Sunday, November 13, 2011

14.5 months

Yes, it's rather late, but my computer has been having some serious issues for the last few weeks. It's a pity, because it was a rather exciting time. Rachael took a few steps on her 13 month birthday. But then refused to for another 3 weeks. I don't know if she fell over too many times that day, or simply forgot she could do it the next morning. But she did decide to start again eventually, and is well and truely walking now (when she feels like it anyway).

Other highlights of the last six weeks for Rachael include the visitation of Tabitha, Addie and Clementine. Rachael found the two girls to be a bit intimidating, but did still have some fun. I have found that she loves to have one playmate (Jack or Noah are lots of fun), but two or more children seems to be a bit much for her (Jack and Orlani), at this stage, so she will be rather clingy until one child goes home, and will start to have fun with just the one, right when it is time for us to go home.I haven't downloaded any pictures yet, will have to do so I can post some.

In the last week Rachael has also had a virus that gave her a fever and was sleepy for a few days. Of course, as soon as I took her to the doctor to have it checked out (costing $100, being a Public Holiday), she got better. I think her eye teeth may not be too far off either. Of course they may be stubborn and take a few months yet, but I'd prefer to have it over.

I had a personal highlight yesterday, getting to meet, and actually have a chat to Pinky McKay. I was rather excited about it. I've only discovered her when Rachael was about 12 months, reading the "Toddler Tactics" book Tabitha gave me a while ago. I wish I'd had her baby book when Rachael was born. Her philosophy on raising babies/toddlers really fit into what I felt instinctively, which was quite different to the other baby/toddler books I had. Trying to explain it to someone else (particually who has not had children) is a bit hard. The concept of treating a child with love, support, having realistic expectations based on their capability, and being respectful of the child a human being; it sounds so obvious. That's what makes it hard to explain how it is so different. I do also enjoy getting her fortnightly email. It's good to be reminded to parent gently, it's so easy to get caught back in doing things "to" the child, rather than seeing it from their side.
I'm not here to bash anyone else's parenting style, but books that tell me I should be weaning my toddler regardless of either of us desire to or she'll risk malnutrition; and having parents stop each other from going in to comfort a scared baby to "train" them to sleep are not right for ME. And I am of the belief that is it not right for Rachael, being the unique and sensitive individual that she is.

And on a train of thought from that, it took 14 months, but  Rachael is finally able to sleep in her own cot for daytime sleeps. This makes for one rather happy mummy, as I can have a small time to myself, as I am right now. As long as you don't plan to eat in that time; because I'm sure the beep of a microwave could wake Rachael even from a coma. Contrary to popular opinion (as I have been made very aware) I see this new delevopment (independant sleep, not microwave food) as a sucess, not a failure of our parenting. We did what Rachael needed to feel secure for the time she needed it, but having developed enough, (probably due to having gained some idea of object permanence), she is now ready to sleep by herself. Do I think everyone should do it? Heck no, it just seems that Rachael has a higher comfort and security need than the majority of children of her age. We never set out to do it like that, I don't think anyone ever would, but we see it as responding to her needs, rather than making a "rod for your back". In the end what I knew would happen occured- she's do it when she's ready. Hippy much? Oh well, it's my blog after all. I'm just noting what works for me as I go along, I'm not pretending to be an expert on anything; parenting, nutrition or breastfeeding (or not) included.

Foodwise, Rachael will eat, drink water and milk I've left, well for everyone else except me. For me, she is insitant on breastmilk only. I did get to have a discussion with Pinky about this (eeek), and she assures me that she'll still be getting adequate nutrition, and will grow out of this phase in her own time. In addition, it may have something to do with breastmilk having an analgesic effect, so if it's helping with her teething (seriously, when isn't she teething?), it's natural that she may prefer it when thiongs are bothering her.

One thing that keeps coming back again and again is that she'll do things when she's ready, in her own time. You'd think I already would know that, but it seems a lesson I've got to learn over and over to trust her.

She's also super-cute at the moment (to me at least). Yesterday Jai realised that when I'm not home, and she wants a drink of her milk, she'll do her own sign for a breastfeed (I gave up on trying to teach her the "proper" sign, hers will doquite fine), and then point. What she is pointing at is the picture of us at our wedding on the wall. So she wants a drink of mummy's milk. Awwwww. That melts my heart.

The flip side is that my baby has definately turned into a Toddler. As soon as she's started walking, the tantrums have begun. Mobilisation has allowed her to move from one activity that she know's she's not allowed to do, to another in quick succession, resulting in a string of "no"s. Poor girl. That's rather fustrating to her. Supermarkets and shops now have a new allure, seeing as she can now get to them, she want to go test everything out. Somehow clingyness goes right out the window when it comes to exploring, and she's quite happy to wander off to investigate in the shops, despite having no idea where I am at the time (yes, I do actually know where she is though). But these situations also encourage tantrums, no vocals or kicking yet, just throwing herself forward onto the floor. Thinking back, I should have avoided some of these situations by being more careful of when she is out. Shopping when she was tired never was a problem when she would just fall asleep in the carrier, but tiredness mixed with the ultrastimulation of a department store is just begging for a meltdown. Another mummy thing to learn: think about what time is best for her, not just most convenient for me.

Okie dokie, after all that I think I need some lunch. If she's still asleep I might see about getting some photos up

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