Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Two and a Half Year Old

Margaret's gone through some tough times lately. She's had to adjust to being a big sister. That's the huge one. And the regular scheduled growing has been happening as well. As of yesterday, her last molar was SO close to breaking through.

And so that means my life as a parent has been a lesson in patience.

Our one major success was in night nursing. Isaac nurses once a night. Margaret nurses 3-4 times a night. At the end of my pregnancy, after months of work, she would go to sleep without much nursing at night. I think it was mostly because my supply was diminished. After Isaac's birth, she went back to nursing full force. I think most of it was that she needed mom time at night because she wasn't getting much in the day.

So over these first few months, I've been patiently trying to limit the night nursing. Last week we hit a breakthrough that I'm happy with. When she stirs in the middle of the night, she will nurse for about a minute, but then I can unlatch her and cuddle her and she'll accept that. In fact the other night she came to me and said "cuddle" instead of insisting on nursing. That hasn't kept up, but I can handle nursing for a minute 3 times in the night. Patience patience patience.

What we're still working on
Margaret still struggles with using her words to tell us what she wants. Her body language is enough, but we're hoping she'll do less pointing and more speaking. I feel like I'm always prompting "Use your words" and "You can say, 'Can you open the door for me?'" but nothing comes of it. McKay says that she did once use her words when he asked, so that's an improvement. So often her fussiness is due to hunger and lack of sleep. I'm not even sure if she knows what "use your words" means. I think this one is just going to take a few hundred prompts.

Or it all could be that she's teething and overwhelmed with her life and once it's over, she'll make leaps and bounds of progress. There's no quick solution. I just try to keep in mind that as long as I'm giving her lots of outside time, healthy foods, individual attention, and long naps, all we can really do is be patient.

Patience patience patience. That's my mommy mantra.


  1. Confession: I am not a patient person.

    Rylan has been a huge lesson in patience and I'm often frightened that I am failing it.

    But this morning when the he woke up only a few minutes after I left bed to have some morning time he was content to cuddle with his father rather than needing me to nurse him... so patience may be starting to get easier than ever. Though, he's only about a year (on the 27th this month!) which probably makes him easier to be patient with overall...

    I hope I've gained the amount of patience you have by the time he is 2.

  2. That's a darling picture of Margaret--and the dress is cute, too. We often say, "Use words, please," to Caleb as well. His speaking abilities explode and then plateau, then explode again. We were worried he barely said more than 10 words at 20 months, then he started speaking so much the next month I couldn't count how many words he said. Then at two he finally started stringing words into sentences, and now we hardly have to remind him to use words, but he does still sign with somethings, too. It will come. My friend who is a speech therapist said it is good to continue to ask them to speak if they need a reminder.

  3. Oh I am not patient either. When Margaret went to 43 weeks, I remember thinking that God was trying to teach me patience. Patience comes so naturally to McKay. I'm still working on it. It's easier when I get sleep. A lot of things are easier when you sleep.

  4. Katelyn12:58 PM

    Ah yes patience. I struggle with being patient when I'm running low on sleep. I have a son (my first child) about a week younger than Isaac and I often feel guilty/sad in the mornings when I haven't been as patient as I feel I should for middle of the night feedings.

    I'm jealous of Isaac only nursing once a night. My son is up every 2 to 2 1/2 hours (occasionally he'll throw a 3 hour interval in there.) It would help if he would nurse laying down, but that hasn't worked for us. While he normally eats and goes right back to sleep, I get very non-patient when he decides to take his time to fuss before sleeping again.

    I keep reminding myself that he is still so little.

  5. I'm not patient either, but I'm trying so hard. I thinks it's what I'm here to learn as a parent.

    My 18 month old needs lots more hugs to cut down on the destruction-to-get-attention mode she's in. In fact, I think even my 5 yo needs more hugs lately. Physical attention can be so hard to remember when you're busy and holding babies. Nursing Margaret must be such a great way to get that in. I've contemplated letting my toddler go back to nursing, but it's been so long, I don't know if she'll remember how or even be interested. Have you ever heard of re-introducing it when another baby comes along?

    And don't worry about her words. They really do just start talking one day. It's quite amazing actually.

  6. Yes. I often think that families are a part of Gods plan simply to teach us patience LOL.

    I still have to prompt Eve to "use your big girl words" at times. Like you say it's when they're struggling already with tiredness or hunger. Eve's going to be 4 in March, so I think it's pretty normal for a small like Margaret to be like that... but then we are all different :)

    Oh, and after I weaned her a few months ago what with the pregnancy... she tried to latch on again the other night... hmmm...

  7. Try taking everything down to two words. "Open please"...using an entire sentence can be hard for a little kid. My 20 month old has been in speech therapy for 6 months. He's my 4th...it's been WONDERFUL. He's now using words to tell us what he wants.


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