Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Toddler Summary: 26 Months Old

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McKenna and one of our new kittens

This is a summary of McKenna for 25-26 months old (just over 2 years old).

This was a hard month for us--at least the last two weeks. Let's go right to that.

I think our big stressor was our two new kittens. McKenna loves the kittens, but she doesn't know how to hold them correctly. This results in her grabbing them by the neck. I show her how to hold them, and I put them in her lap and put her hands in the right spot. She now does pretty well (but must be supervised), but we had a week where things were rough. She would not hold them right, so she didn't get to hold them if she wouldn't hold them right. 

It got me thinking about how Kaitlyn and Brayden were as two year olds so far as listening to me. They listened really well. I was trying to figure out what was different. I thought, I pondered, and I prayed.

One morning it hit me. The difference was that I had a newborn. This is significant because I was on a very predictable, 3 hour routine. This meant the toddler was also on a very predictable routine each day. McKenna, however, is on a routine that times can vary 60 minutes. She also has lots of disruptions as we attend dance practice, soccer games, and other things for the big kids.

I knew my answer was to get a structured routine. Contrary to what it may seem, this will be much easier to do in the summer. Our weekends are busy, but our days will be easy to control with no sports, music, or school. So I made up our summer schedule and things have gotten much smoother since then. Whew!

So it all comes down to structure. Toddlers really need structure and predictability, so that is what I am trying to achieve.

Eating is all normal and the same. She still eats well and still eats just about anything.

Playing is all good and normal.

Sleep is all good.

I am thinking about moving her nap up possible to 1:15 instead of 1:30. I am going to experiment.

One thing to note, though, is the issue of taking a long time to fall asleep at night. I don't worry about this because pretty much every two year old does this. McKenna recently started. See 2 Year Old Sleep Problems. It doesn't bother me since I knew it was coming. I just shake my head when I hear her singing to herself at 9:45 PM. Crazy kid.

Learning is going well. She knows most (or all?) of the things you quiz a two year old about. 

Her language is good. She speaks well, communicates well, and likes to repeat what we say.

McKenna has several friends her age. It is so interesting to watch her play with them. They get along so well and really play with each other. They speak "baby gibberish" to each other and seem to understand it. She really loves to play with the kids her age.

Our Schedule
Since I changed the schedule at the end of the month, I will put the old schedule here.

9:00--bath/get ready
10:00--sibling playtime with Kaitlyn
10:30--independent playtime
1:30--learning time. Sometimes lunch is later and she watches Elmo here.

12:00--lunch. Then play with Brayden and Kaitlyn
4:00/4:30: get up
5:00--Dinner. Free play and family time
8:00--in bed by this time. Sometimes sooner.

Times are approximate--I also sometimes rearrange things for no good reason other than I want to. And actually, we usually end up with learning time being after nap time. 


Melissa M said...

I'm so glad you mentioned the two-year-old sleeping problem. My twins are 23 months and one of them has been taking forever to fall asleep for the last couple of months. He (usually) isn't upset, but it takes him an hour or more to go to sleep most nights. Last night I heard him reciting his ABC's almost two hours after bedtime. I'm so glad to know this is normal!!

Ellyn said...

I love reading your summaries! Thank you for all the time you take to share with us. I am curious to see the new schedule for McKenna. How did it differ from the one you posted? The one you posted looks awesome to me and I am wondering within the old schedule where it was loose. I think that was very insightful of you to notice that her listening wasn't going like you had hoped because of her schedule. I wonder that about my toddler too. Sometimes I feel like we have bad days because I am so scheduled and we do things other than what he wants to be doing and sometimes I feel like our days are off because he's bored and my schedule could be tighter.

Jess said...

I, too, LOVE your summaries! It's just nice to see your schedule and compare mine. My newly-turned-2-yr-old son follows your youngest's schedule so closely that I had to chuckle at the singing at 9:45 pm. "Inkle inkle ittle star" is heard through our son's closed door (tehe). I also have a five year old daughter who was the poster child for the three hour schedule her first year due to Babywise. Thanks for being so detailed and so very helpful. To me, you are reassuring and a reminder of what I may have forgotten. Just wanted to encourage you to keep up the great work.

Plowmanators said...

Ellyn, it wasn't necessarily that the plan was bad--it was that we we not super consistent about it. The new post is up by now so you can see it. Hope that helps!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks so much Jess! I really appreciate it.

Kristy Powers said...

I missed this post when it was first published but came looking for it for the exact reason you mentioned: I know my toddler needs more structure right now. He, too, is often at the mercy of his older brother's schedule. This and the next post with your new schedule are going to be very helpful!

Plowmanators said...

I hear you Kristy! We are in the heat of our summer activities, so things are crazy for us.


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