep aids. So no more Ewan, no milk in bed and no mummy!!
First night took 50 minutes of crying. I went in twice during that time then in the night he didn’t wake at all. He woke at 5:30am.
Second night took 10 minutes of crying. No night wakings and woke in the morning at 6am.
Ever since then, I put him in the cot and leave and he cries for about 30 seconds or more often not at all. And he sleeps soundly until 6:30-7:30! Yayyyyyy!!!
Yes, the first night was emotional (I was a pregnant hormonal jibbering wreck), but he’s old enough to learn quickly and his experience with the floor bed means he knows where we are at night.
So, what else is new with Roo at 17 months?
He talks!! So much! I’ve lost count of the number of words he can say now, but it’s definitely over 30. A lot of them are not completely accurate or clear, so they need a bit of mummy translating! It is such a joy though to have him communicate so much. He loves to point out what he can see, and he now babbles endlessly chatting random nonsense to himself. It’s so adorable!
Roo has been going through ‘phases’ of what he’s interested in. Previous interests have been cars, fire engines, ducks, rolling golf balls, trains, “head, shoulders, knees & toes”, streetlights etc.
I’m fortunate enough to spend so much time with him that I can spot these ‘themes’ and give him more information or time to look at it. Eg. By singing a song about it or getting books from the library.
Roo’s interests at the moment are:
- Building using Baby Duplo and Duplo (but not wooden blocks)
- Fake cooking
- Learning how to sit on a little chair by backing into it
So I’ve helped him by:
- Taking him to the local farm cafe where they have lots of old tractors to sit on. Getting books from the library.
- Providing him with a container for his Baby Duplo so that he can access it and tidy it up all by himself. Only giving him a few pieces of ‘real’ Duplo in a different room, so he doesn’t mix them up and doesn’t get too frustrated as he still struggles with Duplo.
- Buying a new-to-us cooker from a charity shop (£4 bargain!) with toaster, kettle and saucepan. He was immediately engrossed! I thought he was too young to understand role play but within a minute he was telling me it was hot and made me a cup of tea!!
- Allowing him time to try and sit down himself. On a walk the other day he spent a good 10 mins trying to sit on a tiny wall. Huge smiles when he did it!
I’ve been telling everyone that this is definitely the best age! But I think I say that every month 🙂