Monday, March 26, 2012

Big Developments

A lot of big things have been happening in our home related to Amelia's development. The first has been her learning to say NO.
Initially, it seemed pretty useful. I attempted to hand her an apple slice, and she shook her head vigorously, saying ‘No, no, no!’ Wow, I thought. How nice is that? Now I’ll know for sure when she’s full.
It wasn’t even two days later that we were leaving the gym, and I said, as I do every day, “Time to go bye-bye, walk with Mama!” Instead, my peanut ran off in the other direction towards the heavy weight area, yelling “NO, NO, NO! BAAAALLLL….” with her arms outstretched towards the exercise balls. My mouth dropped as I said “Don’t you tell me no!” and grabbed her little wrist. You can imagine how enthused she was about this maneuver.
Frankly, in my mind I thought “Who in the hell do you think you are kid?!? You’re about twenty pounds, if I really want to, I’ll just toss you over my shoulder and put you where I want!” Then I thought, "Oh, great, here comes what everyone has been warning me about. The fierce toddler urge to be independent."
I knew it was coming at some point, but Amelia has reached such a nice point in her development and temperment. She can do things by herself, but there are no tantrums when I tell her the opposite of what she wants to hear. A week or two of her being able to disagree with me, and I can say it hasn't yet blown up into a constant NO fest.
The second big development has been this:
My big girl is finally starting to fall asleep on her own. In our house, this is HUGE news. Amelia has always been a cuddler and pretty dependent on Mama to go to sleep. In the early days she nursed to sleep, and she has NEVER been a fan of her crib. Even when she would be solidly out, I would lay her down in her crib and fourty five minutes she would be wailing away. At some point, I surrendered to co-sleeping, much to the disappointment and cringing of many friends and family. I had to make a choice for myself and Amelia. What would get us the most sleep and the least amount of frustration so I could enjoy her early days? Co-sleeping was the answer, but as someone who is not very assertive, it has been hard for me to constantly justify this parenting choice to others. I finally have gotten to the point where I simply say "We are doing what we feel is right for our family."


I'm not going to lie though. There have been times where I have been truly concerned that Amelia would be in school before she would sleep on her own. Frankly, I don't see what difference it makes, as long as we are all getting sleep, but I also knew that I wouldn't be able to defend my sleeping choice for that long.


Part of me knew it was coming. She had stopped needing to be rocked a couple months ago and had wanted to just be cuddled in my lap. Then about a week ago she went to our bed and said "UP!", so I put her in and laid with her. Rather than snuggling me back, she thrashed back and forth for ten minutes until she passed out. A few days ago, we were approaching her nap time when I saw her climb into her toddler rocking chair and try to curl up in it. Since it is only big enough to sit in, it didn't work out all too well, and she immediately announced "STUCK!" and started whining. Since it appeared that she was trying to curl up for nap time, I figured that it was worth a shot and laid her down on the couch where she usually naps. Five minutes later, she was asleep.


I'm pretty sure that my family thinks I'm crazy, but this sleep development has been as emotional for me as when she finally learned to walk. It's hard to explain, but I think a lot of it is it just seems like a very 'big girl' thing for her to be doing. For nearly a year and a half, I've been nursing, rocking, or cuddling my peanut to sleep. Now she is going to sleep all on her own. It's really a very big deal in our house and this morning as I cuddled her in the wee hours, I enjoyed every moment, as if I were trying to soak in her snuggly love.


So now, as I dry my eyes due to my crying over this AGAIN, I leave you with a few recent pictures of my big girl:


Drawing at the library


Chillin' in her OSU onesie at my grandparents this weekend-- Go Bucks! :)


Picking dandelions with her Great Uncle Eric


Making a mess!
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