Toddler Life

Sleeplessness seems to be some of my regular fare in life, which appears to be something I got from my dear mother, and perhaps caught somehow from my dear friend Dorothy as well.  Mom and Dorothy are both incredibly productive, wise women, so if that’s what sleeplessness gets you in life, maybe I need more of it.  There is something nice and quiet and alone about being up late by oneself, or getting up early (less my cup of tea… or shall I say less my three cups of coffee…).

Though am I alone if I’m blogging, hard to say.  Back in the day, back before blogging took over the world, I wrote in a journal.  With paper and pen and everything.  Now I think, like many of you, I have forgotten how to write anything more than maybe a grocery list with my own hand… thankfully, I’m finding that life with a toddler is all about learning what you thought you already knew.  Like how to write.  We’re practicing real live writing or letters a little bit these days.

Speaking of life with a toddler, it’s amazing.  We love it.  Alaythia could not be more adorable or energetic or sweet and curious and constantly learning something new.  Okay, occasionally it would be nice if the energy dipped, but that wouldn’t be a proper toddlerhood.  She runs all over the house, exploring every bit, usually stopping to 1) sit in her room and read a stack of books, 2) check on her shoes (“shoes, shoes” she loves to say, and even more, loves to grab and hand to you with a clear request to put them on, or an attempt to put them on herself.  she’s a girly girl…), 3) throw or kick a ball around, while somewhat a girly girl, she can throw and kick a ball better than i can, which is saying little, but i’m only getting worse and she’s quickly improving, 4) say “teeth, teeth” and point to them and walk to the bathroom, which means she wants to brush her teeth, which I’m delighted she loves to do, almost as much as she loves giving you a rundown of the names of all the parts of her face.  we’re having to teach her it’s not okay to point out other people’s eyes by pointing her finger dangerously close to said eyes, 5) point and say “doggy! doggy!” out the window.  When you live by a park one can pretty much watch dogs go by all day long, as she loves to do.  We get a lot of “doggy!” updates.  Her favorite things to say are generally either “Daddy” or “doggy”, which can on occasion be a teeny bit confusing, I’ll admit.  She recently went through a phase where anything she liked was referred to as “Daddy”, despite knowing—and addressing—Kabyn as daddy since she was eight months old.  She has a great sense of humor, and it seemed she was doing it as a joke—she thought it was uproriously funny to point to herself and say “Daddy!” and then we would correct her I think it was just part of the game to her.

Finding the line between endless fun and games (her way of living) and the need for learning discipline in order to function in the world is a tricky thing that we spend much time and thought and prayer on these days.  I’ve learned to be very careful in how I say things—if I’m giving a command, I need to be expect her to follow it.  If I’m giving a suggestion, I can’t phrase it as I would a command, or it’s fair to expect her to be confused, or to not know when she is expected to do something and when she is not.  I’m also learning that after we have worked on her learning something, for example, to understand “go in the kitchen” or “come here” or “get your shoes” (which I have found, is ALWAYS before I think she’s learned something… I actually rarely have to actually “teach” her things she is used to hearing… definitely a wake-up call to be aware of what I’m saying and doing!!), I need to be consistent in my expectations.  i.e. if I ask her to do something, I’m not being consistent if I then ask her three more times.  Then she just learns that after I ask her to do something three times, she must do it.  So I’m learning to make sure she understands a request, and then to be consistent.  These are not my strong suits, so it’s been an even better discipline for me to learn consistency and clarity, not to mention just some simplicity and consistency of verbage (can you tell I don’t tend towards brief??  at least not at this hour, apparently.)  So we’re definitely all learning a lot around here.

Overall the little one is doing marvelously.  We have some whiny moments, where she wants something but either doesn’t know how to ask for something, or is just feeling too whiny to ask with words/signs (or at minimum, throw a please sign in there somewhere), but we’re learning how to help her communicate and be patient.  Which requires infinitely more patience from us than it does from her, which probably teaches her a lot more patience than anything we could tell her.  Not that we always get this, but, we’re trying.

Our new schedule has allowed lots of fun times for outings.  We take walks, and got a zoo membership which we plan to use as much as possible.  Alaythia loves to walk around the neighborhood, especially when the neighborhood cats pop out (they seem to love her as much as she loves them).  We have some dogs in the neighborhood, which she likes to look at but seems to have a keen appreciation for the fence that lies between her and them.  She stays on the sidewalk, and likes to point out and name all the things she recognizes as we go.  She sometimes waves at passerbys, unless they are walking straight towards her, in which case she gives them a dark look and refuses to continue walking forward until they’ve passed her.

I think that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll update more on our lives another day, I’ve no energy for it at present.  Enjoy this picture of little one on a walk.

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