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Toddler Stage in general

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      24.09.2012 21:02
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      great times

      After having two children I have to say that the most challenging stage would definitely have to be the toddler stage, but at the same time is the most rewarding and from my experience the most funniest! My children are now five and ten so in a way I am both sad and glad they are past the toddler stage. There are without a doubt five main points that you need to remember when you are going through the toddler stage and theses are as follows. 1) Everything is NO It doesn't matter what you say or do the answer is always NO, can you come here? NO, can you stop doing that? NO, can you listen? NO. I think you can get the point, although they like to answer commands with no they don't in anyway like to be told no it never seems to register. Whatever you do or say you are fighting a losing battle so the best thing you can do is accept they like this word and hope they learn a newer word soon. 2) Mess Whether it is you or the house the mess is endless there really is no point trying to be a glamorous mum or have a show home this really is impossible. I have lost count of the times that I have gone out only to realise when I have changed for bed that the back of my trousers or skirt has what resembles a smudge of chocolate or the leftovers of a packet of wotsits highly embarrassing and why didn't someone tell me? Our house always looked like a battle field by the time my husband returned home from work with sweets stuck to floor and other leftover bits of food. I never understand why they have to empty toy boxes out everywhere either especially when they don't even bother with the contents. My son especially was the messiest toddler ever he always looked like he needed a good bath! 3) They love to tantrum Tantrums come in hand with most toddlers, there is no written manual how to handle them but from experience I know how hard they can be on mind body and soul. The countless times I was dragging one of them off the floor in the shops or hiding of embarrassment is endless. I have to say when they did it at home they would go to the naughty step but I have to say I am surprised the carpet wasn't worn away on the bottom step of the stairs. The best advice is to keep calm and carry on! 4) It's all about the toilet Potty training has to be one of the hardest things to do, all I can say is you need plenty of wipes, pants spare cloths and lots of patience. When potty training I am so glad we had laminate in the lounge my daughter would stand in front of the TV so engrossed she would forget about going to the toilet. I would ask her constantly if she need to go she would answer the dreaded NO then the next thing there would be a puddle, hard work but has to be done. You find yourself becoming obsessed with number ones and twos I can honestly say I never dreamed I'd be clapping at the sight of a poo! 5) There is never a dull moment I have to end on one of the best things about the toddler stage; it can be so much fun! Not only does it give you a chance to re live your childhood by playing in the Wendy house or making animals out of play dough the things they do and say can be so amusing. This is either the way they walk when they take there first steps or the strange vocabulary they first pick up or even the mischievous things they get up to. I do remember my son nearly flooding the bathroom and my daughter covering the kitchen with flour, not funny at the time but looking back now I smile and remember all the fun but challenging things they did all you can do is laugh!

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        19.04.2010 07:54
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        magical times

        As my son turned three years old yesterday I considered it to be a timely time to write about the toddler stages. For me personally although he learnt to walk when he was just under thirteen months old I felt he became a toddler just before his second birthday when I managed to wean him off my breast. For me this was a signal my baby boy was growing into a little toddler. I am the first to admit I was a little apprehensive about My beautiful baby boy approaching two as I did not know what the terrible two's was going to be like. I had a very laid back child who if he didn't get his own way was very accepting and got on with something else so the idea of this tantruming child scared me to death. My son had a birthday party at a soft play centre which he thoroughly enjoyed and he still can remember to this day with a swimming pool cake that I lovingly made for him. When toddlers turn two they have an assessment with the health visitor as my son had been under Senco which is for children with additional needs so his assessment was done very close to two years old. There were three sections he did not achieve the expected standard. Firstly he couldn't build a pile of small bricks but he had been used to building with large bricks so had no concerns, he couldn't jump and there was also ongoing concerns that he should be talking more than he was. Concerns had been raised by the nursery previously and while I wasn't concerned as I could see him progressing I had doubts put in my head by the professionals. It was decided that he should have a full speech therapy assessment. The speech therapy assessment showed that he had good understanding and was learning in the normal pattern and was just a slow starter which was a great relief. I did speech therapy incredibly helpful and gave me techniques to help bring his speech foreword. He can now recite a few nursery rhymes and can name a few different types of dinosaurs. I did find the intensity of his tantrums did increase within two weeks of turning two although I was still happy enough with them. We did use the hall time out and he would just sit and stay there till I told him. As he has got older the techniques and requirements have changed. I did have to buy a timer for him to understand how long two minutes was as he got older he realised he was able to walk straight back in. My son got to see the beach for the first time went to the fair and one the rides for the first time and had so many firsts. He learnt to remember and recognise people who he didn't see very often and form attachments to others rather than just Mommy. I watched my baby develop in to the most wonderful little boy who has the most amazing sense of humour, such a kind child who is amazingly good at sharing considering he is an only child. He loves to "help" mommy in his own special way but also is very talented at making a tidy room look like a bomb site in thirty seconds. His imagination has developed and it is wonderful sight to see the world through a child's eyes. He has an imaginary farm rather than a friend which can be very time consuming when searching for all the animals. However imagination works in two ways it can create amazing adventures but equally can create fears. I now have to shut my son's bedroom door at night rather than leaving it ajar in case the cows try to get in his bedroom. He has found things he likes and doesn't like although he does tend to like most things he has particular loves which are dinosaurs and space related things. He has discovered a love on films which for certain periods of time are repeated over and over again My son has gone from nappies to wearing big boy pants during both days and nights of which has been a long slow process but despite the odd issue I am incredibly proud. Sleep patterns is one thing that has changed. I have lost my daytime naps which can be quite useful rather than having to plan your day around nap time but when you are poorly yourself waiting till 7pm to be able to lie down and get some rest can be a very long day. He has however learnt to sleep mostly through the night in the last couple of months which has done wonders for my energy levels and but I do consider 7am to be a lie in. I notice that as my son has grown closer to the age three he is more independent and much more interested in other children and exploring the world than clinging onto mommy. This growing confidence from my son is wonderful to see. I do think the toddler times that not only does your child learn so much but so does a parent. My son's both personality and Character has continued to develop and I am able to glimpse the person he is going to be. I have learnt how to extend my patience to levels I didn't know I have, I have learnt to be more expressive of my creative side. I do have to carefully examine how I am behaving as this is often mirrored and my actions are reflected in my son's behaviour. I have learnt that he has far too many toys and he had an expectation that he was going to get toys just because we went out which I have stopped and this has actually made him happier and more relaxed when out shopping. I have learnt there is more than one way to do things but if an approach is not working then it is time to try something new. Despite all this I am proud of the way I am single handily brining my son up and am very proud of the child my son is developing into. For his third birthday we held a small tea party with four friends which we held in the garden and he had a sand pit which tended to be the focus of the party and then I took him to Alton towers yesterday. All of these celebrations he thoroughly enjoyed and has left him one very happy but tired boy. Despite some very long days when my son can seem like the most wilful child who wants to test every boundary I have set for him I am still grateful that I have my wonderful little boy. This is one year for me full of treasured memories which have flown and despite him growing he will always be mommy's baby boy.

