We can’t wait…

Us parents, we’re such funny beings aren’t we?

When our baby is born…

we can’t wait until they can hold their head up
we can’t wait until they can roll over
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night
we can’t wait until they smile and giggle

When our baby is 5 months old…

we can’t wait until they can start eating
we can’t wait until they sit up unaided
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night
we can’t wait until they start to crawl

When our baby is 10 months old…

we can’t wait until they start to babble
we can’t wait until they are walking
we can’t wait until they say their first word
we can’t wait until we can stop carrying so much stuff around
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night

When our baby is 15 months old…

we can’t wait as they discover new words
we can’t wait to take them on walks through the park
we can’t wait until they are sleeping through the night
we can’t wait until we don’t have to take the pram everywhere

When our baby is 24 months old…

if you’re anything like me, you’ll cry and wonder how your little baby grew up so quickly, where the time went, miss the new born phase and apart from the lack of sleep, wish time would slow down and you can re-live it all again.

This afternoon I spent time with my cousin and my niece and what a delight it was to hold and feed an almost 6 week old. To inhale her baby smell and to remember what it was like when S was that young (while he sat beside me talking non stop).

At 3 years and 7 months…

I love that I can have a full blown conversation with him.

I love the imaginative stories he comes up with.

I love his laugh.

I love his sense of humour.

I love his independence.

But today I did miss his baby days. Just before I left my cousins house, she said she couldn’t wait for baby L to grow up a little bit and my response? Savour every moment because you’ll get to 24 months and realise actually, they grow too quickly!

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Only child syndrome?

It’s no secret that S is thoroughly pampered. He’s the first child, the first grandchild, the first (and sixth) great grand child and generally commands everyone’s attention…even those he has just met. But I didn’t realise just how much my attention meant to him until another baby came into the picture. No, I haven’t had another baby, I’m talking about my gorgeous niece Aura. S met her last year when she was 3 months old and immediately fell for her. Every time we went over to my cousin’s house, even if she was sleeping, he’d run in and give her a kiss on the cheek. And this year when he found out we were coming to India, he remembered Aura and started asking about her. That is until he actually met her…

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A week into our trip, my whole family were flying to Sri Lanka for my cousin’s wedding and Aura and her mom were on the same flight as us. I was having a great time re-living the baby years (she just turned 1) by holding her and playing with her until I noticed S getting a little stroppy. After I handed her back to her mom for take off, S looks at me, then looks at her, points at me and says “That’s NOT Aura’s mummy, that’s my mummy!” It was cute until later in the trip when he tried to exert his authority over her. Such toddler envy…who knew?!

He’s no doubt very fond of her, as long as his mummy isn’t giving her too much attention! I guess it’s a good thing I have no plans to have any more children in the near future.

Toddlers and sharing

I want to talk about the S word. The word so many parents have such trouble with. You might have guessed it..SHARING!

We all want our children to be polite little beings who share their toys happily but that is far from the reality of things. Toddlers don’t always understand the concept of sharing and they also monopolise the word “mine”. I don’t blame them, they have some pretty cool toys!

Now I have pretty mixed opinions about sharing. On the one hand I want S to be able to share and I encourage him to. We borrowed a tricycle from his friend Kaz and I try and explain to him that as Kaz shared his tricycle with him, so he must share his toys with his friends. We had a playdate at home last week and this rational sat well with him.

However, on the flipside, if S is playing with a toy and someone else wants it then I don’t think he needs to share, until he is done playing with it. We live in a world where no one is going to readily hand you what you want on a silver platter and so it should be the same for the way we teach our children to share. If I was hanging out with friends and someone grabbed my phone to play with it, that wouldn’t be socially acceptable. And in the same way, why should S have to hand over something he is playing with? It works both ways though…if another child is playing with something and S wants it, I’d explain to him that he needs to wait until that child is done (as you would for swings in a playground).

As always, Dr. Markham explains it beautifully: http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/raise-great-kids/socially-intelligent-child/toddlers

How do you encourage sharing with your toddler?

Negotiating with a toddler

S used to love the water. When he was a baby, bath time was his favourite part of the day and when we moved to London I enrolled him in swimming lessons with Aquababies. Last summer we went to Goa and Cebu for my cousin’s weddings and he spent a lot of time chilling on the beach and in the pool, which he’d practically do running jumps into.

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But somehow after the summer we didn’t keep up with the lessons and going swimming seemed to have fallen by the wayside. That is until I got an email in November from Aquababies offering 50% off a block of 5 sessions, which prompted me to re-enrol him. Last Sunday was our first session. I started talking to S about swimming from the preceding Thursday and while he didn’t seem keen, he wasn’t totally against it either.

