*I meant to post this two weeks ago right after Charles’ second birthday but life got in the way so here it is…
As I’m writing this update, I am in the aftermath of a very trying and tiring Sunday with Charles. Motherhood feels like the hardest job in the world because I’m getting very little sleep due to Charles’ unpredictable sleeping patterns this past week — and with the husband overseas on business, I have to truly dig deep to find reserves of inner strength and mental fortitude to soldier on.
I’m reading mummy blogs to find inspiration to handle tough days and the wisdom I glean from them are:
+ Whatever you are going through — it’s not permanent. It may feel like forever but it will pass.
+ There is no point overeacting, shouting, freaking out over things like making a mess or tantrums or brattiness. I feel so sheepish because today I shouted at Lil C for throwing his play doh containers and tools all over the floor for fun and slamming the dining chairs on the floor — this had me rushing over in a fury and I ended up having a chair crash onto my foot. Very ouch.
+ Get to the root of the problem. Just keep trying because once you can fix the problem, it will be resolved — stress eliminated.
Alright, here’s Charles’ 24-month-old update…
+ He’s 91cm and weighs 14.2kg. For reference, he fits into 3-year-old clothes well but can wear 4-year-old togs without them looking too big on him. His feet are size 15 and can wear 16 comfortably. We feel that his size 15 shoes are getting snug so he’s sort of in-between, I guess. My friend’s 5-year-old daughter’s feet are size 18, so yeah, he’s big for a 2-year-old.
+ His eating has improved but he certainly has his preferences. He started eating broccoli a few times a week but I need to put some sesame dressing on it. He still eats a kiwi almost daily but would munch on apple once or twice a week.
+ He has become a huge fan of rice, especially onigiri which I make for him almost everyday for lunch. He refuses to drink green smoothies now so it’s the only way to get some roughage into him along with the kiwi. He snacks on raisins and nuts too which help, I think.
+ His naps are really touch-and-go these days so I cannot count on making plans to do work. He usually falls asleep in the stroller and may or may not transfer well into his bed. He might wake up after 10 minutes or snooze for almost three hours. It also depends on how much sleep he has the night before — it can range from eight hours (that’s so freaking bad) to 10 hours (which is the most he would sleep on a good night). But everyday, he would more or less clock in 11 hours in total which I’m not sure is enough for a two-year-old. Any thoughts, anyone?
+ He is obsessed with Mickey Mouse and going to Disneyland certainly had a lot to do with it.
+ For the last two weeks, it feels like he is going through some kind of transition where he has regressed from sleeping solidly through the night to having random nightmares in the night and he refuses to go to sleep on his own or he would insist on playing or eating at ungodly hours. So I’m working on correcting this — a stricter bed time routine (bath, books, lights out), lots of outside time in the park to burn up any restless energy, aromatherapy, and a night light.
+ We think it could be a number of things — he was already a bit afraid of the dark and then the rides on Disneyland truly scared the bejeezus out of him because they were in the dark with very loud music and flashing lights. The husband left for another business trip so he misses his Dada a lot, he got sick of the cot and we converted it into a big boy bed but he is still getting used to it. And finally, the night light we have is not an LED one but a random gift from friends which gets super hot in the night and warms up his room a bit too much. Anyway, we are trying to fix all these problems because sleepless mummy = mean and grouchy mummy = confused and bratty Charles.
+ In terms of his speech development, it has gone through the roof. He says many words now and makes simple sentences like, “It’s a black bird!” or “It’s a blue car!”. He recently started noticing things that are the same and would shout, “SAME!” and this one the hubby cannot stand, that is Lil C started referring to himself as “Charlie” – LOL! I think the teachers and kids at school call him “Charlie” and lots of our friends do that as well. I think it’s cute.
+ He loves the act of choosing — whether it’s his T-shirt or park we are going to. I think it’s not unique because I think kids want to assert their individuality and independence.
+ He is learning emotions as well, like sad, happy, angry, being sorry but we still need to work on “love”. I always tell him to say, “I love you, Dada” when we say goodbye to the hubs on Skype but he just says, “I love you Bubba” (he refers to himself as Bubba) because the husband would say, “I love you Bubba” next. It’s the same with “Goodnight” as well. Don’t ask me what the logic is in that but he obviously doesn’t get it yet.
+ He is starting to remember people and names. He can also chat about his day at school though it’s limited to what he ate for lunch, how fun it was, and whether they went to the park or not.
+ He is transport-obsessed. We can wait for the lights to change and he would be thrilled to spot a police car, or a van, or a truck or a motorbike. He would shout, “TAXI, MAMA!”, “MAMA! TRUCK! A BIG TRUCK!”, “OH WOW! AMBULANCE!”
+ He shouts a lot when he’s excited. I just know he’s going to be very very loud and chatty once he gets his head around speaking properly.
I feel that at 2 years old, Charles’ mental development certainly took centre stage and it’s been an entertaining, hilarious, and heartwarming ride so far. Although we’ve had our challenging moments, I wouldn’t trade them anything in the world and count myself extremely lucky being able stay at home with my toddler while juggling work.
P.S.: By the time this post was published, we sorted out his sleeping and it’s much better now — all thanks to putting a gate at the entrance of his room and a later bedtime which helps him fall asleep faster so his mind won’t over-think and get anxious about the dark.