I have a toddler.
Yes, yes. I’ve known that since the Little Jedi turned one. It’s his recent actions and antics and Lucas-isms that made fully embrace what the word toddler really means. I have shared some of his milestones this year. He’s more curious now and is more keen with his surroundings.
He has become more playful. He has his own rules and ideas of fun.He likes running around every where, even in the small space of our condo unit. He loooves playgrounds. That’s his place of sanctuary…him along with a dozen other kids in it. I am happy that he gets a lot of exercise, so even if he is thinner than he was when he’s still a baby, his appetite is good and he still has good weight. He also gets a bruise every now and then.
He’s a rough and tumble kind of kid. Gone are the days when he would just sit at one corner and play with his toys. Now he likes it when his Dadi wrestles with him. Sometimes when Dadi isn’t around, I am at the receive end of his body slam. He still likes being thrown up in the air. Dadi catches him. Mami gets a semi-heart attack. I’m getting used to it…I think.
He is so much fun to be with. He laughs at himself when he watches his videos or in the mirror, dances and sings like a rock star, or expresses himself the cutest way he can.
These things make me embrace motherhood more and more each day. These experiences have also made me more conscious on how to manage his age. I’ve learned it the hard way (after the fact), but that’s when the best kind of learning really happens. Here are some of things that I have taken note of when you have a curious little toddler:
- Feed his curiosity. Let him try new things. Let him play with toys or things differently, just make sure they are safe. Lucas has these plastic chairs at home. He likes to turn them over and uses it as a slide for his cars or balls, or for himself.
- Let him learn on his own. Let them learn from their curiosity, just make sure they are safe (again). Today, when we were in a restaurant, Lucas wanted to try the mixed spices I requested from the crew. He was insistent on trying it. My mom and sister were trying to stop him but I told them to let him experience it. Anyway, it wasn’t very spicy, so I let him try a very small amount. You can see from his expression that he didn’t like it. He tried to wipe it off his tongue with my arm (I even received a small but painful bite from him). His drink was of course ready when I had him try it so he was able to wash off the taste immediately. Did he attempt to try the spices again? Nope and I don’t think he will for quite some time.
- Acknowledge the good, “ignore” the bad. We acknowledge Lucas for the small things he does right: throwing trash in the trash can, handing over something you asked him to bring you, making the sign of a cross, finishing his food. We “ignore” his tantrums as long as he doesn’t hurt himself. Soon enough he’ll realize that his tears cannot bring him everything he wants. Talk to your child when he is ready to listen. Do not force him to listen to you when he is at the peak of throwing a tantrum. He is not ready to listen.
- Make sure everything is well-cushioned especially if you have a little wrestler at home. Set it as a house rule. They can only play rough and tumble either on the bed or anywhere cushioned. I don’t allow my boys play the boys’ game unless they are on a cushioned area. I think Lucas has already learned this because the other day, while his Dadi was seated on the floor of our living room, the Little Jedi came out of the room with pillow. He placed it on his Dadi’s lap and started jumping over his Dadi. I still asked them to play inside the room where it’s more cushioned, but I am happy that Lucas understands my rule.
- Have a handy dandy first-aid medicine. Even if your house is as padded as an 80’s woman’s blazer, accidents can still happen. Corners still exist and floors are still hard. My go-to, all in one first aid gel for kids would be Indigo Baby’s Jar of Hope. We have used it on Lucas’ boo boos since he was an infant. It’s great for bruises, insect bites, scratches, rashes or even teething. It is made of blue chamomile oil that helps soothe the pain. It’s also all natural so it is safe even for infants.
- Do not forget to document. Until a device that can automatically excerpt memories and print it out or play it back is invented, always have a camera at hand to capture these special moments. Doing this is not so difficult to anymore with smart phones or tablets that we carry all the time. Just make sure your gadgets are sufficiently charged.
- Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Five words to remember: Everything.Happens.Once.And.Fast.
Lucas’ pedia told us he’s ready for school. Alrighty then! Next stop: the School Boy!