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          08.07.2009 00:09
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          i love my toddler so much

          Im totaly lovely my little girl now shes a real little person. from first thing in a morning to last thing at night she is an absolute joy to be around and shes so clever and so funny. In a morning she will stand/sit on her bed and shout me'' mummy im awake,can we get up now please'' as soon as you get her up she either goes for a teddy bear to play with or sits ontop on her toy box and reads a story book (at the moment shes really into maisy books) once ive pulled myself together and been to the loo we head down stairs for a cup of tea and some breakfast. we have a list of things she will have so either weetabix/yog/toast/fruit or cocopops on the odd days. once we have had brekki the fun begins. we have potty time then pants on and get dresses for the day. then its up to jess what she does for the morning.some days she will play with her pram and dolly,some days coluring and reading,some days she wants to go out so we have a walk to the shop or '' mummy can we got to the field'' once shes finished watching the bin men take all of her rubbish away from the front room window. lunch time is normaly around 12.jess will help me make her lunch too.she likes to butter the bread''i can do it, i want to do it mummy!'' so we have a few sandwiches,juice and maybe some crisps or a biscuit if we eat all of our sarnies :o) she watches half an hour of cbbies- timmy time and me 2 then off to bed for a nap about half 1 and she will get up at around 3pm little madam will shout when she wakes up from her nap ''me up mummy, i want to get out'' so once shes down stairs she will sit on the sofa for a drink of juice and have 5 minuets to wake up before goin to to do whatever it is shes doing. In an afternoon it tends to be painting/playing outside with her toys/ taking the doggy a walk/playing on the field with her football or playing with her cousin who visits every few days. About 5:30/6pm we will put the tv on and watch a few cartoons while the dinner is been cooked and dished up and watch an hour or so before shower time and bed. My little girl shares the same meals as everyone else in the house, i dont see why a child should be made to have different meals so she eats what i eat. She sits either in her highchair,set at the same hight as us or sits on the sofa with granddad depending on what shes eating and happily muches away on her food.i get shouted at if she doesnt have veggies with her dinner though so i must be doing someting right. Shower/bath time after dinner- now she loves a bath does my miss jess. she'll happily stay in there till she goes all wrinkly and horrible. jess likes bath fizzers and bath bombs in her water though to make it a bit more fun but then i dont blame her and she deffiantly gets it from her mummy as i love my lush bath bombs. we have shampoo and tummy wash but she doesnt like washing her hair i normally get shouted at and end up with '' mummy sponge please'' so she can wipe her face after its been washed bless her.we are only just starting to use the shower but she really likes the feeling of the water running on her hands but isnt keen on it goin over her head and on her face. again shouts for the sponge to wipe her face. When she gets out of the bath/shower she will keep a towel around her for all of 2 minuets and then it thrown on the floor and she runs around like a chicken gone mad,then its time for the body butter! yes a 2 year old with body butter heehee she upgraded herself from baby oil to body butter when she was about 15 months old so she certainly knows what she likes. Then pj's vest and nappy for bed followed by fruit and juice to nibble. up to bed for a story a cuddle and tucked up into bed with her favourite teddy bear. i usually get told on my way out of her room'' night night mummy ,god bless'' i say godbless and then jess follows with i love you lots and lots forever and ever'' the life of a toddler is excellent,shes so clever and learns so much so fast

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            27.05.2009 13:59
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            Here's why the toddler stage is going too fast for my liking

            In my experience when any stage of life is drawing to an end, those last days of school, or university or single life for example, there is a moment when you stop and think "this is just perfect if only it could stay like this" (the Germans probably have a word for this feeling with "zeit" in it). Then you get caught up in the next exciting thing, the new job or whatever and life goes on. I feel a bit like that about those toddler days at the moment, full of looking forward to my youngest growing more into the young person she will be, but overwhelmed by feelings of nostalgia and the sure knowledge that there are bits of the person she is now (a full blown toddler) that I will surely miss and memories that I will cherish forever. Experience tells me that blink and you miss them turning from babies into small school-going children, so in honour of my youngest who is going to be 3 in July and next week will become a preschooler (so probably not a toddler at all), and the eldest who was a toddler a nano-second ago, here is my summary of the highs and lows of toddlerdom, with a few coping strategies thrown in. The highs: - Toddlers have an amazing sense of wonder at the world. They make you see it differently "that leaf is beautiful", said by a toddler who is astounded can make you see your surroundings through their eyes. Join in with splashing in puddles and looking at rock pools and you start to think that their world is a wonderful place, which it is a privilege to share. Even the mudane is new to them though I am not sure I agree with my toddler's statement this morning "I like traffic jams, they are not noisy are they?", though her positivity is inspiring. - Toddlers are like sponges. They are forever learning things and remembering the minor details of last week or month that you had long forgotten. Of course there can be a downside to their burgeoning language skills and elephant like memory, my husband had to readjust his car-driving vocabulary after the eldest at just over 2 informed him "no, I'm not going to sit on the f***ing naughty step" - hmmm that day there were 2 of them on that step. When they are not copying inappropriate language from daddy the toddler is busy learning to communicate with you, when they learn to speak it is magical, though sometimes they do just make do with grunting and pointing, but otherwise they are busy making cute mistakes and asking that eternal question "why?" - all very cute. - Toddlers have the power to make you laugh and their laughter is infectious and possibly the best sound in the world, ever. Of course they think you are the most highly amusing person ever too - something to be cherised I suspect before the teenage years hit and you cease to be admirable in their eyes or remotely funny. - Toddlers run in a funny toddler way - don't know why but the way they run amuses me highly, well once they have got past the just learned to walk and tripping up a lot stage anyway.... - Toddlers learn things at an incredible rate; if you think about it 2 years ago they were working on reaching for things and focusing on your face; take a step back and marvel at what they can do now. - Toddlers (well some of them) are really cuddly. Their love is unconditional and when they say unprompted "I love you mummy" it is the best thing in the world. Ever. The lows: - Toddlers have bad days, like all of us, only their bad days can be really bad and make you wonder what on earth happened to your happy child. I find that repeating "stage, stage, stage" helps. That and eating chocolate in copious amounts and remembering that bed time is likely to be 7 at the latest, and maybe earlier if they keep it up. - Toddlers can be stubborn, really stubborn. If they decide they don't want to wear clothes you will be that mum you didn't plan to be who ends up taking them to the supermarket in pyjamas and peppa pig wellies. No negotiation or bribery will change a toddler's mind if it is made up, accept this and live with it or you will only cause yourself unnecessary stress. Pick your battles. - Toddlers have tantrums. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to them, and they have a sixth sense that tells them when the worst possible time to have them is, in the middle of the supermarket surrounded by tutting grannies or in a very quiet museum. Sometimes whatever the child behaviour gurus say you are in a lose-lose situation so you just have to grit your teeth, tell yourself it is a manifestation of them not being able to control their feelings and er reach for the chocolate. - Toddlers make mess. More mess than you can imagine; if you think the young baby you have makes a mess, they are just a weapon of mass toddler destruction in training. Again you just have to go with it frankly, I am sure those people you see in magazines who live in minimalist white trendy flats with a few artfully placed toys in them and Cath Kidston duvets are just deluded or have very good stylists. Personally I sometimes think I might as well go into every room in my house and throw things around it as the end effect would be the same, generally I tend to accept that I have had to adjust my standards of tidy and if everyone is relatively clean and fed then the rest is just details. - Toddlers (well mine anyway) get up early. Really early like 5am sometimes. Whilst becoming acquainted with the 24 hour Tesco I have vowed to share 5 am with my lovely offspring when they are 16 or so. Blackout blinds are not the answer - maybe they just want to enjoy the day with you, but boy sometimes the days are long. On the upside they sleep better than when they were babies, sort of and sometimes. Overall: The toddler stage is not the cliched "terrible two's" that are often talked about. To me, having spent the last 4 years with a toddler in the house, the toddler stage is the most magical, frustrating, amazing and wonderful time. It is, like I said, over too fast and even now I can see my youngest growing up so quickly her little chubby legs getting longer and when she tried on her pre-school today and said "I like my new nuniform" I have to admit to a wee little tear and welling up with more pride and love than I could have imagined was possible pre-children. Toddlers have the magical power to get you like that. I am so proud of my toddler and feel blessed to have been able to share this special time with her and her sister. The highs greatly outweigh the lows and I wish that toddler cuddle could last forever. If you have a toddler cherish the time, and when that is not possible for whatever reason, remember that it is only a fleeting stage. Perhaps if we all could see the world through a toddler's eyes it would be a better (albeit more messy) place, I'd like to think so. Here's to toddlers, not terrible at all!

