Toddlerhood

I love this stage with Abigail. She is learning so much, and she wants to learn. I often feel inadequate to teach her because I don’t know what she is capable of, and I often don’t know how to teach her. But I am glad she is willing to learn with me and be patient as I learn with her. She picks up things so quickly whether it’s a new sign for communication or how to make her body move the way she wants it to. Her therapists are so pleased with her progress, and they are working just as hard to get her to sit and grow too! I mean just look at her sitting on the steps. She looks like such a big girl now, and I love it. My little baby is growing up slowly but surely.

As much as this is an exciting time for us all, it is also a frustrating time. We are at a weird stage right now. Abigail wants to be a toddler so bad. She wants independence and freedom. She is smart and growing everyday. From the outside she looks like a big girl. But physically she is only at about a 8 month old level (well an 8 month old who can’t sit or stand yet). It’s tough. It’s frustrating. Do you know how hard it is to play with toys when you can’t sit yet? We are limited by what we can do. Even as I took the picture of her sitting on the steps, looking so big, she fell over before I could catch her and hit her head pretty hard against the wall. That’s our life. A mix of wanting to be a big girl, but being limited by what she can do. I am just glad she has been a champ so far and is taking things so well.

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Yes, that is my toddler lifting a 2 pound weight. No, I do not let her play with weights. She just happened to find them during one of my workouts. But she can lift 2 pounds!!

I think the worst thing for us right now is not the lack of physical ability, but the lack of communication. Because we have no way of communication we get frustrated at each other. She’s beginning to want certain things or not want certain things but I’m not sure what she needs all the time. She is becoming more and more aware of her environment which is exciting, but that means she is almost waking up cognitively. She can get sassy sometimes with what she wants or does not want, and I am struggling to keep up with all her new awareness. Since I’m with her all day I can usually keep up with her needs, but there are times I have no idea what she is thinking. Thankfully we are slowly learning signs, and I pray her speech continues to improve so I can help her. I do not want her physical handicaps to slow down her cognitive development.

Bed time is another frustration for us right now. She seems to never be tired, so at 9 we make our way up to her bedroom. We read a book or two and sing a song then it’s to bed. I have to lay beside her because she scream cries if I leave her side. And I swear she has no idea how to cry because she never does, so she then gets all chocked up and it’s just a big mess. So I lay beside her and she wiggles and tossed and turns. It takes about an hour for her to finally go to sleep. So now it’s about 10:30 and I’m tired and frustrated. I miss time with Jordan in the evening. It’s just a big mess. So we are attempting some changes this week to see if they help us all. I hope they help!!

But even with all this newness and learning going on Abigail is so happy all the time. Sometimes I wish she was not. I know that sentence is weird, but sometimes her constant good moods are a detriment for her. For example this past week was r-o-u-g-h. But she seemed like a champ the whole time. Unless you know her super well you would have no idea anything was wrong with her. We started the week off constipated. It’s a struggle we often have since Abigail doesn’t move a lot. But she hadn’t gone to the bathroom for a week and the pediatrician put us on Miralax. So now I’m a worried mama about that, but of course Abigail just continues to eat like normal and not cry. I could tell she was a bit off because she was clingy and not as talkative but no one else would see that. Then this weekend we had a wedding in our family and her whole schedule was thrown off! She did not sleep much. She did not eat like normal. She was cooped up a lot. Nothing was normal on top of being constipated. What a weekend for us all!! But through it all she just laughed and was her normal self. Only at the wedding reception did she start showing the wear and tear from the long week. And then she simply just wasn’t smiley. She’s a mess!

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Her sleeping off her hard weekend. She slept so much after the wedding, and I am so thankful!

But that’s toddlerhood in our house. It’s a weird mixture of growth, excitiment and frustration. I have a two year old who has a lot of struggles other two year olds have, but they cannot be treated the same way. I have a two year old who wants to learn and be independent, yet is highly dependent on me. I have a two year old who wants to be social, but cannot express her needs. I have a two year old who often is tired or hungry, yet is laughing and smiling so most people have no idea that she really needs a nap. This is our life in toddlerhood for now. I hope Abigail continues to progress and grow. I love seeing her personality bloom. I love seeing her explore and learn. And I love that she is becoming a big girl day by day. But I also hope her limited communication and physical ability does not slow her down. I think every parent of toddlers would tell you every day is a rollercoaster, but to see that tiny little one grow into a little person is something I would not miss for the world!

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A Day in Abigail’s Life

I cannot believe we have a two year old! This time two years ago we were attempting to go to bed to prepare for our early induction time at the hospital. In honor of my little girl turning two tomorrow I wanted to write about Abigail, but I write enough so I thought I would change things up though and write from her perspective. So here is a day in the life of Abigail from her view of the world!

“I wake up in the morning when the light turns on in my room, and I like to just lay there and make noises. Hearing myself talking is so fun! I say ‘da-da’ a lot right now, over and over. ‘da, da, da, da, da, da’ is all you will hear me say for now, but I can make other noises if I really want to. Eventually my mommie comes into the room, and I know she is going to pick me up so I am so happy to see her. I usually laugh because she is so funny and tells me silly things like, “Good morning.” What’s a morning?

Mommie takes me downstairs and sits me in my chair. She lets me play in this thing that pulls out from the wall while she walks all over the room putting stuff in front of me. I just like pulling stuff out and dumping it all on the floor. The sounds the toys make as they hit the floor are funny, and I know Mommie will pick them up for me. I love her so much I even share my toys with Mommie too as she pops, what she calls, Cheerios into my mouth. They taste good! Then Mommie finally sits down beside me, but she closes the thing with all my toys and makes me eat food. At least I like the food she gives me and I am hungry because I haven’t ate for a looong time!

