20 Months is my Favourite

I have to admit, Augie has been quite a handful these last 6 months. He has been into bloody everything. These last couple of weeks he suddenly seems a little more chilled (hopefully I’m not jinxing this). In fact, I would say that this age has been my favourite so far (which says a lot because I loved the newborn stage).

The difference is communication, it’s actually a 2-way thing now and it means I can understand him more and he can tell me what he wants. His most used words are: help, more, no and up. He can pretty much express everything he needs with those 4 words, followed by “peeeeese” (please).

He was a very easy going baby, but he is one determined toddler. He must do everything himself! He says screams “I do, I do” when I try to help him. My dad made him a stand so he can help in the kitchen. Every morning he drags it to the bench and makes toast and coffee… and mess. I ask him:

Me: What do you want for breakfast?

Augie: Toast!

Me: What do you want on the toast?

Augie: Butter (meaning peanut butter)

Then he doesn’t eat it. πŸ˜‚

His obsession with the car is getting worse. I’ve given up and just plan to let him play in the car for 15 minutes before we go anywhere. It’s actually good because I can race around and pack his food and stuff without him in my hair (the garage is attached to the house and I can see him in the car). He pushes all the buttons and says “broom broom” and “beep beep” and when he’s done he puts himself in his car seat and I can strap him in and go. It’s a phase he’ll get over eventually.

He’s just starting to get into playing with dolls and stuffed toys. When he won’t get in his car seat, pram or high chair I will put one of his dolls or teddy bears in there and say “look, baby wants to sit in the pram” and he falls for it and gets in. He feeds them, gives them his sippy cups, kisses and cuddles them. It’s so cute. Yesterday I saw him put them in his doll pram and rock it back and forth and say “hushhhhh”, which is what he says when I sing hush little baby to him before he goes to sleep every night. So then I started singing hush little baby and he ran over to me and jumped in my arms and cuddled like he was going to sleep. Ahhhh so cute!

He has decided my step mum’s name is “fan” because they have fans at home and he loves them. So now every night when I put him to bed he says:

Nigh nigh Pooh (Winnie the Pooh, his favourite book)

Nigh nigh daddy

Nigh nigh mum

Nigh nigh Pop

Nigh nigh Fan

My step mum thinks it is hilarious and when he calls her “fan” she says “I’m your number one fan”.

With Pop and Fan!

Things are not going well are his swimming lessons. We had to change instructors because of the timing and he has not bonded with the new instructor and will not have a bar of it. The last instructor we had took the time to build a rapport and by lesson 2 he loved her and loved swimming. The new instructor just keeps her distance so she doesn’t upset him and she’s busy because it’s a full class. Last week he started crying when I got out his bathers to go to class so I decided to skip it, it’s meant to be fun and not worth getting upset about. We have an amazing indoor water park and pool only 20 minutes away so we might do our own play for the next few months instead and try lessons again in summer. Funnily enough, this week I ran into two of the mums from our previous class and they both had to change lessons too and have the same new teacher and their kids don’t enjoy it anymore and have also quit.

One nice thing for me is that he’s starting to become more of a mummy’s boy. He has always favoured his dad and will often scream if I pick him up because he only wants dad. πŸ’” He’s fine if it’s just me and him, but if he knows his dad is around, he just wants dad. Yesterday, for the first time, he screamed for me when AJ was trying to put him to bed and I can’t pretend I didn’t love it.

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5 Years Gone πŸ’—

My mum has been gone for 5 years now. The 23rd March. It’s funny how the 23rd day of the month has been significant for me: I was born on 23 December, Augie was born 23 July, my mum passed 23 March and we had another baby supposed to join our family on 23 June, but sadly they didn’t make it.

My world is so different now than the world I had when my mum was here. In those 5 years that she has been gone I’ve lived in 3 homes she never visited, had 3 jobs she didn’t know about, bought a new car that she hasn’t seen and, of course, I had my beautiful baby boy, August.

It’s actually hard to imagine her being here, though I do think about it every single day. I try to imagine what she would be like with Augie. All she ever wanted was to be a grandmother so I know she’d be in her element.

One day last year, my brother and his wife and daughter were visiting from Sydney. One afternoon my brother, my niece, Augie and I went to a local brewery for a quick drink. All I could think about was how my mum would give anything to be here in this simple moment with her kids and grandkids. I also wished she was here because taking a 1 year old and 2 year old to a brewery at 5.00 pm was a bloody handful!

I really struggled with the idea of having kids without my mum here. For a while, I didn’t want to get pregnant because I just couldn’t bear the thought of having a baby that my mum would never know. And it is as hard as I thought it would be.

I wish she was here to give me an extra pair of hands, to turn up with new singlets for Augie because she knows we needed them, to bring over dinner once in a while, to tell me I’m a good mum, but mostly just to delight in everything about Augie. I wish it so much for Augie too.

I miss you every single day mum.

Me and mum, this is how I remember her most

When mum was sick, the last time she saw the ocean

Mum with me and my older brother

19 Months is an Adventure

This month I am reminded of that poem “There was a little girl…”, my mum used to sing that poem to me all the time. I actually sung it to her when she was taking her last breaths as it reminds me of being a little girl and my mum singing to me. But that’s not the point of this story, the part I can relate to with Augie is:

When she was good, she was very good indeed, but when she was bad she was horrid.