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              08.05.2009 22:52
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              My Little Mr Perfect x

              My youngest little boy will be two in July and, much as he will always be my baby, I can no longer escape from the fact that he is a fully-fledged toddler with a determined mind of his own. So, here, in the words of the Mr Men books, is a little summary of some of the personality traits and characteristics that make up my toddler. *Mr Happy* Nobody can be sunnier and happier with their lot than a toddler who has been fed, watered and isn't tired! Mine even has a Mr Happy top which he wears with pride pointing at 'Ha-ee' to anybody who will care to listen. *Mr Tickle* Simple games of 'Round and Round the Garden' have my little boy in hysterics, shouting 'tittle, tittle!' *Mr Greedy* My toddler has mastered the art of self-feeding and is truly independent when it comes to getting the food into his own mouth. This is an age of enjoying food, especially sweet things. One of his first words was 'more!' Unfortunately, this tends to apply less to those lovingly prepared vegetables left on his plate. *Mr Sneeze* Ever since starting nursery at the age of one, a constant stream of snot has graced his beautiful little face. Adds an extra dimension to those wet toddler kisses that he loves to give! *Mr Bump* When there's so much world to discover, your average toddler doesn't have the time to slow down. Mine is no exception. I've had to sign the accident book at nursery today yet again. Oopsadaisy! *Mr Messy* A mucky toddler is generally a happy toddler. The only time my boy is spotless is when he's in the bath! This characteristic isn't helped by grandparents buying play dough and suchlike for Christmas. Thanks folks. *Mr Silly* My little fella always likes to play up to an appreciative audience or encourage his big brother to play the fool. Slapstick over-acting, silly noises and sticking out tongues all count as the height of sophisticated humour for a two year old. *Mr Chatterbox* He always starts the day with a good conversation - usually to himself as he chatters away first thing in the morning. He has got to grips with the spoken word and is not averse to giving orders and instructions to those around him. (Mummy, Sit Down!) His current favourite word is 'naughty', said to anybody that dares to stand in the way of his latest endeavour! *Mr Fussy* Yes - my boy will devour everything, except for the one particular meal that I've lovingly prepared for him! The word 'no' was pretty high up in the list of favourite words. *Mr Dizzy* The latest craze for my not quite two year old seems to be spinning himself around until he falls over with dizziness. See Mr Bump above for the inevitable outcome! *Mr Grumpy* Just as my little man can be the happiest person in the world, that can change in an instant should dinner be late, sleep needed or, god forbid, somebody say 'no' to him. Just watch that bottom lip quiver! Luckily, we haven't had any tantrums - yet! *Mr Quiet* Only applicable when asleep. Fortunately my (big) baby still sleeps like a proverbial baby and we don't hear a peep out of him for a twelve hour stretch. Now if only his older brother would stop waking us up for a wee in the middle of the night... *Mr Clever* To every Mum, their little toddler is the cleverest, most amazing little person ever. Mine is no different. He can already count to ten, recognise different shapes, string four words together (Mummy Dinner All Gone!) and has learnt to climb onto the chair. Clever boy! Poor Mummy! *Mr Perfect* What more needs to be said!

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                17.03.2009 09:40
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                Happy birthday my beautiful boy

