Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Miss Independent

This past weekend, we were given some spring weather.  It was wonderful to be able to go outside without having to bundle everyone up.  With the forecast telling us the warmer weather was fleeting (and it is currently 30 degrees outside, so for once, they were correct), we decided to take advantage and go for a walk around the block.  But it was no ordinary stroller walk around the block -- we got out her little red convertible and pushed her around the block.  To say that she was in heaven would be an understatement.

And while I'm sad that we have left her infancy behind (boo to no more newborn squishy snuggles), I am beginning to see how much fun have a toddler is.  She is developing her likes and her dislikes.  She is becoming more independent and wanting to do things for herself.  And she is starting to be able to communicate her wants and needs to us.  I'm trying to work on independent play with her.  Currently, she still feel the need to be with me every single second that I'm home.  Trust me, I do love it, I love the fact that she needs me and she has to have me next to her.  But if I'm really being honest with myself, I'm doing her a disservice by only thinking of how I feel.  I want her to be curious and creative and self-reliant.  I want her to be able to entertain herself.  I want her to develop into a strong, independent woman.  I'm reasonable in my expectations right now.  I am still on the floor with her while she plays, but I try to sit across the room and I disengage in what she is doing, giving her the opportunity to explore her toys by herself.  Most times, she does well for about 5 minutes, sometimes stretches into 10.  Then she comes crawling over to me and we play.  The length of time will stretch and I'm hopeful that she will develop a wild imagination.

But she is developing strong appreciations for things as well as aversions to others.  Her taste is developing.  I only offer her what we are eating for dinner.  She doesn't get her own meal.  But there are things that she refuses to eat right now.  I'll continue to give her the opportunity to try these things, hopeful that eventually she will develop a taste for them.  She doesn't like beef at all.  Chicken is iffy.  But the girl does love her pork -- you give her a breakfast sausage and she would eat two of them if you let her.  She doesn't like eggs anymore or green beans.  But she loves all kinds of cheese and blueberries.  Give the girl a blueberry bitten in half and she is a happy camper.

She also doesn't enjoy having anything in her hair.  She pulls out her bows in an instant.  The only way there is photographic proof of bows or headbands is if I can distract her long enough to forget that I put something on her head.

She is in love with Porkchop, her snuggle buddy.  We have four of them (one at daycare, one in the diaper bag, one upstairs and one downstairs.  But it still feels like we don't have enough.  Because they are white and we have too many pets, I am constantly washing them.  But Porkchop is a must during nap time or bedtime.  She likes to rub his satin belly-underside between her fingers while she falls asleep.

She has also developed an independent streak.  She has to do it by herself.  If I pick up her cup for her, she will push it away.  I place the cup on the floor or table and then she will pick it up.  If I put one of her toys in something, a sound of protest will arise and I will pull the toy out.  She has to put it in herself.  Her newest cry of independence is feeding herself with a spoon.  She will still take food off of a spoon that I offer her, but she MUST have her own spoon, so she can feed herself at will.  She also decides when she is done.  If I ask her to stand, she always lets her knees go weak so she slumps to the floor.  Sometimes, she is in the mood for play, but when she is over the game, you know it.

One of her best developments yet is her communication with us.  We now have the primitive point.  She will point to something she wants.  It's quite handy.  Especially when we are standing at the counter and she sees something up there that she wants,  a drink or her bink.  She also points at things that she wants us to notice, like another kid or dog walking across the street or a light in the ceiling at a restaurant.  It has helped with a ton of tantrums that can be appeased by handing her some cheese that I'm eating or a toy that is on the floor if you are holding her.  It's wonderful that she is being to tell us what she wants.

As she grows, it amazes me how quickly she is growing into her own little person.  Soon she will be walking and talking and giving sass.  The days seem to be flying...  Every day, I say to myself "Where did the time go?"

My absolute favorite photo of the day -- a motion shot!
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