Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Learnding...

As Ralph Wiggum would say, 'I'm learnding.'

Since my down-in-the-dump day of yester-blog, I have raided Barnes and Noble, and have selected a few texts to help shed some light on Audrey's newest toddler phase(s). Not only am I finding reassurance in the advice and general validation of the first book of choice, The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D., I am also seeing options for dealing with her tantrums and such from a new and interesting perspective.

I have yet to finish this book, but so far, it has been uplifting and has helped in making me feel like I haven't broken my baby; I have in fact nourished her so successfully that she feels safe and secure enough to act like a little cavewoman. Go me.

The second book I selected, Toddler 411 by Denise Fields and Ari Brown, M.D., has yet to be cracked, but it is touted by Parents Magazine (ooo la la). It will serve as more of a reference for the whys and what-ifs of this uncharted territory I've followed Audrey in to, and less of a suggested behavioral method for coping with toddler behavior.

I find it comforting to know that I now have backup when I desperately need answers, and all my conventional avenues have been exhausted.

To make things even better (for now, knock on wood), Audrey is 100% over her illnesses, and has regained her resiliency and sweetness... between tantrums, that is. This alone makes it so much easier to be optimistic, and stick to my guns when it comes to doing what I know is best for her. For example, we've resumed independent playtime in the play pen (we stopped when she first started feeling bad, about 3 weeks or so ago). I can't believe what a difference the playtime makes in that darned play pen. The toughest part is easing back in to the routine, because she doth protest! But after a few days, she quite enjoys herself, and can do 30 minutes or more and have a great time.

I've also started something new: about 45 minutes before lunch, I read out loud to her from a book I'm interested in. Nothing racy, but nothing that involves Sesame Street, either. I've noticed that this little ritual has started curbing her clingyness (is that a word?), and is encouraging her to play with her toys without bugging for participation from someone else. She'll fuss for the first 60 seconds or so as she realizes I'm not going to drop everything to shake a maraca with her or switch from my book to one of hers, but after that she does a great job finding things to play with near me.

Of course, she still has a few meltdowns per day, but that's nothing compared to when I last blogged, and it seemed like she was screaming and crying all day long. They say baby steps, right?

Today was a great day, with only one upset towards dinner time that was very short-lived. Pappy came to visit, we had pizza for lunch, we colored in the driveway, and we read stories with Dada until it was time to take a bath. Not too shabby.

Audrey having breakfast: whole-grain toaster waffles, boiled eggs, and blueberries

Independent playtime in the pack-n-play

30 minutes was up, but she kept on playin'...

Audrey and her favorite book

Sharing an oatmeal cookie with the kitty

Her newest trick: de-clipping her hair

Ending the night with the beginning of a new tradition: charting Audrey's height on the inside of the pantry door

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