                It is my wonderful boy Harry's 3rd birthday today... Happy Birthday Harry!! I can't believe that this little whirlwind of love, life and fun has been in my life for 3 years, yet at the same time it's like he's never not been here. It's amazing how such a small person can become absolutely everything to you and invade every part of your life, and the older he gets, the more joy he brings to our lives. Harry is certainly not a baby anymore (although he'll always be my baby!) and we're well and truly into the toddler stage. It's the most fascinating, rewarding, and exhausting stage so far, and I'm loving every minute. So in honour of my son's 3rd year in this world, here's a little about my toddler Harry. Harry Benjamin arrived on March 17th 2006, 7 weeks early and was the best early present I've ever had. Since his birth, he's changed my life completely, but in the best way ever. I am a stay at home, which I feel lucky to be able to do, and I am able to enjoy every moment with him. Harry is, and has always been, a curious child. Ever since he's learned to talk, its question after question, sometimes to the point where I have to answer "just BECAUSE!" when he asks the same question 20 times in a row! But I love watching him learn about his world, finding everything from a leaf to the clouds fascinating, and a never-ending enthusiasm and energy for life. To me, Harry became a toddler when he began to walk just after his first birthday. He quickly became steady on his feet and there was no stopping him. Already it felt like I was losing the baby stage, but I had no idea how it would feel when all that had gone! He was a keen walker, so much so that we soon had to stop using the buggy because he really hated it, he is so independent. He seems to love shopping, although he very suddenly gets bored and then you really know about - it's literally shop til he drops with him! He loves making conversation with shop assistants, and they equally love chatting with him. He can be shy, but more often than not will have a chat with people... we definitely need to reinforce the "stranger danger" message to him I think! Harry began creche in September 2008 at 2 and a half years old. I felt that as an only child a couple of hours a week mixing with other children and learning to be apart from me would do him good, and it certainly has. From his first session he's loved it, and never cried for me to stay with him. I go off for my 2 hours peace knowing he's happy and safe, and in return I get lots of pictures and cuddles when I return to pick him up. The staff say he's very chatty and inquisitive, but also helpful and friendly and for me that is fantastic. Knowing he behaves well there bodes well for the future, and he starts Nursery school after Easter, so only a few more weeks! He's really looking forward to it, we've bought his jumper and bookbag and he's dead proud of them, it's so sweet. School is coming in September 2010 but I'm blocking that out because I can't bear the thought of it yet - its too soon! I'll be one of the mothers sobbing in the playground, I'm terrible. As with all toddlers, Harry is rather partial to the odd temper tantrum which isn't a pretty sight but its something all parents go through! He does like to get his own way so when he's stopped from that, he likes to let you know about it. But most of the time, he's the most lovable, fun and caring boy you'd ever want to meet. Meal times are also fun and messy - he likes to feed himself which can be a right mess, but watching the concentration it takes to co-ordinate his little hands is fascinating and amazing to watch. In fact, lots of things fascinate me about this stage - potty training has been one of them. He picked it up in just a couple of days, and now loves being a big boy and using the "big loo". Not putting nappies on reminds me what a big boy he is now, and that he really isn't a baby anymore, it's sad but at the same time I am proud of how grown up he is becoming. Harry has lots of favourite things to do but at the moment, he loves going to feed the ducks at the river, do loads of puzzles on the sitting room floor with Mummy, and watching Fireman Sam with his daddy when Mummy is at work! But most of all, he loves books and I am proud of that. We have a bedtime story every night and often have a few stories throughout the day as well. He loves 'Alfie' stories by Shirley Hughes, as well as Peppa Pig, Noddy and Fireman Sam stories so he does like a variety. Harry is a bit of a budding cook as well, he loves making fairy cakes, helping me cook any type of dinner, and luckily he's a good eater as well. I love my little helper in the kitchen, and I think its good to encourage children to help in the kitchen as well, because they then won't get curious about things they shouldn't be touching like knives and the oven because they'll know what they are for. He loves playing with his 4 cousins as well, one is only a year older than him so they are close and have a real love/hate relationship! Watching him play with them though makes me happy, it's nice he has family that he is close to and enjoys being with. He really is a family boy, he loves his mummy and daddy, and his grandparents too. He has a kitten, Magic, who he adores and is forever chasing the poor thing around the house for a hug! He likes doing his dinner and putting it down for Magic, or Madge as he calls him!, and watching him wolf it down! He's an active little boy, and when we went to stay with my parents for a week, he went for an hour long walk twice a day with my dad and his dog, and he loved it! He brought us back shells and stones from the beach, and seeing his red cheeks from being out having fun in the fresh air is fantastic, I only wish we lived much closer to them as living near the beach permanently would be great for him. The toddler stage is completely fascinating and fun, but a real wake up call to us parents that the baby stage is at an end and our children are growing up. Toddlerdom often includes your child becoming very independent and enjoying doing things themselves, growing like the clappers and outgrowing clothes and shoes far too quickly, and lots of fun and laughs for everyone too. Yes, there are the tantrums and inevitable naughty moments as with all children, but they are far outweighed by the sheer joy and love they give you. Nothing beats Harry running up for a hug and saying "You're the best mummy in the world" or snuggling up for a story, and it makes me feel so lucky I have been given this amazing human being. Harry is my pride and joy, and I love being a mum more than anything. I just can't believe that 3 years ago he was just a tiny baby in an incubator... it really does go too fast. I feel like Harry is somewhat famous here on Dooyoo, so I hope you join me in wishing my special little boy a Happy 3rd Birthday!! Love you Haz! Thank you very much for reading!

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                  04.03.2009 15:35
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                  Loving the toddler years... it's great!

                  "The Terrible Twos" - three words to fill parents' hearts with dread. Even from that cuddly little newborn stage, we were looking ahead to what comes next and I have to say that I wasn't looking forward to this bit. I had visions of one tantrum after another, with my little boy throwing himself to the floor every time things didn't go his way, of endless battles over mealtimes, of sleepless nights all over again and, of course, the sheer terror of potty-training. Well, we haven't reached the potty training stage yet - this week's abortive attempt having ended in three wees on the floor and a demand to 'put my nappy back ON Mummy' - but so far I am loving the toddler years. It's so much more fun than having a newborn - my son is chatty and affectionate, he's good company now that he can talk and he makes me laugh more every day. Yes, it's more of a challenge to find activities to occupy him without resorting to the power of CBeebies or Nick Jr, but it's so much more rewarding when you find something he really enjoys doing. I love the way we can sit together drawing pictures (although I still can't draw a dinosaur that meets his approval), or baking biscuits, or building zoos out of Duplo, or making train tracks for his Thomas trains to run around. I also love the way he uses his imagination - lining up the little chairs to make a train and shouting 'All Aboard Mummy' - or spreading a towel out on the floor, getting out his tea set and demanding that we have a picnic. I didn't realise quite how proud I would be of all his little achievements. This week he's learned to catch the ball... something we take for granted, but he's so proud of himself for being able to do it. Learning how to jump was much the same - he wanted to jump for so long and now he can finally do it, he's so excited that he can. He sings all the time - whole songs now and it always makes me smile to hear him. He can recognise numbers now (not all of them, just a select few) and he takes such great pride in being able to point out 'Look Mummy, there's number 2 on that door'. Even little things like him completing a puzzle on his own make me glow with pride. I think it's easier in a way that I work part-time - I appreciate the time I have with him so much more, and maybe I've got more energy to do things with him because I don't have to do them every day. He loves nursery and runs in shouting for his friends, so I know he's getting a lot from that too - plus they can do the really messy stuff with him and I don't have to feel guilty. Yes, there are challenges too. He does have tantrums, although they are less bad than a year ago and I think his improved communication skills have a lot to do with that - he did throw himself to the floor at the shops the other day though. Sometimes I wonder whether we'll ever really crack the eating thing - I was so determined that he wouldn't grow up to be a fussy eater, but now I increasingly find myself going for the foods I know he'll eat rather than facing the battle to get him to try something new. Walking and the buggy are battlegrounds too - he wants to walk and be independent, but he invariably can't manage to walk the whole way so I either have to take the buggy anyway or carry him and the shopping home, and he's just too heavy these days. He wakes up more in the night than he used to and mornings seem to be getting earlier all the time. I'm often a bit guilty of using the TV as a babysitter while I try and get some jobs done, especially now he's mostly dropped his afternoon nap. And obviously I know I'm going to have to face that potty training one of these days... Overall though, being Mum to a toddler is fantastic. I love the time I spend with my gorgeous little boy and I wouldn't change a thing... apart from possibly installing a snooze button for those early morning wake-up calls!

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                    28.01.2009 19:31
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                    Another of the ever testing stages of parenthood.

