Maddie is officially two and she is a very bright smart girl. I'm constantly surprised by how much she has learned over the past few months. Today, she began talking almost exclusively in sentences and she was quite the chatterbox. Previously she had peppered her babble with a few sentences, mostly of the "I fell" or "Nu-Nu fell" or "Elmo fell" variety (do you see a pattern here?). But today it was all kinds of complex sentences and differing verbs.
Maddie can also count to 11. Do you believe that? Well, you shouldn't because her counting basically goes like this: tree, four, five, seben, eight nine, leven. She also knows one and two, but they are sort of isoteric integers.
Despite the many places that Maddie excels, there are several areas that we need to work on. And surprise, surprise all of these would be areas that need to be introduced to her and just haven't been. So here we go... These are my confessions:
1. Maddie still drinks out of a bottle. While Maddie has taken to sippy cups of all kinds for water (and also the occassional shot class
(Thanks, Grandma!), for some reason she just will not drink milk out of anything but a bottle. At one point, I tried. It was a standoff. She refused liquids of any sort. I was going deaf, so I caved. It was a bad situation. She is a total baby on this one, carries a bottle with her all day long, nurses that puppy and yup, even chews on the nipple. (Yes, Rob, I said nipple.)
2. Maddie still has a nu-nu (pacifier for those of you not from Rob's family). She carries it with her everywhere. She sleeps with it, talks with it... Oh wait, I don't have to tell you this, you've seen it in just about every picture I've ever posted. The day Maddie was born, before they even brought her from the nursery to my room, the nurse gave her a nu-nu. I remember her saying something like, "Wow, that baby needs to suck." She's been relatively placid about it, but she really needs it for sleep. And as you will soon see, I ain't messing around with sleep.
3. I still rock Maddie to sleep at night (and often at nap time). I refuse to comment on Maddie's sleep as I am a highly superstitious person, but I will discuss her going to bed routine. We established a nighttime routine almost immediately after taking Maddie home from the hospital. But her nighttime routine and her daytime routine involved a lot of cuddling. I confess, I just couldn't put her down. Things have gotten quite a bit better in more recent months, as I mentioned here. Maddie gets a bath, we read two stories, I have a little night-night saying, she gets a (few) kiss(es), and then I sing to her. Approximately 37 verses of Amazing Grace until she falls asleep and then I put her down. In recent weeks, Maddie has been initiating a move to the crib right after story time (Hallelujah!). However, usually being in the crib just excites her and she has "probelems" (on purpose) falling asleep which can only be solved by jumping in her crib. But we're working on it.
4. Maddie still takes a bath in the kitchen sink. Her grandma is going to be upset about this one, because she just gave Maddie a whole bunch of bathtub stuff for her birthday in June. But hey, that was only one month ago. It took me a while to buy a bath stopper. And I really need to clean the tub (Hey, I live with Rob. What can I say?) Really this one is 100% me being lazy. At first it was a save-my-back thing, now it's just kind of a bathroom-phobia thing. I don't know. These are all just excuses. I really have nothing to say here.
5. Maddie still sleeps in a crib. I never felt like this was a behind the curb thing, but I am astounded at the number of people who have already transitioned their 18 month olds to big-kid beds. We have a really good reason for this one. Have you heard about how much trouble we have with Maddie's sleeping? Uh, she can sleep in a crib until she's 20 as long as she sleeps. Oh, and when we're at Kopeka, Maddie sleeps in a big-big- kid bed (a queen size bed). She does fine, but she wakes up a lot, mostly because of the change of surroundings. And when Rob woke up in the morning, she was sitting on the couch, holding her Cinderella video case, pointing at it saying "Princess." Is it just me or does the thought of my two-year-old running around the house by herself inspires nightmares?
PS. Maddie is nowhere near potty-trained. I'm adding this as a PS, because I am perfectly fine with her not being potty-trained. But again, I am astounded at how many 18 month olds are already potty trained. Maddie just really isn't ready for this one yet. I thought she was getting closer this weekend, when she started grabbing at her diaper saying "Uh-oh" but then I changed her and realized her diaper had come open and was literally falling off. Any way, I'll add this to my confessions, but am not exactly in a rush.
Now, that I have confessed all my little secrets, here's the biggest secret of all. I'm kind of ok with all of this. So maybe Maddie is a little behind the curve on some things. None of these "sins" are really hurting her -- other than the kitchen sink thing (I mean her legs basically stick out of the tub at weird angles.)
Before Maddie was born, I really figured I would be some sort of supermom. I mean, hello, have you met my mother? And I have her genes. But as it turned out I'm just plain old like everyone else.
And here's a message to all you future moms or new moms, nobody's perfect. Don't expect yourself to be. Those perfect moms that you see at the park? They totally ignore their kids at home so they can watch their soaps. And they probably feed their kids out of dirty dishes, too. There's a ton of self-imposed pressure to be perfect, and any little challenge can sometimes seem like a sign, but at the end of the day when you look at your baby and he or she is happy you know you've done a good job.
The summer months have definitely inspired my thoughtful side and I've been thinking pretty seriously about how I would like to grow, both as an individual and a mother. And while I'm being kinder to myself and more forgiving of myself, I am going to be putting my new growth to the test by slowly addressing some of these development steps. Stay tuned for updates!