Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Discoveries in Toddlerhood

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Toddlerhood is an interesting thing. 
I often feel like I am parenting Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or maybe just a hormonal teenager. 
Except, she is neither of those things, she is a toddler. Dunt Dunt Dunnnnnnnn. Which could be worse, I am not sure.

Our sweet little daughter is a mere 14 months old and she is growing exceedingly intelligent, her brain is just blossoming and expanding and multiplying before our very eyes. She is brilliant and she amazes us constantly. 
There is only one problem, a problem all toddlers have: her body is not developing as fast as her brain. 
She can think through entire scenarios in her mind, but she cannot speak more than one word at a time. She can plan out getting from point A to point B and oh, yes, all the fun things to do along the way, but she cannot make her body move fast enough or smoothly enough or move her fingers in just the right intricate way to get to what she wants without lots of extra unnecessary work.
She can make yes and no decisions in her mind, but she cannot communicate those decisions clearly or verbally and she goes back and forth between accepting submission to Mom and Dad's ruling or defending her own opinion (or rather, laying on the ground screaming and flailing her arms and legs in protest). 
She understands the rules, but she doesn't understand why rules are rules or why the heck they have to be the same in every instance on every day and why touching something just this once isn't going to be allowed just this once. 

She is developing her own likes and wants, her own opinions, but struggling with how to reconcile how she feels with the rules of our household and our family.

I feel like toddlerhood isn't the only time we visit these challenges in our lives, we visit them constantly, in various phases of our lives, moments of opposition, etc. Yes, they change their presentation, but really it is all the same if boiled down to its true essence.
It is simply a human being, trying to reconcile what they feel in their mind with what they do not understand, can't understand or don't want to understand.
But really, it is a beautiful thing.
It is, what I believe, is the greatest sign of intelligence -- questioning  what your being told, researching it for yourself and seeing it through and then traveling beyond blind faith into intelligent understanding.

Obviously this is way beyond what my 1 year old is thinking, but really, this is what her brain is doing. It is challenging what it is being told while attempting to reconcile how it feels with what it is being told to feel. It sure is a lot of work for a parent, but it is an amazing thing. It is a sign of human independence and intelligent understanding and if you look at it from that perspective, it really isn't so bad. 

Sofia has changed A LOT since she turned one, almost over night in fact. Here is a list of what is new:
  • Started walking.
  • Grew almost 2" overnight.
  • Visually looks more like a kid more than a baby.
  • Strengthened opinion. 
  • Sudden change in appetite, eating way less (to where I often wonder if she is getting enough).
  • Suddenly disliking foods she has always loved.
  • Very vocal, saying new words constantly, beginning to mimic. 
  • Urinating in "doses". Meaning, she holds her urine for longer periods of time and then has large pees, versus many small pees. 
  • Uses less diapers.
  • Putting mate objects together - the key with the lock, the shoe with the foot, the computer charger with the computer etc. 
  • Introduction of frustration-tantrums. 
  • Extreme awareness of strangers vs. friends, increased shyness with unknown people. 
  • Breaking the rules purely for attention. 
  • Extreme interest in older kids (at least 2yrs+), preferring to play with older kids rather than babies only a couple months younger than her (even though she in no way can keep up with them).
  • More loving, sweet, caring -- giving kisses and hugs and trying to say  "I love you." 
  • Laughs constantly and makes little jokes and will even laugh along with a story when she hears the rest of us laugh. 
  • More appropriate reactions to what she is witnessing. 
  • More exciting and fun to interact/play with.
So most of these don't require too much of our attention. However, there are certain things we have really had to work on such as: picky eating, frustration-tantrums and breaking the rules for attention. I am currently writing a post about these exact things and our experiences with them. If you are interested in how we are handling these attributes of toddlerhood, I have three posts coming out that explain how we are tackling each of the three problems listed above, the links will show up as the posts are published so come back and visit!

Overall, she is developing into an amazing little girl. Her body is getting faster and she is beginning to refine her motor skills and I'm sure before we know it she will be running, which is something I would rather not think about.

Overall, the positives of toddlerhood far outweigh the negatives and I am really enjoying this new little personality that is developing in our household, opinions and all.
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1 comment:

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