                    I remember looking forward to my girls becoming toddlers, moving on from the reliant babe stage and into some independence. The reason for that was that I thought they'd be more easily self entertained rather than entirely dependent on me for amusement. I should have enjoyed those rare, short lived and mostly immobile moments in order to fully appreciate the differences. My girls, twins, have been my biggest test and a great education as to my ability to demonstrate patience, endurance, financial savvy, time management, prioritising and flexibility. My girls, having only recently turned 3 are now classed as little girls apparently, rather than toddlers, but the memories are recent and clear. At the age of 1, Twingle 2 was walking but Twingle 1 was determined there were finer things in life. So, one was still often reliant and enjoyed being babied and the other was marching on to independence at an alarming speed. The independence only ever increased, constantly and ever increasing. A peanut on the table stack His heart was all a flutter Over the sofa comes Twingle 2 Oh oh! Wasabi nutter! The first sign of the growing mayhem was when I left an open and partially consumed packet of Wasabi nuts on a table in the furthest corner from reach and Twingle 2 climbed the sofa, got onto the table grabbed the bag and proceeded to eat the lot. Wasabi is often incredibly hot, yet my daughter did not bat an eyelash. Tough nut in the making. Not long later, at just 14 months old, we found that Twingle 2 had learned how to climb over the join where the two cots made an L shape and had joined her sister in her cot and she was less than amused. A few weeks later Twingle 1 overcame all the preventative measures we put in place and shimmied across the edge and dropped into her sisters cot, to much squealing of delight. We managed to buy just a couple more weeks with tactical manoeuvres with cot toys and a spare mattress but ultimately the fear of dual concussion forced us to make the cots into beds. Only around 8 months earlier than I wanted. Still, I manage to capture one of their Great Escapes on video which still provides entertainment to both us and them. If I could turn back time If I could find a way, I'd put extra locks on the door and you'd stay Around a year ago, our twins foxed us by working out how to unlock their en suite door. We have manipulated the lock from the outside to prevent them going in unattended and being ... shall we say 'creative' with everything in there. Both girls had been for a nap and woken quietly, unusually. I heard the sound of running water but otherwise the house was silent. Finding that somewhat alarming I ran upstairs to find both girls in their en suite, fully dressed but completely and utterly soaked, along with the carpet, shower mat, loo roll and every other item in there. They had even locked themselves in. Thankfully I had a hair clip on hand to quickly turn the groove in the lock again. I'm still perplexed as to how they got in there. The hair clip was on top of the wardrobe and hands alone, big or small cannot turn the groove in the lock. It was a wake up call which meant we had to do more around the house to reduce the twinsecurities. Daddy put the potty on Daddy put the potty on Daddy put the potty on He's covered in wee Potty training has been a long and drawn out affair, one which has been a lot more revolting for the adults than the children. Twingle 2 has only recently received her dry pants award, a strong indicator that nature really does win over nurture, as Twingle 1 has extolled the virtues of Peppa Pig knickers for around 5 months now. We tried at around 18 months, just to instil the first and most vague inkling that potties are cool and useful and can be used to hold things other than bricks and toy cats. A few days and a lot of chocolate buttons later we realised our carpets probably wouldn't survive. So, we decided to scrap it for a while. At 2.5 we felt that their bladders and our new house would have to take a leap of faith. Twingle 2 quickly picked up the idea that brightly coloured foil stickers of her favourite characters and chocolate buttons would be dispensed for any successful potty use. So astute was she that she soon learned to eke out a wee to cover multiple rewards in just a few minutes. Her resulting potty training was fast and painless. Now, giddy with success we turned our attentions to the otherwise uninterested Twingle 1 with wonderful laminated Dora sticker charts and miniature chocolate Flake pieces this time. The carpets of the playroom suffered as our best intentions and best parenting techniques were tried time and time again. 'Mummy I pooed on the rug.' 'Mummy I wee'd on the floor.' And a million and one other words of parental suffering were cast at our ears. Trampled and worn we retreated, clearing the battlefield with the carpetwasher and continuing as before, armed only with pull ups and a steely determination to fight again. A few weeks later we began again, working hard and remembering that carpets wash. This time Daddy was greeted with a full potty over the head when lying on the sofa watching tv. 'At least the wee was in the potty.' I rejoiced. 'It went over my head.' he stormed. 'Yay, chocolate pweeese!' cried Twingle 1. It's taken several months of gritted teeth and saintly smiles to now say the accidents are few and far between and the chocolate consumed as bribery is vast. Twas a night before Christmas and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse The chocolates were stashed in the kitchen with care In the hopes that the twins wouldn't find them there Most recently Twingle 2 demonstrated her spectacular abilities once again, climbing out of the bed she was sharing with Daddy during a spectacularly unsettled night, creeping downstairs, silently. Going into the kitchen, carefully placing a dining chair to reach the kitchen surfaces to grab a net bag of chocolate coins, destined to be consumed by her and her sister over Christmas, also a number of giant chocolate coins destined for other children's stockings. She managed to open the net and remove the coins, peeling off the foil wrappings and discarding them across the kitchen floor. She left a trail of gold foil wrappers up the stairs before climbing back into bed with Daddy, who none the wiser slept on. Later when Daddy woke, Twingle 2 remained fast asleep, sated by her secret chocolate feast . Daddy noticed something brown on the pillow which alarmed him. A few seconds later he was further alarmed to see something brown on Twingle 2's face, then he spotted a gold foil wrapper on the floor by the bed and realised the cause. Not a single chocolate coin survived the night in the house of Happyjaw. Still, it's a change from last year when they told everyone about Father Penis. It was a sigh of relief when this year they learned to say Father Christmas instead! In a nutshell: Pull ups are the new nappy Tantrums are the new whinge Climbing is the new crawling Chocolate is the new milk Daddy is the new daaa daaa Mummy is the new mumum Stairgates are the new sleep Spoons are the new bottles Shoes are the new bootees Beds are the new cots Insanity is the new norm.

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                      27.01.2009 17:51
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                      Toddlertastic!!

