The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Amy – 20 months – Part I

Part I I am long overdue a post about Amy and where she is at in her life. Its been a hectic few months since Christmas and once again time seems to be getting away with me so I have decided to slow it all down and make sure that I take the time to do the things I want to do with Amy, like make playdough, bake cupcakes and let her run around outside in the nude on a warm enough day! It’s official now that this summer was the coldest in Sydney for 50 years in that we never recorded a temperature above 31 degrees. Summer is officially over as of the 1st March and this morning we woke to the deep blue skies that herald the start of autumn. In fact I don’t remember seeing the kind of faded blue skies that you get on a hot, hot day here in Sydney for a long time. I know we had a couple of hot days before Christmas but the sad reality is that Amy has a lot of very sweet summer dresses and clothes that she will have grown out of without getting a chance to wear thanks to the cooler weather. I am not really complaining because I don’t do hot weather well and our little house does heat up quickly even though we can harness every breath of breeze with all the windows open.
But I digress, I am supposed to be talking about Amy and that’s a good place to start, with talking. Amy is a phenomenal talker, of course I would say that though wouldn’t I, but seriously, she really does talk up a storm. Her list of words is too long to go into but imagine a little parrot who repeats back the last work of everything you say, hence the reason why she has been going around this morning saying “bugger” very loudly and clearly. (That was Ron this time, not me, ok?) Amy has been putting together sentences for a while now, since at least Christmas actually. They started out simply “Amy too?” if she wants what we are having, “Amy walk” if she wants to get put down and lots of “Amy juice/milkie/nummy/bickie” depending on what she is requesting. I remember being quite amazed that she had made the connection between her name, and herself. More amazing to me was the next development where she started adding in additional words or possessives by saying “Amy got juice” or “Daddy gone work”. At this point I am starting to realise that learning at Amy’s age is on a whole different scale than what I was expecting!

Spending time with Amy is altogether more rewarding and more frustrating as a result of her speech. She can tell me when something has happened, “Amy naughty milkie” means that she has spilled her milk somewhere and it needs to be wiped up. Or “Amy go cleen too” which means she wants her own cloth to help clean up. Amy can ask for something to eat or drink and mealtimes are a lot easier. I don’t give her too many choices because she is still easily overwhelmed and confused, but she can ask for an “appoo” or a “bada” when I offer an apple or a banana. She loves “noonoos” or noodles and her favourite foods are still “pakka” (pasta) although she will have it with sauce now which is good news because for a while I thought she was on a beige food diet when all she would eat was plain pasta, bananas and sometimes some toast or weetbix! She loves “mightymite” (vegemite) and has also started asking for “lorries” which is her way of asking for a lolly, or a sweetie when you are not an Aussie! She doesn’t get these very often though, birthdays and special occasions.
Off the top of my head some more words that Amy uses regularily, “bubboos” (bubbles), “compooter”, “camera”, “beer” or “Mummy’s beer” when she means wine. “Puggle” for puzzle, “hippooo”, “raffe” for giraffe and she still doesn’t say lion or tiger but instead just says “raarrr”. She knows all the farmyard animals and most of the wild animals, we watched my old copy of Jock of the Bushveld the other day which for those of you who don’t know, is an old South African movie adapted from the book of the same name which was very special to me as a child. I adored the book and watched the movie over and over when it finally came out on tape. The soundtrack has lots of Johny Clegg and the scenery reminds me of holidays in the bushveld as a child. It was good to show Amy the wild animals in their natural habitat after a friend mentioned the other day that her daughter had seen an elephant on tv and asked her Daddy why that animal wasn’t in a cage because the only time she had ever seen an elephant was in the zoo!

Amy likes to read along with her bedtime stories now, repeating the last thing we read which makes for fun times when we are reading anything by Dr Seuss! Her favourite book now is one that was given to her by our lovely neighbour across the road and it’s a bright, shiny book with lots of different versions of “Row, row, row your boat” and as a result Amy will happily sing “wow, wow, wow” and a garbled sounding merrily, merrily. She loves to play the game when we sit on the ground and hold each others hands and push and pull backwards and forwards singing “Row, row”. Amy will sometimes ask for a “show” on tv now as we sometimes turn the tv to the kids channel and she will watch the Backyardigans or Hi-5 or a show about fairies. She will sit happily engrossed for half an hour or so which means I can do the hoovering or a quick tidyup.

The frustrations around speech come in when you ask Amy something, or tell her and she insists on shouting “nooooo” at the top of her voice. “Amy, its time for your bath now” and she will adamantly insist that its not and then run away. Also she totally abuses my name and will incessantly chant “mummy, mummy, mummy” until I come over and see whats happening but in actual fact she just wanted to get my attention for no reason! For the same reason she often asks for a biccy because she knows this will get a reaction from me, usually in the negative but it still won’t stop her asking. I have tried to stop what I am doing and sit down with her and have a play if she starts calling for me or asking for things because often what she needs is just some one on one attention and then she is happy. We do quite a few things together now like hanging out the washing or cleaning, even cooking and tidying up. Amy loves to clean and if I get out my bucket and mop she will get her little mini version out and happily mop around me being very unhelpful but awfully sweet!

The other wonderful speech development is that Amy can now say “I love you”. It started out with us prompting her to say it when it was bed time and she would parrot back “aluboo Mummy” but now when we say “I love you Amy” she says straight back “aluboo Mummy or Daddy” and its enough to melt your stoney heart. Last weekend I was working with my sister in law on both Friday and Saturday nights and I will happily admit that it was worth going to work just to be able to hear Amy say “aluboo Mummy” on the phone before bedtime. Its incredible hearing her voice on the phone now, she sounds so different, such a little girl, so individual and certainly not my little baby anymore. Amy has definitely transitioned from that cute, cuddly baby stage to the proper little girl stage.

Sleeping is going well again after the adjustment to getting back to Sydney. It took nearly a week for Amy to sleep consistently through the night again but once she did, she settled back into a comfortable routine very easily. She still goes down between 7 and 7.30pm without a squeak and will usually wake up around 7am. Sometimes she wakes during the night, usually before we go to bed which is thoughtful of her and most often because she is a bit hot and sweaty or she has lost her dummy and all it takes is a pat or two and she goes back to sleep. I have had more trouble with the daytime nap since getting back from the UK and I am starting to think that I am one of those unlucky mothers who’s child can easily get away without having an afternoon sleep. Before our holiday Amy was going down at 12.30 and sleeping until at least 2 or 2.30pm. Since getting back its been trickier getting her down and she has been waking sooner more regularily. On the rare days that I get the timing right she will go down around 1pm and sleep till 3pm but she is also quite happy to grab a half hour in the car and then go right through till bedtime with no obvious side-effects apart from a mother that is looking a little ragged around the edges. I found it hard when Amy transitioned from two sleeps to one and now its even harder because that hour or so at lunch is the only respite I get from a very energetic, questioning and time consuming toddler! I will persist for as long as possible getting her down during the day, it’s really the best for both of us although the plus side is that we aren’t entirely housebound because Amy is ok without a sleep if we are out and about.

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