Tuesday, March 1, 2011

McKenna Toddler Summary: 23 Months Old

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I just had a mini-panic attack. I started thinking in a month, McKenna would be a preschooler. No! Whew! Still a toddler. This is a summary for McKenna 22-23 months old--so her month as a 22 month old.

EATING
McKenna has slowed down her eating a tiny bit. Not because she is less interested in food, but because she is more interested in playing with her siblings than eating. As soon as they leave the table, she is done in most cases.

McKenna LOVES sweets--and she has an amazing radar. She knows something is good even if she has never seen or had it. And things she has seen only a handful of times are very close to her heart. Yesterday I made a trifle cake, and when I took the cake out of the oven, she said, "Mmmm! Cake!"

HIGHCHAIR TO BOOSTER
We made the big plunge. McKenna is out of the high chair and into the booster. With Brayden and Kaitlyn, we did that much, much younger. Closer to 17/18 months. We lived in a different house then and the high chair slightly cramped the kitchen. In this house, it makes no difference. I also wanted them out of the high chair long enough to have some enjoyable time without it in my kitchen before the next baby needed it.

I had been telling my husband we needed to move her over soon for a few months. Then one day at meal time, she ran to a chair and climbed up on it. We decided to take the hint and pull out the booster. 

PLAYING
McKenna is significantly less messy when playing than she was a month ago. She really likes to play and is starting to be more interested in playing with things like babies and ponies, so she and Kaitlyn have a lot of fun playing together. Another favorite of hers is the toy kitchen and the cash register.

NAPS
Naps are still at 1:30 and going well.

She was sick during this month (we all were) and there were several times she cried mid-nap. I would go in, rock her for about 5-15 minutes, then put her back in bed and she would go back to sleep.

I have also noticed that she will wake up after an hour if I get her down to late. One day we were out playing in the fresh snow and I lost track of time. When I brought her in, it was 2:30. She woke an hour later. Again, I rocked her, then put her back down. 

Some kids wouldn't do well with the rocking. Some (like Brayden) would do better with you just going in, laying them back down, and gently telling them it is still time for nap and go back to sleep. But McKenna does far better with a little rocking.

NIGHTTIME SLEEP
Completely uneventful, even when she was sick.

YES MEANS YES
Around Thanksgiving, McKenna started saying "no" when she meant "yes." Not a big deal; that is a common thing for kids to do. I figured she would snap out of it in a couple of weeks. Well, a couple of months later, my husband and I really started to work with her. She had gotten to the point of shaking her head along with the "no" and furrowing her eyebrows--definitely a sign of "no" but she meant "yes."

So we overexagerated our "yes" with nodding our heads and anytime she said no but meant yes, we waited (while prompting) until she said "yes" instead. She is now about 90-95% of the time saying no only when she means no.

ELMO
Still in love. She has also grown quite fond of Abby (is that the right way to spell it?).

TEETH
I think I forgot to mention teeth last month. She got two top pointy teeth last month, and her bottom this month. She did really well with the teething. 

DOGS
You might be curious how she feels about dogs after being bit by one. She has this love/hate feeling toward dogs. McKenna LOVES animals, and dogs are no exception. I think most kids love animals. Anytime she sees a dog, she walks toward it, then moves back, then toward it, then back, etc. She wants to pet the dog, but she is really nervous.

And I am also very nervous! I have never been one to be nervous around dogs, but now when I see a dog, I don't want it around my kids. Hopefully I can get to a healthy balance between fear and caution. I do think it is worth it to be a little overly cautious (surprising, I am sure ;) ).

PETS
Speaking of dogs, we had a dog of ours die at the end of this month. She was the best kid dog to ever grace this earth. We will miss her, but she was 20 (yes, 20) and had been battling cancer for a couple of years, so we were glad to have her as long as we did. In case you are wondering, I got her when I was a kid. 

I was surprised at how McKenna reacted. I didn't expect her to get at all what was going on, but she seemed to get it completely. She even cried. She loved that dog. A sad thing is that I had hoped that dog would be the one to teach McKenna to not fear dogs anymore, but I guess not. 

LEARNING
McKenna's ability to express what she knows has really taken off and I am amazed! She can count to 6 consistently by herself. She can suddenly say letters and sounds on her own when a couple of months ago, she often couldn't (or wouldn't) do it when prompted. 

This is a common thing to follow that "time" when toddlers around this age (18-22 months range usually) go through a rough patch, but they come out this whole new person who speaks better and can suddenly spurt forth all that she knows in her head--or at least a lot more. 

OUR SCHEDULE
8:15--breakfast
9:00--bath/get ready
10:00--sibling playtime with Kaitlyn
10:30--independent playtime11:30--learning time. Sometimes lunch is later and she watches Elmo here.
12:00--lunch. Then play with Brayden and Kaitlyn
1:30--nap
4:00/4:30: get up5:00--Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00--in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.

Times are approximate

2 comments:

Michael and Yvonne said...

So sorry about the loss of your dog! They do become members of the family. I was wondering how you handled it with your older kids. I had 2 cats pass away but each was when they were younger (my oldest was 17 months the first time, the other about 2/2.5) and she didn't really grasp it well. I kind of downplayed it and they were so young they kind of forget quickly (out of sight, out of mind). I took them to the vet myself to be put down,etc. But now she is 4 and I have a cat who is 17.5 and I know her time is coming near and I was just wondering what you did. She is definitely at an age where she would grasp the situation and I wasn't sure how parents handled it.Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

the first thing we did was let them know before hand that she was getting older and would die sometime soon. I don't know if that was the best thing to do or not, but it is what we did.

Once she actually died, we told them she had died then took them all out to see her.

We dug a grave under a tree in our yard. We gathered around the grave and each said something about her (well, McKenna didn't). We said a prayer, wrapped her in a blanket, and covered her up.

I think being open about it and letting them express their feelings is important. Be ready to talk about it often and to have your child get upset for seemingly no reason, and then find out that she is missing the animal.

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