                      Never mind the seven ages of man, today let me to take you on a little tour of the seven phases of our little man, which his mummy and I are truly blessed to share in each and every day. At the time of writing, he's very close to his 3rd birthday now, so this is my chance to look back and savour his journey to the peak of toddlerdom...... 1. "Sweeney" Toddler Before you get too concerned, the Sweeney I'm referring to here is in no way connected to the infamous butchering barber of Fleet Street, it's in fact a tribute to the iconic all-action 70's cop classic, and the fact that from the very first minute he wakes up in the morning, our little chap is constantly on the go, like a human dynamo. His no nonsense approach takes a bit of getting used to, but he takes firm charge of us sleepy ones, his "shall we get up now?" is rarely optional, and usually followed up with a friendly arm drag out of bed, leading the chosen one safely down the stairs, and getting straight to business on his potty. Scarcely pausing for breath he drums out the morning routine- "granny will make the breakfast, daddy you will have shreddies today, mummy will get up in a bit". Yes guv! Foodwise, again he definitely knows what he likes, heaven forbid if you try and mix things in together. "I don't like meat" is his main battlecry, but the good news for us is that doesn't exclude chicken or fish, and he's really good at eating his veg, always happy to get extra portions of things like broccoli and carrots. They say tastebuds start to evolve and change at this age so we're hoping he'll start to take to the red meats and a bit more fresh fruit, but we certainly can't complain on that score. 2. "Speakeasy" Toddler I remember when he was coming up to around 15 months old, he regularly treated us to the most elaborate sounding babbling, rather like listening to a badly tuned foreign language radio broadcast, you kind of get the gist but can't quite make sense of it. Not one to settle for "Dadda" or "Bye Bye", he carried on in the same vain and by 18 months he was already rolling proper sentences together - out at the zoo "Monkey needs to get down", "The airplane is going on holiday to nice Scar-bor-ough." One of our pet theories on this is that it owes much to his fantastic Geordie Grannie, who on her day a week looking after him from a very early age would always make sure she chatted away all day long about everything they were doing, playing, reading, even though as a gurgling baba he could never really reply back. It's so nice to hear him be so confident with his speech, at times it's like he's providing a running commentary on anything and everything around and about, language just seems to come so naturally to him. Only the other day out and about in our favourite Scarborough eaterie, he watches me get up from the table and nonchalantly announces to the room "My father is going for a wee wee!". Mind you, he can be a real charmer, take for example in a restaurant, he gets his food and you do the old - "what do you say?", he'd always throw in a bit extra for good measure "thank you pret-ty lady", always guaranteed us great service! 3. "Smiley" Toddler For all you hear about the terrible two's , tantrums and other delights, we are very fortunate that in terms of his basic outlook on things he's essentially a very contented soul pretty much all day long. Like any of his peers, he definitely has his moments particularly later in the day as tiredness or hunger take effect, but I've yet to see him do the whole lie down banging the hands on the floor routine. He really loves to laugh, is a huge fan of the whole slapstick TV comedy scene, clip shows like you've been framed, Harry Hill with the silly peoples falling down are watched over and over in our house. His absolute favourite though is the almost unfathomably daft "Takeshi's castle", basically reruns of a madcap 80's Japanese game show, he just can't get enough of their crazy , bone crushing challenges! Running around, jumping about the place, can keep him amused for hours and that cheeky chappy smile is never too far from his grubby little face. In any play fight, you can't beat a bit of tickling under the arms - gets him in complete giggling hysterics, and though he can be stubborn at times, he never seems to dwell on anything for long, there's always a way to get him to snap out of it quickly. 4. "Sporty" Toddler When it came to walking, our little chap was really in no rush, it seemed as though he'd worked out that he was much faster at crawling so that was the way to go. By the time he eventually did start walking at around 16 months, he basically skipped a stage, and got straight into his running. Now I admit it, I'm very heavily into my sports, and naturally when it comes to active play time I'm in my absolute element with him. But it really has astounded me how not only has he taken to trying a whole range of sports for himself, but he has also managed to learn all the different names of all the main stars in those sports. Take cricket for example, now we just have to watch for 5 minutes worth and we're in the corridor with his plastic bat and ball -"Mummy you will be umpire, daddy will be Freddy bowling (or it could be Naughty Aussie Brett, Yuvraj, Ntini), , I will be Straussy batting, (or it could be Cooky, Belly, Colly, Naughty Aussie Ricky). Then after a few minutes we'll switch to tennis (I'll be Roger he's from Switzerland, you will be Nadally, or Andy Murray and James Blake, Djokovic or naughty Nalbandian), then golf (naughty Monty or Padraig), snooker (Marco Fu or rocket Ronnie), football - Van Der Sar and poor John Terry, complete with a re-enactment of his tearful penalty miss - priceless! The best example so far of his enthusiasm for all things sporty came over Christmas when we watched the World's Strongest Man competition. He watched each event avidly, and before you knew it he was wanting to do his own version. So we got the 4 pinters of milk from the fridge and he carried them up and down the lounge, we tied a rope to his biggest toy truck and did the truck pull, then for the iconic Atlas stones finale we got the veg rack and 5 progressively bigger sized balls and he lifted each one in turn onto the rack then dashed over to my (one and only) golf trophy and lifted aloft in joyous celebration!! 5. "Splashy" Toddler Like most little boys, the simple words "Hair wash" are enough to strike fear into our precious, but other than that he's really a big fan of his bath time. At the end of a working day, it's a great Dad and son bonding time for us, and with a big old corner bath and an endless cast of bathroom characters to call on from rubber ducks to dinosaurs, from winnie the pooh to Scooby doo, it's not just bath time , it's full on story time. I christened it "Frog mill pond" and basically every night I start the story going and he takes us through a new adventure. He's also creating a splash of a different kind as he continues to get the hang of his potty training. Although he's probably been ready to start for a while, we wanted to make sure we were settled in our new house first so only started just after Christmas. Certainly had plenty of disasters over the first couple of days, but although he's not quite got the hang of always asking when he needs to go, he's pretty much got it sussed. Must admit, we probably went a bit over board giving him little choccy rewards for every success in the early days, but happily he's content with a round of applause and a chorus of well dones now, so that's a bonus. We made a point of getting a really comfortable seat for him, sometimes it's hard to prise him of there! The third kind of splashing is a remarkable talent he seems to have for producing floods of tears almost in an instant, which often as not, just as quickly fade away. Hopefully fans of Peppa Pig reading this will recognise the character of little George, who suddenly erupts into full blown Gazza Italia 90 mode, and then within a few seconds is back smiling again. He can be ultra sensitive at times when it doesn't go his way, but once the tears have flowed, a cuddle and a carry or the like is more than enough to get him back on track. He's happy enough to follow the naughty corner routine and is always quick to say his sorrys, once he knows what he did wrong. He certainly doesn't like to upset anyone, it's just not in his nature. 6. "Sleepy" Toddler I wish!! As I described at the outset, he's always been a lively character, as my wife will tell you throughout her labour he pretty much kicked all day and everyday, and this has been reflected in his sleeping habits since day one. It's no exaggeration to say he's only actually slept through the night on a handful of occasions, but he does his best, and he's very loving with it all. He's always fine going to sleep in his own bed, but always manages to wake up once in the night, typically somewhere between 2 and 3am. At this age, we're happy enough to take him in with us, the only thing is at times he can be a real wriggler, with a proper kung fu kicking action on him, so if I've got work the next morning I sometimes find I have to retreat to the spare bedroom. We've tried a whole range of tactics, sleeping alongside him in his bedroom, leaving lights on , but haven't quite cracked the routine yet, but hey nobody's perfect, and he's awfully cute sitting up in bed with his cuddly monkey and dragon in his arms chirping "Daddy please will you will take me to my mother's bed" 7. "Special" Toddler As I'm sure you can tell, I'm an extremely proud father and for me every single day of the toddler period has been an absolute treasure. Most importantly we've been blessed not to have had many health scares in that time, even things like Chicken Pox he seemed to take in his stride. He really is a special character and with just one smile can put the whole stupid world to rights in an instant. In such a short space of time, he's managed to teach me far more than I ever managed to learn in the previous 35 years of my existence and I am so looking forward to sharing and enjoying all that is to come, as my little man starts to find his place in this big old world.

