What a whirlwind the past few months have been since I last wrote my blog. My 2nd book’s 1st draft has been submitted, the continued balance of being a working mum has been hard, George has been going through a significant developmental change and just to cap it all off, I am 26 weeks pregnant!
The weight that has come off my shoulders with handing in the first draft of my book has been immense. Since I signed the contract to write it (what was I thinking?) a year ago, every moment that I have not been working or doing something with George, I have had that little voice saying “you should be writing Sharlene”. Every time I witnessed or helped a client with a child between 1-5yrs of age, I would think about if I needed to add that to my book! It has been lingering in my mind and I have felt the weight sitting on my shoulders, until now.
The changes that George has been going through have been perfect in timing as the toddler age group was covered in my book. In my last blog I wrote about his sudden change in going to bed, my once ‘pop him down, say good night and leave the room boy’ suddenly disappeared and I wrote about getting him back on track last time.
That has continued, alongside going to bed, it has been with other things too, like giving him a bottle, or sitting next to me, or calling for me at the bottom of the stairs. “Mumma” seems to be his favourite word, I am his most important person right now and I have had to be very careful how to handle it, alongside working and having family, friends, homebased care to help care for him.
This sensitive side to his nature, the developmental change that happens around 18 months, and the onset of his 2-year-old molars (the last of the teeth thank godness) has made this past month a biggie.
These emotional changes of course have been overcome with the joy of his increased verbal and physical development, he is now a little dear devil, lifting his feet on his little motorbike so he can go faster down the hills (I cannot run after him with my belly so I have to choose little hills after a hair-raising experience with my mum where he almost ended up in a stream on a bush walk!), wanting to climb up and down stairs alone without holding hands. He has out of the blue started counting! After the past 5 months of walking up and down the stairs holding my hand and listening to me counting, he suddenly said last week “one, due, dee, door, dive” … I just couldn’t believe it! He is going to be one of those children who stores his knowledge and then just comes out with a sentence or ability that surprises you. In the past week (he was 20 months on Thursday) he has started to be a parrot, trying most words that I say and wanting to do everything that ‘big’ people do, including sitting at a big chair to eat – arhh where has my little toddler gone?!
Going back to his bedtime, he now has to have his door open a little bit, have an eye on what is going on (he can see the lounge from his room) and will call out and will sometimes push the boundaries a little too much! Most times in the past week I just have to leave the door open, say “lay down, sleep time now” a few times and then he will go to sleep but occasionally, if over-tired or not quite tired enough, I will say it up to 3x then I have to close the door, leave him for about 5min to complain and then he will go to sleep! He has started having this cheeky little look on his face if I go back into the room after he starts to cry… instead of being truly upset like he was at the start, now it is a game 90% of the time and as soon as I go in, he is usually sitting up or standing, he smiles and quickly lays himself back down! Knowing exactly what is going on! So after about 2-3 weeks of a nice gentle approach, I now have added closing the door if after the 2-3 chances are actually keeping him awake rather than giving him security!
Oh, so cheeky and oh so stubborn!
Little emotional meltdowns or tantrums are quite frequent these days, his frustration with not understanding why he cannot do certain things or why things have to come to an end when he is not ready for them to, particularly when it comes to finishing watering the garden or wanting to do ALL the vacuuming instead of just the little bit he used to be happy with before it was mine turn! His communication is great but just not quite good enough to express himself all the time, hence these meltdowns.
His attachment to his snuggly has increased tenfold in the past 2-3 weeks and I am having to distract him to be able to stick to my boundary of leaving it at home, not taking it in the car unless he is sleeping or taking it in the buggy for a walk. The latest thing is he says in a concerned voice, “gone” and suddenly zooms off to his room and looks in his cot for it! (I try to pick it up if I find it on the floor and put it back in bed, where I mostly want him to have it! IT is becoming quite wet with the chewing he is doing on it… teething is back.
With all that has been going on, there have been some memorable moments and one thing particularly was taking G camping. For those who follow my Instagram or Facebook page, you will have seen the photos.
I grew up camping and in the thick of my last 10 days of writing I just needed a breather and had a last-minute idea to take G for nights camping to a nearby campground. It was hard, so hard, putting the tent up by myself and having him running in and out of the half-erected tent, taking poles and pegs away! But he loved it so much and made it very worthwhile. Last week he and I had to do it again, this time at my mum’s house as it was a full house of guests/family and instead of waking in the night to the moon light and taking ages to settle because of the birds, he settled well and slept all night and the little face that greeted me when I popped my head over his porta cot was magical. I pulled him into my bed and he would look around the tent, smile and wriggle his feet (his happy sign) and say “Nana’s”, remembering that we were camping at Nana’s house. What I do know is that it is time to upgrade my tent! The two-man tent is not quite big enough for any more than a couple of nights!
This 2nd pregnancy is completely different to the one I had with G, the baby is lying low, my placenta is laying low and with having a toddler and being 42yrs old, it hasn’t been the easiest to date.
The first trimester was positively awful and for any of you who have had hard pregnancies, I have new empathy. My first was a breeze and this first 12 weeks was so hard. 24hr sickness, headaches and extreme tiredness… I use to get to 9.30am and start counting how long it was until G was ready for bed and what time my first consult was, wondering if I had time for a 10min nap before or after! I was just very lucky it stopped at 12 weeks unlike some mum’s I know.
Now that autumn is looming and George has sprouted another few centimetres in height, I am going through the wonderful array of clothes and sleeping bags that I have inherited and working out what I need and don’t need for the change of season. After that long period of hot weather, it is back to layers with clothes and what to wear to bed at night, for both him and I, with my little hot water bottle inside! Some nights the fan is needed until I go to bed, other nights I tuck him in with a blanket.
This next month I am planning on making the most of the outdoors, time at the beach looking for crabs, walking short bush tracks while it is not too muddy and making the most of the time in the garden after G’s dinner, before daylight savings ends and while I can still bend over!