Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Toddler development and ongoing challenges

I know I’ve been bad at blogging lately filling the void with a lot of picture posts and not much content. But now that I’m back on my feet post-strep throat fiasco I thought it was time for a sharing of our current Cameron challenges. At 20 months old we are still struggling with hitting and biting. She is very good about not hitting and biting other kids. Mommy? Not so much. If DH or I deny her anything it’s a wide open mouth going for the chomp on an arm or a leg. Heck, sometimes even a boob! We’ve tried 1-2-3 with timeouts, yelling, ignoring, you name it, we’ve tried it. Except hitting or biting back of course. I’m just going to keep hoping this is a phase. It is a phase right? Just a long one?
Cameron and we are still addicted to the pacifier and I have no plans to remove it anytime soon. DH and I were both finger suckers. And I find that when Cameron doesn’t have her pacifier she sticks her hands in her mouth. We are trying to limit pacifier time to right before bed and only in the car and in the crib. Unfortunately that fell completely by the wayside during Thanksgiving (4 days of whining was enough to give plenty of lollypops and pacifiers) and my illness/DH’s travel. I feel some guilt for still having the reliance on the pacifier but I figure how many college students bring a pacifier with them to campus? Right? The problem is that Cameron now says “paci” and asks for it constantly. She’ll usually put a “please” after it which totally melts my heart. DH and I are trying to stand firm on limiting the paci time so please send us good thoughts.
Cameron still sleeps great for the most part. Usually she only cries when she has had a nightmare or is sick. Our biggest challenge in the sleep area has been keeping her warm enough. We bought a big fleece blanket to put in her crib and have done away with the sleep sacks. Cameron isn’t a big climber (watch me jinx us) so I’m not too worried about her climbing out of her crib. We have her in fleece footsie PJs and she won’t keep the blanket over her. Her feet are a little cold in the morning so perhaps I need to bite the bullet and order new fleece sleep sacks? Would it be a safety issue to use our little space heater?
Our biggest challenge by far has been eating. Cameron will usually eat whatever daycare serves but with us? No way, no how. We seriously serve the same meal every night for her. Fish sticks or chicken nuggets, some kind of potato (usually tots), green beans (occasionally carrots) and fruit. Sometimes she is gracious and will eat Annie O’s but only the plain O’s, nothing else. I think part of the problem is that she eats before us. But I don’t see that changing any time soon as she goes to bed by 7 PM. When I was sick I gave her pasta and had some with her but she wanted nothing to do with it. Should I just go ahead and serve her something and attempt to not worry when she eats nothing? Will she wake up hungry in the middle of the night? Or start waking up at 5:30 AM instead of 6:30? What is a parent to do??? Yes, I have food issues so nothing stresses me out more than not having Cameron eat.
DH and I guesstimate that Cameron knows as many as 100 words. It’s a very rough guesstimate. She says words back to us very clearly and now says Mommy and Daddy instead of Mama and Dada. Our problem is when Cameron initiates a conversation with us. 75% of the time we have no idea what she is saying. At this age they just don’t enunciate very clearly so most of the words sound the same. I’ve been trying the old, “Show me what you want” trick but Cameron usually just looks at me like I’m an idiot and just repeats herself. We’ll get there, I know, and when we do I’ll be lamenting the fact that I ever complained about not understanding her.
Finally TV watching and toilet training are non-existent at this point. What I wouldn’t give for Cameron to be interested in some TV for even five minutes at a time!! She has zero interest in it which makes it hard to get her dinner ready or small chores completed. Every time I try to duck into the kitchen there she is tugging on my pant leg whining, “Up, up”. Sometimes Mommy needs 5 minutes of alone time! That used to be bathroom time but we are attempted to indoctrinate Cameron into the wonders of toilets so she visits the bathroom with me. Not that it’s resulted in success. This weekend she said, “diaper” and DH checked it but it was fine. Two minutes later she said “diaper” again and there was poop! We were all excited at this signal and started running her to the potty whenever she said diaper. Biggest waste of time ever. If there was even one pee success I’d keep going but the taking off the diaper, trying to get her to sit still and then getting her dressed again is taking too much time and effort. So potty training won’t really get started until well after she turns two.
Parent’s of other toddlers, what else are you struggling with at this age?


drew said...

We are still on tantrums. Joel only has about 5 words, but too spouts off a bunch of muble-jumble at me like I am supposed to understand. I think it is cute, and language will come.

As for Potty, I went to a potty-training class a few weeks ago. Also, a friend who has a 19 month old is already using the potty. BUT I try to IGNORE all of this. Most books and things say the worst thing you can do is to pressure them into doing it too soon, and that 24 months is the starting point. So, I figure no stress and we will worry about it later!

Food is always tough. Try one new thing with every meal. Just keep trying and this way she is still eating, but getting a new option. Joel hates cottage cheese one day and then loves it the next. Some weird hits lately: raspberries, pasta WITH olive oil only, cherry tomatoes, black beans. Other than that, it is the standard chicken nugget for us too!

Amanda said...

maybe try food on a stick, I heard the novelty works. We are having food issues too and a big tantrum over wanting a sucker instead of dinner, but after a timeout he ate his dinner (except the peas). I would say if you don't give in and she doesn't eat what you put in front of her she won't starve. I find that Holden will usually eat at least part of his dinner when he is finally hungry.

We have totally given up on the potty for now too. And worry about the cold nights also, we have taken to sneaking in after he goes to sleep and partially covering him up with a blanket, but it doesn't stay on all night. Just dress her warm, I suspect she will wake up if she is cold.

Holden's language has exploded recently too, with our first sentence this weekend (barely understandable). Mommy, Daddy and Baby are the new favorites.

Mommy, Esq. said...

You have to be consistent with 1-2-3 to get it to work and do it all the time. I think you should just tell her that the pacifier stays in the crib and make HER put it in there after naps/wakeup. That's what we did. And we'd say "pacis are for naps and bedtime" and "let's go get your paci" when it was time for naps. We never let a single one downstairs. And I am so happy we took on the challenge to break them at 2 years old. We didn't even break down (but thought about it) after Ned's accident. Toddlers don't eat. Let it go. Just remember the Child of Mine advice and try to do family meals sometimes on weekends. We still use sleep sacks so no advice there. I figure - why not use them? Plus Ned was a bit of a climber. For language show her two items and have her pick with the word (repeat them both several times) we also do a lot of "yes"/"no". Do you want a snack - yes/no. Soon she'll be more into imaginative play and leave you more alone but some kids (like Penny) are just clingy and want to interact. That is just a sign of a social kid so you'll have to suck it up.

Miss Madison's Mommy said...

We are going through many of the same things now, hitting when being told no, tantrums, picky eating. I really don't stress about it, all the things I was worried about 6 months ago are gone so I'm sure in another 6 these will be too! {{hopefully!}} I let M pick what she wants to eat out of the pantry or fridge and if she doesn't eat much of it that's all she is offered for the rest of the night. She's never woken up hungry! M LOVE, ok is OBSESSED, with sesame street. If I have one of my shows on she points to the tv or takes the remote and tries to change it. Everything comes with it's drawbacks, LOL.

Miss Madison's Mommy said...

Oh one thing that did help get her to eat more was letting her eat off a fork. It's like a game and she loves it! They had some awesome plastic forks at ikea that are sharp enough for her to get the food on them, but a good size for her mouth. Maybe worth a try.

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