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                        24.01.2009 18:37

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                        My experience of the toddler years

                        The toddler years are the ones that we all know in advance are going to be a challenging time , but I had no idea just how hard it would be. My little boy is only 14 months old , but he started walking when he was 10 months old , and has progressed really quickly. He is very steady on his feet and is learning to run at the moment. He has changed from being a lovely happy little boy , to being an absolute nightmare over night. It is like having the terrible twos too early. He has an absolute fit if he doesn't get his own way, and has started to throw himself about arching his back and flapping his arms and kicking his legs while grunting. I thought it might just be due to his teething pain, but he has been like it ever since. What a transformation!! I would recommend the Toddler tamig book by Dr. Christopher Green. It has helped me understand more about this phase in their lives, maybe it could help you too?

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                        20.01.2009 17:39
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                        take the good with the bad

                        My baby isn't a baby anymore; she is firmly a toddler and has been for a few months now. I am never sure when people decide their babies become toddlers, and I think most people term it when their children start to walk or otherwise known as toddling around. Finding their feet brings on a whole new set of challenges and rewards for both toddler and parent. When I look back at my older daughter and remember her when she was about eighteen months old, I always loved that stage. She was communicating with people, albeit not in a clear way, and she was able to get into everything and perhaps even amuse herself for a few minutes whilst I got on with things. Needless to say I was looking forward to my younger daughter reaching this stage. I have learnt very quickly that they have got two very different personalities and have both behaved very differently in their toddler stages. As mentioned above, there are rewards and challenges you will face with your toddler and I'll touch on a few of my personal toddler experiences both good and bad. ** Playing ** It's a joy to be able to sit down with Abby and play a game with her, knowing that she is drinking in all the information we are talking about whether she understands it or not. I know it's sinking in somewhere to be brought back out in the future when she's ready. Learning how to recognise an animal from a picture, or how to press a button on a toy to make sounds is all brilliant to be able to share with a young mind. Only yesterday I caught Abby getting her packet of baby wipes out (which she knows she's not allowed) and pulling one out before going over to her Upsy Daisy which she had laid down on the table. She then lifted Upsy Daisy's legs and put the baby wipe on her legs. I couldn't help but smile and couldn't tell her off for getting a wipe out because she was trying to change Upsy Daisy's nappy like she has had done to her for all these months. ** Feeding ** We have had ups and downs when it has come to feeding times. Abby is very strong willed and refused to be fed from about 15 months. This has resulted in some very stressful and messy meal times. I realised in the end after battling with her when I was in a rush that she would do it quicker with me not interfering. I also learnt that I have to encourage using her fork and spoon as she loves eating with her hands still. We know she can use her cutlery she just decides she can get more in her fists and food doesn't fall out of her fists like it does her fork. ** Communicating ** As I mentioned Abby is very determined and strong willed. She knows when she doesn't want to do something and will shake her head at me quite fiercely. Her speech isn't as clear as other children her age, but I know it will come when she is ready. She is however a chatterbox and never shuts up, which is lovely, but I wish I could understand what she is saying sometimes so I can help her more. We have touched on the Makaton sign language as she loves watching Something Special on Cbeebies, and this is great for encouraging her to say thank you to people. I find I get a lot of that silly noise known as "uh uh uh" (if you're a parent you'll know what I mean, if you're not I'm sorry I'm not sure how to explain it properly). This noise I know will go when she can speak properly for herself, but even now she knows it's annoying as we tell her not to do it and she stops straight away as we ask her to point to what she wants. ** Behaviour ** Most of the time Abby is very well behaved. She has gone through stages of throwing toys, which we have half conquered by making her pick things up when she dies this. It's a painful and frustrating process for both parent and child but you will win the battle as a parent eventually so persist. She went through a brief stage of pulling my hair. I tried to pull hers back but that backfired on me so I had to remove her hands as quickly as possible and then put her down away from me. She soon got the message that it was wrong. We explained it to her as well of course. Her current "thing" is biting. Over the last week we have noticed she'll bit when she's frustrated or not allowed to do something. She then laughs. We considered biting back but as this didn't work with the hair pulling then we opted not to do this. Funnily enough she doesn't bite at nursery just to Mum and Dad at home. We are taking the measure of sitting her out for a couple of minutes and then explaining to her that it is wring to bite and she mustn't do it etc. I've just realised I went through the bad behaviours first. It's funny how that sticks in your mind more. Her good behaviours are lovely. As a toddler she knows what kisses and cuddles are and she is very affectionate. We always get a kiss directed from her when we get her up in the morning. She often comes up to me in the kitchen, hugs my leg and makes an "ahhh" noise at me to let me know I am having a cuddle. This always makes me melt inside and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful toddler in moments like these. ** Independence ** Some toddlers are more independent than others. We always thought Abby was very independent but we realised by accident we were still doing a lot of the stuff she should be doing for herself for her. Things like wiping her hands after her dinner, and walking to the car instead of being carried everywhere. I think it's important to look after your children, but also to encourage them to be independent. They will always know you're right behind them ready to help if they need it, but I realised it was because we wanted to do the things for Abby when we should encourage her. Having a toddler is hard work. Just because they can walk and sleep through the night doesn't mean the hard stuff is over, in fact it probably never is as each stage brings on a different set of challenges. Having a toddler is also greatly rewarding, and try to cherish the good times without getting bogged down with the bad times.

