Our Little One is growing up so quickly. In the last week or so, he has lengthened, become more confident and leapt over some more developmental hurdles.
Physically, he is taller and more adventurous with his activities. He is climbing onto his cot railings, climbing and lying on the coffee table (whilst telling himself sternly “No lying on table. Get down!”). He is becoming more adept at manipulating and steering his tricycles, both the little red and the big alphabet one. This afternoon I found him in the middle of our front garden on his little red tricycle. He had worked out how to steer it between the gargoyle and the hedge, with some generous squashing of the hedge to let him through!
He is practising jumping, both off objects and just from a standing start. As we walk down the street now he will randomly stop and jump in the air with his arms raised and yell “Woohoo!” It is so cute and remarkably infectious. After watching a few woohoos, invariably I am overcome by the desire to do the same. And so we both jump up into the air, arms raised and yell “Woohoo!”. We do get a few chuckles and sidelong glances from other pedestrians.
He is much faster on his feet now and can actually give me a proper scare when he decides to run off. We’ve had a number of times where he has run out of a shop whilst I’m in the middle of paying for something and thus have hands occupied. Usually he does this in places he knows well, so any of our regular haunts along Lygon St. I’ve tried to impress upon him how serious I am when I tell him that he has to wait for me and not leave the store without me. Often it’s felt like I’m talking to a brick wall – he is too jazzed up with the excitement of a new game. However, he has started going to the door and deliberately waiting for me. He did try to run away in Myer this week. I caught him quick smart and told him that he really needed to stay with me and that I didn’t want him running away from me because there are lots of people and he might get lost and that would make me very sad. He came back with me and did wait for me to finish browsing (you can bet I finished browsing pretty quickly!). As we walked to the exit he told me that he wanted to “run away from Mummy”, so clearly it was a game that he still wanted to play. I explained again why we weren’t going to do that and he stayed with me the rest of the shopping trip. Here’s hoping that is a trend that continues.
His second set of molars are coming through now, but it’s hard to tell how much grief they’re giving him versus how much he’s feeling the effects of the cold he has currently. I have discovered that teething gel really does not work at this age. The first thing Master Z did was stick his fingers in his mouth, rub his gums, smear the gel on his tongue (which he did not like) and then rub his hands over his face. He was not a happy camper and I have put the teething gel aside. So far, I would say these are the least traumatic teeth to arrive. He really only seems to become aware and focused on the pain after we put him to bed; the rest of the time he seems to stay well distracted from any feelings of discomfort.
He also seems to be toilet training himself, and us in the process, which is bizarre and surreal. I wasn’t going to tackle toilet training until next summer, once we were back in our own home and had no more moves coming. Everything I’ve read about toilet training (which is admittedly not a huge amount at this stage) has stressed the importance of avoiding doing toilet training just before a major upheaval, such as moving house. Well, Monsieur Z has his own thoughts on this. We’ve gone through a couple of times over the last year where he’s shown interest in the potty, or the toilet, and wanting to use them. We go along with it and after a while he forgets about it and I have secretly breathed a sigh of relief because I haven’t been ready for it. This time I think it is different though. He’s definitely been noticing over the past couple of months that other children use the toilet. His good friend in music class, Miss L, goes to the toilet after class, and he has taken note, and sometimes asked to go to. He also notices other children at Mangala Studio go to the toilet before or after class, and he has been telling me he wants to go too. For the past two weeks he has been telling me at various points in the day that he wants to go to the toilet. So, I take him to the toilet, he asks me to leave the room, to give him privacy (aha! this is how we teach the concept of privacy!!), then he calls me in when he’s done. At first I thought he was just going through the motions, but not actually using the toilet. But one day I was able to peer around the door to see that indeed he was going to the toilet. I was amazed! This week I’ve been noticing that in the afternoon (when we are home the whole time) he will often have a completely dry nappy when he asks me to go to the toilet, and when he is done (to delve into TMI), it is obvious that he has actually used the toilet.
I keep wanting to pinch myself to check it is really happening. Toilet training is probably one of the things that has scared me the most – largely because I haven’t read much about it, but there are some strong views about toilet training too young or too late and there seems to be all manner of hang-ups you can imbue your child with over the process. Surely it can’t be this easy? Can a child really toilet train themselves? Who knows. Maybe in a year’s time, we will still have him in nappies and there will still be a hurdle to get from this point to fully toilet trained. But, I’m going to keep all my fingers and toes crossed that he will continue to use the toilet more and nappies less, on his own terms as long as we encourage and allow it to happen. This is my hopeful face, right here. This one.