The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Amy is 2 years and 9 months
Amy is exactly two years and nine months old today. I need to write a quick update about where she is at in her life, before it changes forever and she becomes a big sister. I used to be good at updating Amy’s milestones but since she turned two I seem to have run out of the time necessary to sit down and think for long enough to put an update together! This might be because Amy is a high energy little girl with a big personality who keeps me very busy. We go to three playgroups in a week, all offer a very different kind of environment but fulfill different areas of Amy’s social development.

Monday playgroup is big but well organised with crafts and stories and singing and a mixed age of child. Amy has a few friends she enjoys playing with and is self-sufficient and independent. We arrive, she runs off and I only hear her calling for me occasionally when she wants her morning tea or something to drink. I still keep a close eye on her to ensure she is behaving well but overall she is pretty good in group situations and able to resolve conflict with other children around her age effectively.
Tuesday playgroup is a more hectic, less organised affair but we have been going there for the longest time so know people pretty well. I like the fact that we all bring a piece of fruit which we then prepare and all the children sit down around a table to share morning tea together. Its a good lesson in taking instruction and following the rules and setting a good example and now that Amy is one of the oldest children in this group its good for her to learn to interact with children younger than her. Wednesdays playgroup is the most recent addition and Amy is older than all the other children again so its been a good lesson in learning to relate to younger children. Its hard for Amy to understand that younger children don’t know how to talk or share and that she needs to be gentle and kind. If someone snatches a toy off her she will shout and snatch it back and say that they need to share, this usually works on a kid her age or older but definitely doesn’t apply to babies or toddlers who can’t yet talk. Its hard work for me running interference but good life lessons for Amy.
Amy is a strong willed child, as likely to shout loudly about something as she is to share kindly. She has a sweet nature and a good memory so on our way to a playgroup with the little children I will ask her how we behave and she will say “I need to be gentle and talk nicely to the little children” so she definitely understands whats required of her but sometimes acting on it is a lot harder. She does fight me and can throw a mean tantrum but her excellent communication skills mean I can talk her out of a temper more often than give in to them. Time outs work well with Amy, she sometimes needs to get away from a situation to process it and a quiet moment away from the noise and excitement is enough to calm a meltdown.

Amy sleeps well at night when she isn’t fighting a cold in which case she has a nasty night cough which has caused me some sleepless nights. She only coughs when she lies down which leads me to think its postnasal but it has been suggested by our family Dr that she is showing a tendancy to sensitive airwaves which could be a precursor to childhood asthma so its something we just have to wait out. She is in otherwise perfect health and usually goes to bed happy and wakes up happy. She sleeps in her big girl bed, usually surrounded by books rather than soft toys although she does request to have Biscuit her African bear in bed with her along with her collection of hard plastic dollies. I have a whole collection of photos of her asleep with various books over her face as she falls asleep midstory. Ron and I alternate between being happy that she loves books and reading so much and being frustrated that so often bedtime becomes a negotiation as to how many stories we will read! The first rule of parenthood “do not negotiate with the hostage taker!” Amy has not mentioned her dummy since the day after we ‘left it at Granma’s’ and although there have been a few occasions when I wished we still had it, overall its been a great success and I am happily planning on using a dummy for this baby and not stressing for a minute about how long the baby will use it or how we will get rid of it.Amy still has a sleep most afternoons at about 1pm, if she doesn’t actually sleep she will still go into her bedroom and lie in her bed for an hour reading or singing to herself which has given me a great rest during the day. She hasn’t realised that she is perfectly capable of getting out of bed herself and so every morning and each nap time she calls out “Mummy (or Daddy) I’m awake, come and get me!” Ron and I are perfectly happy for this to continue for as long as we can manage it, it would be easier sometimes just for her to get out of bed on her own but for now she is still contained in her bed and her room until we liberate her! Its ironic actually as our doorhandles are so low that she has been able to open and close the doors in our house for months now! If we are a little slow going in to get her in the monrnings when she wakes between 7 and 7.30am she will lie and count “one, two, three DADDY” and increase the volume until we respond!Talking about counting, Amy can count to 20 on her own and has a great memory for nursery rhymes and songs. She has come back from a weekend at Grandma’s reciting a story or a song that I don’t know and it amazes me how she will hear something one week and then be able to sing it days later, perfectly. She can recite most of her favourite story books out loud and read along with us and although we do point to the words, we are not actively trying to teach her. I have had so many discussions with early childhood experts and teachers who are adamant that parents should spend their time playing imaginatively with their toddlers until they start structured preschool and then we should be helping them with their learning. If we start too soon children can become bored, restless and unsettled in a classroom environment and this can lead to problems with behaviour before they have even begun learning or started school. Amy and I play together a lot and her favourite toys are still things she can pretend with. We play shopping and hairdressers (irony = I don’t go to hairdressers and Amy has only had two haircuts in her life, both of which she hated!) and I try and spend time letting Amy show me how she wants me to play.

Amy is lots of fun, quick to laugh and very demonstrative, she will often turn to me and kiss me on my shoulder or come over and give me a pat and ask “you alright Mummy?” She tells us she loves us frequently and spontaneously and says the same thing about her friends. She cries when we leave someone’s house after a play and will say “but I love so-and-so, they are my best friend”. She likes to arrange her own playdates and will ask someone’s Mummy if she can go round to their house which has made for some interesting conversations with Mummys that I don’t know that well! Amy is happy to spend time with other people and never cries when she goes to Grandma’s or spends the morning with a friend which makes me happy, I would hate it if she suffered from seperation anxiety after having spent so much time with me. I know we have some big changes coming up in our lives but I feel very lucky to have had so much one-on-one time with my daughter before introducing a sibling into her life.

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