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                          15.01.2009 22:16
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                          Be sad to leave this stage behind, then he'll be a proper big boy

                          Well, the Toddler stage is definately more interesting, amusing and frustrating than I ever imagined! My little bundle of fun is now approaching 18 mths of age & he started walking properly at 13 mths, running at 14 mths, running after the dog with a whacking bat poised & ready at 15 mths you get the idea. From his first birthday he has developed in every way possible. He understands much more now, thankfully. He understood NO at a young age as he would react by crying and screaming if you mearly mentioned NO. He now understands that he needs to put things away or in the bin (with alittle help some of the time), he reacts when we ask for a kiss or a cuddle, he waves goodbye/goodnight, he knows names now and he is generally starting to communicate verbally more. He is starting to use a fork for his dinners but I think it's going to be a while before he can master this reliably. He can drink from a cup and at the same time wear the water which is fun, especially when it's a milkshake! His tastes are ever changing. He really enjoyed fruit for a while, now he's not so keen. It's the same with veg. One day I gave him pasta and the next time he gagged on it. I think he's just trying to experiment with different tastes & texures as when he spits things out I try and think of something new & different for him to try next time. We're not at the stage of potty training yet although I don't think that it's going to be too long. At the moment he enjoys playing with toy balls in the potty as he can spin them around so it looks like a roulette ball. My only hope is that he forgets this trick for when he is using the potty properly! Eww! My little boy is certainly full of spirit. He's an absolute angel behaviour wise most of the time but if he gets one on him he can be a monster! Throwing is a favourite along with hitting, biting when he's teething which is most of the time at the moment. On the positive side, he gives the best cuddles & kisses both to us & the dog who he adores. A couple of weeks back I caught him riding the dog holding both of his ears like a horses reins and he was 'woofing' like the dog says. Very amusing! He has worked out that if he piles the sofa cushions on top of each other that he climb on them and then jump off from some height, has to be seen but it's scary at times. He can work the child locks on the cupboard doors, open doors (including the oven door) which now has a good lock on it!, the list is endless. I take him to as many activity things as I can during the week as it wears him out a bit. He has great fun climbing, bouncing, sliding and swinging and it gives me a bit of time when we get home to get a couple of jobs done before he has re-charged his batteries again. I've probably made the Toddler stage sound a nightmare, but those of you that are or have been though it will understand. It's a magical time but a blumming tiring time at times! I love the stage that my son is at now, no two days are the same & I love it and I love my son more than anything else in the world.

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                            10.11.2008 22:48

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                            an amazing time, you just have to have eyes in the back of your head.

                            Whilst i was pregnant with my son, now 3, i had all these preconceived ideas of how my child would behave. OH MY GOD WAS I WRONG????? completely!! my perfect little baby boy has morphed from a tiny, immaculately clean and contented little bundle to a hyper blob of mess and dirt that can open anything, no matter how childproof it claims to be. He has a mind of his own, whether its jumping bottom first into the biggest puddle around or filling the toilet with shampoo. To make matters worse, when my little whirlwind was 11 months old i had my second child who is now 2. Together they traumatise the dog on a daily basis and prise the eggs out of the fridge, cos everyone knows they look much better splattered on the kitchen floor! At the same time, toddlers are at such a loving age and the cuddles and affection given by them both is amazing. they often fight over who gets to sit next to me or on my lap but its kinda cute. Sure, they fight, but they love each other so much and so help any child that picks on one, as they immediately come to each others aid. i love the fact that they will grow up together and learn things at the same time

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                            12.11.2006 00:02
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                            A lighthearted look at toddlers, now that mine are all grown up

                            Although my sons are long past the toddler stage, I have the advantage of being an auntie to a toddler and seeing things that I missed when mine were going through this stage. The reason that I missed these things was that I was too busy cleaning, wiping, tidying up after them. I used to wonder why my sons were always hungry as toddlers. I thought it was just a phase, but, having watched my nephew, I now understand why and I would advise any adult who is overweight to follow the toddler diet. It is very simple, doesn’t cost a lot and you are guaranteed to lose weight. Breakfast Porridge, Toast, Orange Juice While porridge is being made, take two fingers of toast, already spread with smooth peanut butter, Poke a hole in first piece of toast and then shake hand over side of chair until it falls on floor and eaten by dog. Take second piece of toast and squeeze between both hands, then throw on floor. Porridge Fill spoon with porridge and dump it onto tray, do this several times then stir porridge on tray. Spoon more porridge into hair and run hands through hair to ensure even coverage. Put both hands into bowl and mix porridge, making sure that both hands and arms are covered then wipe on legs. Orange Juice Make sure orange juice is in Tommee Tippee (or similar sprinker cup) and place in hand, wave hand over head. Pour some onto dog, then take lid off and pour remains onto tray. Mid-Morning Snack (best taken with bare feet) Peeled and Sliced Pear Handful of Grapes Take pear slices and press firmly into floor with foot, ensuring that it squidges through toes. Take grapes to window and press onto glass, then move around window until only skin is left and throw on floor. Lunch Home-made soup and wholemeal bread, Water Take all peas out of soup and mash into tray (using bread as masher) Dip bread into soup then squeeze between fingers, rub hands in hair. Place cup of water in middle of soup and press down. Throw cup on floor. Mid-Afternoon Snack Skips or Quavers (half pack), Water Take a few and squash into carpet with foot, add water and mix together into carpet. Take remainder and push firmly down side of sofa. Dinner Mince and Mashed Potatoes (with carrots), Yogurt and Water Eat Carrots and spit out all lumpy bits of mince and poke into ear, feed dog with remainder from spoon. Eat yogurt with fingers and wipe on legs, feed empty carton to dog. Take lid off cup and pour water onto floor. Supper Rice Pudding (or similar) Allow someone to feed this to you and devour every drop because you will be starving. Shout and scream as loud as you can when it is finished (think of the calories you will be using up) We never had a dog but I watch as my nephew's dog piles on the pounds, he thinks he has died and gone to heaven. He eats all day. So, there you have it, if you want to lose a few pounds for Christmas, follow the toddler diet…or if you want to avoid the above scenario, keep spoon-feeding them…lol

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                              27.09.2002 17:29
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                              Things that people never warn you about toddlers and babies 1) How ever many times you wash there faces, wipe there hands they are still sticky (think it must be some special kind of baby glue that they paint onto them selves when you turn you back on them!!!!!!!) 2) Give them just one tiny biscuit and they will turn it into 10000 teeny little crumbs 3) They will always need a wee/poo when the nearest loo is miles away 4) Will always pick the 50p bar of chocolate in the shop when you want them to have the packet of 10p sweets 5) They always put there shoes on the wrong feet how ever many times you show them which shoe goes on which foot 6) They are for ever hungry, yet hardly eat when you put food in front of them (unless it's chocolate, biscuits or sweets) 7) They always fall asleep in the most awkward places and then are wide awake when it's time for bed 8) If given play dough to play with they will stick it in there hair, given a felt tip pen they will draw all over them selves and given a crayon they will eat it 9) They always do a poo in there nappy two seconds after you have changed them 10) They are always sick two seconds after you have got them dressed 11) They will be on a go slow when ever you are late 12) They always put t-shirts/jumpers/ on the wrong way round and make a fuss when you suggest changing it round 13) The word why....................... is used at least 100 times a day (simply to drive you mad I am sure!!) 14) They insist on holding the spoon/fork them sleves even though the food always falls off when ever they hold it and ends up on floor/down clothes/on you......... 15) They will always be sick/wipe snot/dribble on you 1 minute before you leave the house 16) Play Dough is not for playing with, it's for pressing into your carpet/thowing about/eating 17) You will simply adore a nd love them forever even though they drive you mad, make you cross and annoy you most of the day 18) A smile/kiss/cuddle from them cheers you up no matter how bad you feel Would I be without my 3 yr old son and 1yr old daughter............................ No of course not I love them to bits :-)

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