Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Maggie : Toddler Summary - 22 Months

Maggie was 23 months old on November 17th. This is a summary of her 22nd month.

The last time I wrote about Maggie's eating, she was throwing major fits at the dinner table, pretty much every night. Something finally clicked in her brain, because this month, she began associating consequences with throwing fits. I'll go into more detail about it later, but for eating, she began to make the connection that if she threw fits at the table, she would be moved to face the wall while we continued with our dinner.

We only had one night of crazed screaming at dinner and being moved to face the wall before she'd almost "talk herself down" from throwing a fit. She will sit at the table and you can watch the progression in her brain as she talks herself through NOT throwing a fit. You can see that she is frustrated initially, because we don't allow her to get down from the dinner table until we are all finished eating. Then, she folds her hands, and says to herself, "no fits!" Sometimes, this is enough to get her under control and other times, she starts crying. If she starts crying, she keeps saying, "no fits! No fits!" We don't ever discipline her for crying, and she knows when she cries that we will be there to give her lots of hugs and kisses. We do not, however, tolerate fits (screaming, kicking legs, hitting, arching her back.) It's so interesting to watch her get control on her own.

Doing What's Asked of Her Even When She Doesn't Want To:
My mom was staying with us this month to help our adjustment with Maggie and Maddux. My mom made an appointment at JCPenney for us to take both kids and get their picture taken. We got both kids dressed and drove to the appointment at 10 am. For some reason, Maggie woke up really early that morning. So by 10 am, she was ready for a nap. We got to the portrait studio and Maggie was NOT happy to be there. She's not particularly thrilled when we're at home and I try to take her picture, either. She likes to be on the go and to stop for a picture doesn't bode well with her. :) I brought snacks for her and she did not want them - she totally refused to eat them. She cried and cried when the photographer was trying to get her to smile for the picture. She wasn't throwing a fit, she was just crying. I'm still not sure why. Finally, we had to just tell her to fold her hands and stand in the spot we told her to for the picture. She obeyed. The photographer was impressed that she was able to have that much control and do something she obviously didn't want to do, just because we told her to. Lest you be super impressed with the amazing control my toddler displayed, after her picture was over and my mom was choosing the poses and what package she wanted to buy, Maggie was sitting in the shopping cart, screaming like a wild animal. :)

First Big Public Tantrum:
After our pictures,we tried walking around the store in the cart, and she did okay for awhile, but eventually, she wanted out of the cart (which we had tried before we got in the cart - she refused to hold my hand while we were walking around the store. The cart was a consequence.) She began throwing a pretty big fit. I didn't want to take her our to the car to sit because I wasn't totally sure how long my mom would be and it was one of those days that it was 5 degrees outside. We ended up just staying in the photo studio area of the store while she threw her fit. I have to say - I'm not embarrassed when Maggie throws a fit in public. I was happy that I felt that way. It allowed me to give her the appropriate consequences without caving into the tantrum. I just kept thinking in my mind - "The people who have had kids have nothing but sympathy for me right now. They've all been there at least once. The people who are thinking, 'What an annoying little brat! Why doesn't that child's mother control her?' (me, before I had children) probably don't have kids and wouldn't understand even if I explained the situation to them."

A New Heart:
We read the Jesus Storybook Bible with Maggie almost everyday. One day, Maggie held up a heart sticker and said, "a new heart!" We have talked about how God gives us a new heart when we trust Christ for salvation. It is fun to see her association with words and that she's starting the make the association and childlike application for the spiritual truths we are teaching her.

Getting Out of Bed:
We are still having problems with this. On the day that we went to take the kids' picture with my mom, when we got home, Maggie ate lunch and was supposed to lay down for a nap. I laid her down and she got out of bed. When I went back in, she had pooped. I just changed her diaper and laid her back down. I didn't give her any consequences because I figured she had gotten out of bed to poop. About 10 minutes later, I heard her thumping around again in her room, out of bed. I went in and she had pooped again, but she had also gotten a few toys out to play with as well. I changed her diaper and put her in her pack-n-play for her nap. I told her that she had lost the privilege of taking a nap in her big girl bed and that she had to sleep in her pack-n-play for her nap. I left the room and she went right to sleep with no crying, no fussing. She was quite happy to sleep in the pack-n-play. This is our dilemma - the thing that's supposed to be a consequence isn't a consequence at all! She seems happier to sleep in the pack-n-play and she ends up sleeping for longer, too. So now we have an even bigger dilemma -  she's sleeping better in a pack-n-play and obviously still needs the boundaries that an enclosed bed gives her, but she's really too long to sleep in the pack-n-play long term and we don't really want to buy another crib. What to do?

And now, some pictures ...

Schedule this Month:

8:00 or 8:30 - wake up and eat breakfast
9:00 - 10:30 - play with Mama
10:30 - 11:45 - independent play
11:45 - 
clean up toys from independent play, change diaper (she usually poops during independent play)
 chores with Mama. Usually she "helps" me unload the dishwasher and we feed the dog together.
11:45 - 12:15 - free play with Mama. Usually reading books or blowing bubbles.
12:15 - pick up toys and get ready for lunch
12:30 - eat lunch
1:00 - change diaper, naptime routine
1:15 - 4:30 - naptime
4:30 - 5:15 - watch DVD while I feed Maddux
5:15 - 6:15 - play and help me fix supper
6:15 - 6:45 - supper
6:45 - 7:10 - bathtime
7:10 - 7:30 - play with Daddy. Wind down for the night. Bedtime routine
7:30 - bedtime

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