Moose / 5 & 3 months
You are proving to be the most kind and caring person. Even your teachers at preschool and other parents have commented to us about how you are always the first one to offer help if someone is hurt or struggling. There is an autistic child in your preschool class, and he has been finding it hard to settle into preschool life. But you have been a constant source of friendship and concern for him, taking him under your wing when he has needed it the most.
One of your teachers told us a story about a recent discussion at preschool. The teacher asked the class if they could come up with things that they liked about her, that didn’t have to do with her appearance. Many of the children offered up comments like “I like your clothes!” and “you have a nice smile”, but she reminded them that even though these were nice compliments, they were about her appearance and not about her as a person. You, my Moose, were the first one to give an answer that fit the criteria – “I like how you are kind to us”. This story almost made me cry when I heard it.
You can write some full words now – your name, your brother’s name, the names of some of your friends, Daddy, and Mummy. You can also write numbers. We’re starting to learn to recognise small, common words, in preparation for kindy next year. But I think you’re already quite well-prepared for the transition to big school. Something you are currently fascinated with, by the way. You ask a lot of questions about what happens at big school, and how long you’ll be there for, and when Little R will join you there.
You are learning more and more each day about relationships and interactions with other people. Preschool has taught you a lot in this area, as has becoming a big sister. You’ll often talk to us about what you should do if someone is being mean to you, or if someone is upset, or if someone is breaking the rules. Your preschool teachers have their own set of rules about how you and your classmates should behave with one another, and your Dad and I offer you our advice too. I hope you will always talk to us about what’s on your mind.
I’ve noticed you barely have any interest in drawing or colouring-in anymore. I’m hoping this is just a phase, and perhaps you’ll rediscover your love for it when your brother starts learning how to do it. Now that you’re not so interested in it, I’m finding I really miss those moments sitting quietly with you and working on our individual or joint masterpieces, side by side.
You are still very mischievous, and you have selective hearing. In fact, for a while there I was genuinely concerned about your hearing, I thought it must be the only logical reason for your apparent lack of awareness of when you’re being given an instruction. You can be rough with your brother, and we’ve noticed a jealous streak has also just started to emerge. You’ve also started with the completely silly statements when tension is in the air, like “You guys don’t love me anymore”, and “I’m going to go and live somewhere else!”. It’s still very hard to manage you some days, and I get struck down with parental guilt often. But deep down, I know that you know you are loved, and we are a tight family unit.
Little R / 16 months
I think the age you’re in right now is probably my favourite – the year between 1 and 2. Everything is still new and wonderful to you, you’re still so happy and curious, and thankfully not yet in full tantrum-throwing mode. Milestones seem to be found everyday. The transition from crawling to walking is made complete, words start to emerge as do small facial or physical gestures as a means of communication, sometimes so slight that only a parent would understand the meaning.
Words you can currently say – Daddy, Mummy, Nanna, hello, hi, buh-bye (with a wave), toast, more (which means “milk”), ta, no!, goal!, catch!, ball, kick, dog, duck, this, uh-oh, wow, whoa.
You prefer not to hold my hand when you walk, but when you come to an uneven surface in your path you instinctively reach out for me, and when I do hold your hand, I can still feel little tremors of wobbliness in your walk, as you head towards total balance on your feet. You’re not quite there yet, you’re pretty stable but occasionally still trip over your own feet, so I’m savouring those last inklings of drunk-baby-walk.
We had to remove our coffee table from the lounge room, because you figured out how easy it was to climb on top of it, and from there, launch yourself on to the couch. There were a few bumps resulting from that, but after the split lip, it was time for the coffee table to go.
You have started to become fussier with food, turning your nose up at certain things (all vegetables, cheese, ham), or more accurately, waving it away with your hand while shaking your head and saying “no, no, no”. You’re learning how to use a fork though, with barely any instruction from us other than you watching us use our own forks. You’re a quick learner!
You give kisses and cuddles on command now, holding your arms out and puckering up your lips.
You are obsessed with ball play. All you want to do is throw and kick balls all day long. You carry a ball around with you, and will throw it at us even if our backs are turned or we’re not ready. This is probably the area you’re the most advanced in right now – you have such good ball control for a 1-year-old. Your Dad is very pleased about this, you’re showing great promise to be a star sports player!
You also love to read – more so flicking through books yourself than being read to, although you enjoy that too. You will sit quite happily and quietly for ages if you have a pile of books in front of you, carefully studying the pictures on each page. The sight makes my heart swell!
Joining in with The Weekend Rewind with Maxabella Loves and friends