When we got to the changing room however, everything changed. I got ready first while he took in his surroundings and then attempted to get him ready but the boy was having none of it. “I don’t want to go swimming mama”. I knew once he got in he’d love it but I didn’t want to force him into doing something he really didn’t want to and who am I kidding? Anyone who has a toddler knows they have a mind of their own and there’s no forcing them (at least not happily) to do anything. So I told him he didn’t need to swim but I had to so would he come with me and just dangle his feet in the water? He seemed okay with that…except he didn’t need to wear his swim nappy and shorts then. So then I explained that to go by the pool area, you had to wear your pool clothes. He didn’t seem to buy it. To cut a long story short, I whipped out all my best arguments from my “toddler’s handbook” (including having a pretend conversation with my cousin to tell her to buy S 2 Peppa Pig cakes *cringe*). He finally relented and let me get him ready on the agreement that we wouldn’t use the hairdryer (very logical!).

We arrived at the pool and I got in but told him he didn’t need to so he sat on the sides (with his feet well away from the water). After a couple of minutes I put some water on his feet to show him how warm it was and a few minutes later when I thought he was ready, I picked him up, held him close and brought him into the pool…and he was fine. We joined the class 5 minutes late but at least he was in.

It took him another 5 minutes of clinging to me before he really started enjoying the class and when I say enjoying, I mean all I heard on the way home was “Mama I want to go swimming, I want to kick my legs…I want to go to the swimming pool”. *sigh*

Now I love these bad ass American TV shows like 24, Scandal and Homeland and it dawned on me that apart from not getting shot at or involved in car chases, sometimes being a mom is like playing Jack Bauer especially when it comes to negotiating with terrorists toddlers.

1. You have to give in to their demands before they give you what you want.
2. You never know if they are going to change their minds or go back on the “deal”.
3. There is often no logic to their demands.
4. They find your Achilles heel and know exactly how “exploit” it.
5. They know where all your buttons are and just how far they need to push them.

What are some of your negotiation tactics?

Mums' Days

31 at 31

This is my 200th post….that got here quickly…I feel like I was just writing my 100th post not so long ago. Today also happens to be my 31st birthday!! 🙂

It’s been a trying year to say the least but also one filled with lots of love, laughter and memories to cherish. I spent 6 weeks this summer with my extended family and quite literally cried my eyes out when it was time to say goodbye. S has grown so much in the last year too, he’s gone from a babbling baby to a terrific toddler and if you follow my Project 52 pictures you can also see just how much bigger he’s gotten physically as well. He’s a ball of energy, keeping me on my toes 24/7.

This year has been a great learning curve as well. It’s forced me to re-evaluate my life and sift through the crap to figure out who I want to be and what I want for me and S. Enlightening to say the least.

So here is my list (because who doesn’t love lists)…31 things I’ve learnt/realised/remembered in this my 31st year:

1. Toddlers are the only beings who can make your blood boil and your heart melt in the space of 30 seconds.

2. The number of your REAL friends is not even a close approximation to the number of your Facebook “friends”.

3. It takes adversity to figure out who your true friends are.

4. Sindhi curry with lots of okra is like liquid gold!!

5. I’m a heck of a lot stronger than I thought I was.

6. Estee Lauder night eye cream is good stuff.

7. I do in fact like bright lipstick.

8. Poo is not as gross as it once was.

9. I’ve decided what my 3rd tattoo is going to be.

10. People will disappoint and let your kid down and there’s nothing you can do about it.

11. Having a Peppa Pig cake for my 31st birthday because it makes my son happy is worth it.

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12. The camera on my Samsung phone is awesome.

13. I really do love London.

14. They don’t make Indian movies like they used to.

15. 24 Season 9 was not as good as the first 8.

16. I think I’d actually make a pretty good lawyer.

17. You can never take too many pictures of your child/ren.

18. Blood is far thicker than water!

19. When one door closes, sometimes you gotta crank other ones open yourself.

20. “Love you mama” are my 3 favourite words.

21. “Mama, kiss it better” are the four cutest words I’ve ever heard.

22. Giving up sugar is not as hard as I imagined.

23. Having a supportive network of people is like having a backbone…it holds you up.

24. Anything that’s mine is also my toddler’s and anything that’s his is only his.

25. There are no mistakes, only experiences to learn.

26. It’s never too late to start over.

27. It’s better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.

28. You can’t force friendships or any other relationships for that matter.

29. Never underestimate a toddler, they are much smarter than most of us give them credit for.

30. Wine won’t solve all my problems but it certainly helps.

31. The world will not stop for you so when you’re down, pick your self up, dust yourself off, slap on a bit of lipstick and get moving.

So looking forward to the next year 🙂

The List

And so it starts….Lost in translation 1

All moms will tell you about it…those cute words your toddler uses that sound like one word but mean something else. I had my first taste of one today. In the last couple of months, S’s speech has really improved. He speaks in 4-5 word sentences, he knows what he wants and is able to use his words to ask for it and 99% of the time I can understand what he is saying. But today we were driving to a park when the following conversation happened:

S: Cock mama, a cock!
Me: What’s that S?
S: A cock
Me: Hmm..I didn’t see it. You mean you saw a big TRUCK??
S: No mama, cock. Time!!
Me: Ohhhh you mean a clock!!

Face *palm*

Can’t wait to hear what’s coming next 😉