This describes Augie right now. Most of the time he is pure sunshine. Absolutely hilarious, saying funny things, being cute and cheeky and sweet. He’s full of smiles and hugs and kisses and silly games.

Then he has a tantrum. A full on toddler tantrum. Holy shit. It’s so hard. The poor little guy must have a lot of big emotions happening. I find it hard to know how to handle them. Sometimes I try to distract him, other times I ignore him. It breaks my heart though because I just want to pick him up and give him a cuddle.

The main things he tantrums over are wanting to play with the peanut butter jar (it’s glass so he can’t have it and I tried buying him a plastic brand but he’s smart enough to know that’s not the ‘real’ PB we eat) and wanting to play in the car. He loves to sit in the car and push buttons and pretend to drive, but it’s too hot to sit in there for too long. Or of course wanting the bloody phone. We barely let him use it, but he’s obsessed. I try to stay off my phone around him, but I need to be somewhat attached for work.

It’s so hard to know the right way to deal with these tantrums. I worry that my gentle approach could turn him into a brat. I don’t know how to find the right balance. I guess this is being a mum… always worrying that you have messed up your child! The good thing is that at playgroup yesterday, two mum’s I’m friends with mentioned their son’s behaviour had drastically changed this month in very similar ways to Augie. They are all born within a month of each other so I’m hoping it’s just a phase.

Augie has become so much more curious about people. He’s still shy, but he will approach people sometimes now and want to interact. He walks up to bigger kids and pats them on the back, they normally just look at him like he’s a weirdo, but that’s ok. I think he’s grown in confidence and it’s so lovely to watch.

With his cousin

He still struggles with new people though, we had to change swimming lessons because the time he had was during his nap. I knew it would be a disaster. We’ve had 5 weeks of his head in my neck and clinging onto me for dear life. He loves swimming, but he doesn’t like new people and the new lessons seem more basic than his old lessons. I sneak away and let him jump off the side of the pool or swim under water and his whole face lights up again. We’ll get there!

This month Augie took his first flight. It was only very short, Melbourne to Sydney (a little over an hour). Wow. How do people do long flights with toddlers? He just wanted to wiggle and play and Jetstar flights do not have much room. Can you believe that on the way home the woman in front of AJ (who had Augie in his lap) put her seat back? FFS. Honestly, I have no desire to go on anymore flights with Augie until he’s a little easier to entertain.

Oh and I tried to be tricky and booked the flight for during his nap time. That was a mistake. He finally fell asleep as the plane wheels touched down on landing so I had to carry him all through the airport, to get our bags, to the pick up area across the other side of the airport where my sister in law picked us up. Then he woke up as soon as we got in the car.

Actually, travelling with Augie this trip felt exhausting. He is just into everything at the moment. We stayed with my brother and sister in law and, even though they have a 2 year old, their house is not childproofed. Their daughter just doesn’t get into things (I’m so jealous). Drawers with knives, medicines left out, chemicals in cupboards, all the kitchen cupboards had breakable things in them, the stair gates were often left open and so many things for him to destroy. For instance, there was a glass candle sitting on a shelf where toys are kept so Augie dropped it on the tiles and of course smashed everywhere. I just had to follow him around for 5 days. Plus he never sleeps well when we travel. Remind me not to go anywhere for the next 6 months.

Augie got his first two eye teeth through this month and the other two will be through soon I hope. They have been causing him to be a bit cranky and waking during the night. Hopefully after this we get a little break before his 2 year old molars come through. I hate seeing him sad.

His sleep has been much better this month. He’s sleeping 8.00 pm – 7.00 am with a nap between 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm. Like I mentioned, he has been waking and needing cuddles, but that’s ok, he just likes to put his head on my chest and snuggle in.

Oh and the big news for me to whinge about this month is that we need to move house again. The owners of our property are moving in so we need to find a new house. Fark!!!!!! I do not want to move house. Trying to move with a toddler and with both AJ and I working from home is going to be tough. Plus I love my house and location and I don’t think we’ll be that lucky again. The silver lining is that I will be able to get a house without stairs. I still have night terrors every single night about Augie’s accident. I wake up and think Augie is going to fall down the stairs and have to check the stair gates and check he’s in his cot, except I’m still asleep and so confused and think I’ve lost him. It’s awful and I’m relieved that I can hopefully find a house without stairs now. AJ will be relieved that I’ll be slightly less crazy now.

This all sounds very negative, Augie has been a handful for sure, but still a constant delight. He’s started loving The Wiggles and dancing to Hot Potato. He repeats everything I say, even full sentences, but they don’t make much sense coming from him. He can count to 10 (most of the time anyway) and sings along when we sing the alphabet. He still plays peekaboo obsessively and his new favourite book is Winnie the Pooh. He’s finally getting the hang of colouring in, but he gets distracted quickly and eats the crayon. The weird new thing he does is follow me to the toilet and pass me toilet paper and then try to pull my underwear up for me. Oh and the funniest new word he says “doodle”. He says it “doo-dool” and I laugh every time I hear him say it.

19 Months is an adventure.