Then it’s back upstairs to my room again. Mommie always says we have to get ready whatever that means. Again she walks all over the room pulling things off shelves while I lay on the ground and play with my toys. I like making messes and handing Mommie things. I can even roll over and grab things I can’t reach. Mommie calls it getting my wiggles out and I have lots of wiggly time now. Then that lady makes me take my jammies off, and she yanks all this stuff over my head and my legs. I feel like I’m being thrown everywhere so I don’t help her very much. But then the worst part happens – she takes this pink thing and rips my hair out. I like my hair just the way it is, and I don’t like Mommie touching it so I try to protect it as much as I can. I think I beat Mommie because now she doesn’t make me wear all those silly bows and hair ties anymore. I like touching my hair, and those things are icky!

Sometimes I get to play with Mommie if she doesn’t take me to the car first. My favorite things to play with are my basket of toys. I love handing things to Mommie and then we take turns kissing all my toys. It always makes Mommie laugh. I also love it when Mommie tickles me. My backĀ and my ribs are very tickly and she knows it too! I laugh and laugh at that lady when she tickles me. Then she makes me do exercises, but I don’t mind them too much. And some are even fun like when I have to put these colored things in the holes. Or when Mommie gets on tummy time with me. I don’t like it when she makes me get on all fours and makes me hold myself up. It takes a lot of work and I get tired so I try to fight Mommie and she’s strong but sometimes if I fight enough I can win! After we play and exercise I get to watch Mickey Mouse and eat a snack. I just like the music, and clapping along but Mommie is always talking to the tv like Mickey can hear her. She is so silly. I just ignore them and play with my toys while Mommie feeds me.

If Daddy is still at home I get to go wake him up and tell him I love him. I love it!! Mommie lays me in the bed by Daddy and I start telling him all about my day. Sometimes he groans and I’m not sure why, but he always turns around so I can touch his face and blow him kisses. And no matter how far he tries to move away from me I just follow him over because I have to be close to Daddy. They always seem impressed that I can move to him, but I like being close to him.

Then we always have somewhere to go. Mommie takes me outside and puts me in the car. She always locks me into this huge seat. I don’t like being constrained, but the seat is nice and I know Mommie is somewhere with me because she talks to me as we move. While we are going around I talk and talk to Mommie. When it is just Mommie in the car I love to scream and I can get really loud too, but Mommie screams back at me! She must know my language because she is really good at it, but a lot of times I can be louder and she gives up. We stop and Mommie gets me out to go get stuff from stores or we go to therapy.

There is so much to watch at therapy. While Mommie holds me I watch all the big people and little people. I love the big people like Mommie and Daddy, but the little people scare me. They are so fast and I am scared they will hurt me. But I get a lot of compliments and I love that! I love being the center of attention. Then my therapist comes to get me, and I don’t like leaving Mommie, but I know my therapists love me and we always have fun too even if they make me do hard things. They always bring me back to Mommie and say I am amazing, so that makes me like them even more!

Mommie tries to put me back in my bed for some reason, but most days I just lie there and talk to myself and try to get out of this cage she has stuck me in. Mommie always tells me to close my eyes and sleep, but I am not tired. Then she calls me a stinkpot when I giggle as she comes into my room. I don’t know why she leaves me when all I want to do is play. She comes and picks me up eventually, and I tell her I love her. I like hugging my mama and touching her hair. She plays with me all afternoon and we go for walks outside where I scream some more to see how loud I can be.

We eat dinner together, and Mommie and Daddy don’t always talk to me because they are too busy talking to each other so I let them know I am still around. I told you I like to be the center of attention, and I know how to get people’s attention. I am just too cute for my own good I guess, at least that’s what they say. Mommie gets me ready for bed, and there’s that pink thing trying to rip out my hair again. But at least at night I get to snuggle with Daddy! Mommie reads me a story and puts me in my bed. I try to stay up so I can play more, but for some reason my eyes won’t stay open and then I don’t remember much until the light turns back on in the morning.

A few of my favorite things: I love people’s faces and hair. People are so fun and interesting. I love when my family takes me out places so I can just look at people, and if I really like them I reach for a person so I can touch them. Laughing is fun and I am perfecting my laugh right now by trying out different ones. Daddy says I have a great evil laugh whatever that is, but I just like seeing what I can do. I love pulling things out of baskets and bags. Mommie says for a baby who can’t move I sure do make a mess, but I think she is okay with that. I love fruit and bread, and I eat it all day long! They always try to make me touch my food, but why pick it up when they can do all the work for me? I can clap and I love clapping when people sing songs or I hear a beat I really like. Mommie also calls me a daredevil because I like to be tossed and flipped and swung all around. She also calls me a mess a lot because I have a lot of personality in this tiny little body.

I am happy a lot and people always smile at me. I have lots of family that I see a lot and they love me too! People say I am spoiled, but I know I am just well-loved by many, many people. My family and therapist tell me I am smart and I can do anything I set my mind too. They have helped me learn to do a lot of things, and I like learning. I am very excited to keep learning and discovering new things!!! I may be tiny and a little different than the other little people I see, but I love my life and I am happy to be me!”

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Well there it is in the best of my ability to write from her perspective. Trust me, if this kid could talk she would be full of fun and personality. She makes life fun, and I am so thankful God blessed us with such a sweet, joyful blessing two years ago. We don’t deserve Abigail, but we are beyond thankful and proud of her. Having a child always changes your life, but Abigail has changed mine and Jordan’s for the better. We love our birthday girl and are excited to watch her grow as the days and years go by!