Caroline's schedule is pretty much the same as it was two months ago. She takes one nap that varies from 1.5 hours long to 3 hours long depending on the day. She is eating dinner and starting her bedtime routine 30 minutes later now. This has been helping her eat more, go to sleep faster, and have more time to spend with Daddy.
7 am wake and drink milk
In Caroline's 18 month update, I mentioned her tantrums. I am very happy to report that her tantrums are much more controlled now. The strategy of simply giving her a hug is working very well. She's also getting her point across better now, and I am able to understand why she is upset. Since I know why, I can help her to calm down better by explaining things. When she has to go potty but doesn't want to stop what she is doing, I tell her that her toys (or whatever she is doing), will wait for her. She understands what that means, and even tells her toys to wait! I can then calmly get her to go potty!
While her tantrums have subsided, and it is much easier to help her out of them now, she has entered a new phase of throwing things. Sometimes she is just playing around and throwing things. Other times she is upset and throwing things. If she was just playing and I try to correct her, she then gets upset and throws more things. LOL This has been an interesting behavior to deal with.
She does not seem to respond to the tone of my voice. I can sound upset all I want. She doesn't seem to care. If I raise my voice, however, she stops in her tracks and gets the point. I have to say, I feel horrible when I have to yell at my child. I feel embarrassed to even admit that I yell at my daughter. The reality is, however, when she chucks a bucket at me and it hits me... she's going to get Mama mad. And if she refuses to listen, when I've stayed patient and calm with her, I will have to raise my voice. She needs to understand that she needs to stop immediately and that her behavior is unacceptable.
This is typically what happens in the moment:
- Caroline throws something
- Mama says "Caroline, no. We don't throw things. Go pick up the ___".
(Pretty sure that if I just ignored and pretended to not see it, she wouldn't throw anything else, and we wouldn't have the below "confrontation". I am choosing to see it and address it, however, because she needs to learn to not throw things).
- Caroline ignores me or says "no".
- Mama repeats "Caroline go pick up the ____, right now".
- She might throw something else in protest.
- At this point I am done giving chances and raise my voice. All I say is "Caroline, NO". I physically go over and stop her from throwing at this point as well.
- I then pick her up and sit her on the couch.
- I help her calm down if she is upset, which she typically is at this point. I give her a hug and offer her blanky. Once she is calm, we continue down the list...
- I start by explaining why I am mad.
- I then tell her she needs to say she's sorry.
- I wait.
- Sometimes she says "no".
- I repeat and wait.
- We sit there until she says she's sorry or is gentle with me (she pets my face, hugs, or kisses me to say sorry)- this is acceptable since she doesn't have a lot of words right now.
- I then tell her I'm sorry for getting so upset and explain that she needs to listen to me the first time.
- We then talk about how she can fix the problem. This includes picking up the items she's thrown, cleaning up a spill, etc., along with not throwing things in general.
- I then get her down and have her pick up/clean up. She does this very well with little assistance.
OH and I forgot to mention that, while her tantrums are much better now, she still turns to bite things. I'm stopping her as I'm honestly afraid she's going to hurt herself! She's biting things like the handle on the refrigerator drawer, the carpet on the stairs, a table, and if she doesn't have anything to bite, she comes at me, or bites down on nothing with her top and bottom teeth touching. She's never succeeded at biting me as I always see it coming and push her away. With her biting objects now, I feel like she's going to break a tooth! Since we are catching the tantrums early and able to get her out of them quickly, this is happening less, but it is still something we are trying to work on and correct.
Aside from tantrums and throwing things, her wake time has consisted of more and more time at home. She's been very tired and a little irritable due to 3 molars coming through. She's been enjoying down time as a result. Plus, it's just so hot out that we don't stay outside for too long at this point. We go to the pool on occasion, and she loves jumping in and playing on the stairs. She really enjoyed going blueberry picking, and she's enjoying learning to ride her new bike. She doesn't know how to pedal yet, but she'll get there! We visit daddy at work every weekend, and she helps him drive the cart. She is loving her gymnastics class, so I'm sure we'll be enrolling her in the fall/winter session as well! Her favorite activities are the bar and the beam. She's so strong! She can hold onto the bar and swing her feet. She has started to enjoy drawing, LOVES LOVES LOVES sticker time, and reading books over and over. She also really enjoys the petting zoo right now!
- Anything and everything Elmo
- Loves dogs and pointing out noses on dogs and everything she sees
- Loves all of her stuffed animals and knows their names
- She's potty trained! We haven't tackled naps or bedtime yet, so she is wearing pull-ups for those.
- She's learning her colors (can say blue, green, and gray). She says "puh" for pink or purple. She identifies them correctly (occasionally mixes up red and orange....I think this is more because she can't say the names yet).
- Loves watching Daniel Tiger and Dora the Explorer
- Favorite books are "Zoomer" and "Are You My Mother"?
- She loves avocado again (after her avocado strike)
- Her favorite song is "T-shirt" by Thomas Rhett- she stops whatever she is doing to dance!
- She says "Hey ya" all the time. We let her listen to the Outkast song and she loved it...more dancing!
- Loves milk and is asking for an extra glass most days
- Is eating whole grapes (I know I know...choking hazard)... but she loves picking them straight off of the bunch and eating them. So far she's done good with it, but we watch her like a hawk.
- Asks for cookies all the time (she got "cookies" during potty training). She still says "YAY" when she goes potty since it is such an accomplishment!
- Favorite color is green
- Favorite shirt is her bug shirt
- She takes showers now!
- Loves doing anything "like a big girl"
- Can jump and get two feet off of the ground
- Saying so many new words (although in a bad habit of not trying to say the whole word) LOL
- Cleans up and says "way" for away. Sometimes she does this all on her own without being asked, now!
- She knows that green means "GO"
- She's doing very well with her ok to wake clock. She knows that when it turns blue, it's bedtime!
I can't even think of everything to write. I swear she understands everything we are saying now. We should probably watch what we say more LOL! She's super decisive and still a little shy. She's very comfortable around family, however... even though she rarely sees them! This always makes me so happy and warms my heart.
She is very focused on details and says the cutest little "uh oh" you've ever heard. She points out where the stitching is on her clothes, if paint has gone outside the lines, if there is dirt on the ground, etc. All "uh oh", and we have to try and fix it or she gets bothered.
She is very focused when she wants to talk about something. We repeat things about 20 times with her before she's satisfied and wants to move onto the next topic! This happens most often when she's sitting on the toilet before bed. She wants to talk and talk!
She asks for kisses all of the time now. She even puckers her lips! Sometimes she does a fake out and laughs soooooo hard. She loves climbing all over me like a little monkey, and loves doing "mama tunnel" where she ducks under my legs.
She pretty much eats two dinners each day. One with Mama at dinner time, and one with Daddy when he gets home and is eating his dinner (his busy time at work right now). She sits on his lap and tries to eat all of his dinner. I love watching this special moment every day. They finally get their time together!
She is simply a delight every single day. She's stubborn and tough, and while the phases can be difficult, I also love her toughness as well. She's hilarious and provides constant entertainment. She is loving and thoughtful. I can't wait to see what the next 4 months bring.