Butterfly is almost 20 months, and this is the BEST age! I have to laugh at myself for saying that, because I have been saying that every month since she was born... but parenthood just keeps getting better!
Butterfly's speech has exploded of late, she can say so many words I have lost count, and even strings together three words sentences, "Daddy find lid?" And can count to THREE!
Its an absolute delight to hear whats on her little mind, and I was super surprised to hear her tell me a story that happened 3 days prior... "Elmo, dance. Jossie pop. No Fee!" Translation: when we were at Seaworld watching Elmo dance, I gave Butterfly a lollipop and one to her friend, Fee (much to Butterfly's distaste!)
She LOVES to go and help Daddy with the snakes (he breeds pythons), she told me yesterday, holding up a little hand "Mummy stay. Jossie, Daddy nakes"! OK baby, I will stay here while you and Dad check the snakes! She knows the drill, she waits till Daddy opens up a box, she takes out the water bowl, waits for Daddy to pick up the newspaper to find the baby snake, and puts out her hands for a hold! Bindi Irwin, eat your heart out!
Holding a hatchling carpet python...
Here she is telling me, "Nake, bite!"
She wasn't bitten, but she knows that they can!
We also play hide and seek every night, it is SO much fun! Daddy and Butterfly are a team, and I am on my own. It is adorable to hear her squealing in anticipation as I get close to finding them. The best spot for me to hide is under her unicorn next to the mirror in her playroom... its actually a pretty lame hiding spot, except Butterfly is so taken with her own reflection that she rarely notices me! LOL! She asks to play hide and seek by saying, "Find, one, two..." counting on her fingers, then squealing and running away with Daddy when I start to count! Oh, Butterfly, I love you!
Yesterday I asked her what Mummy milk tasted like... "Dusoo" she replied? Whaaaa? "So is it yummy?" I ask
"So its yucky?"
"So why do you drink it then?"
*Laughs at herself* "Ohhhh, Jossie!"
What a sausage!
She is such a joy and a laugh at home, that I forget the stage she is going through in relation to her peers. She is currently claiming ownership of every toy ever invented (hers or not) and will push the other kids in the face if they get too close/want a turn of a toy. At first I was really self conscious about it... being an attached parent I am paranoid that people expect my daughter to be an angel ALL the time, and that I must not be doing it right. It is still very awkward when your child hurts another child, but I have come to the realisation that it is just a phase, one that many kids go through. I can remember her cousin being the same at the same age, and recently had a friend ask me on facebook about their own child lashing out.
I recently watched the film, "Babies" (make sure you see it!), and the opening sequence eased my mind greatly. Two little African tribal babies were sitting pounding rocks together. One reached over to take a squashed bottle from next to the other one, who snatched it back. So the baby bit him... and got a good smack in return! PHEW! It IS normal!
My current strategy for dealing with Butterfly's behaviour is to stop her from hitting the other child (when I can), telling her we don't hit, and having a LOT of practice at home taking "turns". A wise mother once told me that the concept of sharing is difficult for babies, because it implies that they can't have anything to themselves (and toddlers are, by nature and through no fault of their own, selfish). Taking turns is a much more appealing concept, because they get a toy to themselves for a time, then the other child has it for a time.
Its hard yakka, though, I often have to fight for a "turn" of my own breakfast!
Now, I dislike parents badmouthing their kids on the internet, and thats not what I am doing here. Butterfly is a loving and kind hearted child, who I ADORE! I don't hold this phase against her, she is simply being a toddler. But I wanted to write about it to reassure any other Mums who are currently dealing with the same thing!