Kate continues to display many personality styles she apparently inherited from me. For instance, at playgroup the other day someone pointed this out:
She likes lines and stacks and order. Her favorite thing to do with playdoh is to have me open each of the 10 colors so she can shake out the plug of playdoh and line them all up on her table. She has progressed to asking me to make a duck out of each color to line up. She’s not really a big fan of forming anything with her own two hands, though she will squish it with her hand if I give her a patty and ask her to. She’ll press stamp designs into a playdoh patty. But as for rolling and shaping? “No, mama do it.”
Getting her to color is a battle… a subtle, sneaky battle, but a battle nonetheless. I try hard to show by example (she likes to copy me) and encourage her to try herself without making her freak out. She does not like it when she does things “incorrectly,” even though I’m praising her up, down and sideways for her awesome job. However we’re making some progress! If one of us draws a circle (that meets her standards) she will then progress to drawing a line for the mouth, dots for the eyes, scribble for the hair, and lines coming off it for arms and legs. She will also draw a sun. Now she’s trying to draw letters; she can draw H, I and T… basically anything with straight simple lines. Angled lines and curves are tricky. I find it helpful to pretend I’m really busy doing something else, like laundry or changing Ember or cleaning the kitchen. Without me nearby she’ll take more risks.
She does love art projects, though! While coloring is frustrating she really loves stickers and glue and paint. I’ve joined a co-op doing a toddler/preschool curriculum (Funshine Express, if you are curious) and I’m finding it’s such a great starting point. I am the kind of person who needs order and direction so having laid out crafts and lesson ideas are great, we do our school for a half hour or so when she wakes up from her nap, when Ember is still sleeping and we need some quiet activities. Some of the stuff is too young for her, she’s bored in like 2 seconds. But sometimes she really latches on to an idea and loves it! We did a polar bear craft which she carried around for days, and the idea of watching a polar bear youtube clip and building a “polar bear den” (fort of blankets) was fun and kept her excited.
Her favorite toys right now are her musical instruments (drum, xylophone, bell, whistles, piano), the megablocks and lego duplos (I want to get more duplos for her, she loves the ones we have that make animals), her tea set and kitchen/food for pretend, tutu skirt for dancing, tool set, big ball for playing pass and sitting/bouncing on, and books for reading and stacking. Oh and all her stuffed animals who are now in the bed with her. That is new, the stuffed animals thing. She has always had a couple with her in her bed that I put in there, but recently she’s brought more in there and does pretend play and acting with them.
Bedtime has gotten really interesting with all those stuffed animals and the new blanket and the books. Reading a couple of stories at bedtime has progressed to her asking for more books, more books. After we tuck her in – which consists of covering her entirely with her blanket (“Under!!” she instructs if you leave her head out), turning on Puppy (my pal Violet), singing her a song (Twinkle Twinkle or ABCs) and giving her a kiss and leaving – she gets up, grabs her books, and reads loudly to herself in the dark. which wouldn’t be an issue except some days it goes on for hours and ends in her crying that Kipper or Puppy fell dowwwwnnnnn, where issss itttttt?? Now I’m removing all the books from her room. That sucks because she used them in the morning when she woke up. I can’t win!
She is not acting tired at bedtime, is waking earlier than she used to, and yet trying to sleep longer than 2 hours at nap time. It’s a tricky balance. I feel like she’s too young to drop that nap entirely, and, more importantly, I am not ready for her to drop that nap yet. For now I’m being consistent with an earlier bedtime (to make up for the waking earlier) and earlier nap and hoping it holds tight. Once she does drop that nap our bedtime will go a lot quicker, though! But really I can’t complain too much when that’s the only issue! She’s had zero problems with the big girl bed, she has yet to get loose out of her room even though she can open most doors in the house now.
Food is… annoying. She’s not as bad as some toddlers, though her favorite foods are oatmeal, yogurt (she asks for yogurt all day long and would easily eat three bowlfuls in a sitting, if I let her), peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and of course crackers. But her favorite meal is salmon with rice, she practically inhaled a huge bowlful the other day. She eats chicken and fish and pork and beef. She eats apple with peanut butter and was eating oranges in those snack cups. But veggies? Other fruits? She’s having texture issues at the moment. she’s always so proud for identifying pears and strawberries and grapes… won’t eat them. She picks out lettuce and green peppers and corn and beans. She throws a sobbing fit if she sees any pieces of something in her food. Even the yogurt that had strawberry chunks in it, that was a no go. The shredded chicken with beans and corn, only the chicken was acceptable. I’m making an effort here to set a good example, I even took some bites of green pepper and said yum (generally I leave it to Denis to display the great love of veggies… I am not a fan). Some of her refusals are just bizarre, things she used to love and ate all the time. I used to let her graze throughout the day but she started expecting to eat yogurt and PBJ all day whenever she asked so now she’s getting meals and snacks and I’m saying a lot of “No, you already had that,” and, “Oh you’re hungry? Sure, here’s your dinner you didn’t eat earlier.” She frequently decides that oh, she’s not really all that hungry after all.
She did recently have a growth spurt. I didn’t notice anything different with her sleeping or eating but boy did she shoot up! 2T shirts are now all too short for her, she gained a lot of torso height. Legs too, but not as dramatic and she fits nicely into 2T pants. She’s also losing her baby fat, we’ve noticed her cheeks don’t look so chubby and her body has really slimmed down making her look even taller. (Though she’s still short for her age! Now she’s just mildly shorter instead of whoa short.) I keep staring at her, at how big she’s gotten.