Olivia and I were invited along to a 2nd birthday party last weekend and had an amazing time. It was at one of those indoor play areas and it was great to just let the kids run riot and tire themselves out without having the hassle of them wrecking the living room – I now see the value in that after having about 30 people at Olivias 1st birthday in our house – there was a lot of standing about in the kitchen nattering as we didn’t have that much room for all the big people 🙂
Olivia had a ball running around and playing with the other kids. she was the youngest there and still thought she was about 10 years old giving it her all to climb up the massive slide in the big area designated for 4 years +….One day Olivia one day!
The indoor play area was Scallywags. If you havent been before they are good as they have different areas for different age groups plus the adults can have something to eat/drink in the cafe they have.
At the party, food was provided for everyone and as mentioned Olivia was the youngest at 18 months. Everyone else was nearly 2 years old or above. The others were all eating using a knife and fork and drinking from a real plastic cup then I looked at Olivia and she was getting stuck in with her hands and drinking from her little Munchkin sippy cup. I just thought to myself when I looked back and forth that she will be like these guys shortly… like a real little person. That sounds strange but im sure other mums/dads will know what I mean. You just can’t picture your child being any older than what they currently are and yet at times you wish they were doing a lot more for themselves. There are periods in which you are nearly wishing their wee lives away. One minute you want them to be sitting up alone, then crawling then walking. It’s just one thing after the next! In fact this feeling can go right back to pregnancy when the 9 months cant go quick enough, I know I definitely felt that way especially towards the end of pregnancy. I was nearly ready to perform a C-section myself at home!
I have a slight Pinterest addiction and follow a parenting board. At times they post pins that show what children should be able to accomplish at their certain age bracket like the one below. I just dont get where this comes from. Every child is so different and learns at different speeds from different activities, people and surroundings.
I seen recently on the babycentre forum that a lady with a child one month younger than Olivia was in a panic as her son couldn’t dress himself in the mornings. Every morning we go through the same routine – Olivia points at one particular flowery t-shirt and wants to wear that every day and I choose something else. That is about the height of it never mind dressing herself! Although she does try to put her socks and trousers on herself but she’s not even close to actually achieving it bless her 🙂 I tend not to give options or i’d never get out of the house! Anyhoo the post on the forum had over 30 comments from people who just couldnt believe this was her biggest worry in life. I just wanted to write back to her and tell her not to worry I bet he was accelerating at something else. i believe it’s wrong to judge other mums especially us first time mums who don’t have anything to benchmark against. Its one of those things that in time you can certainly look back and say “if only i knew that then” but for now us parents are just winging it and what better way to learn I say!! I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent here so I best get back on track…
My point is you can look at other children and wish to yourself that your child was able to do that this and the other when really you just have to encourage them along at their own pace. When I seen the kids eating with cutlery and drinking out of actual cups I did think gosh maybe Olivia could give that a go then I remembered these guys have 6 months plus on her so we can see the goal ahead of us and work towards it certainly but in no rush. We are busy working on other things at the minute anyway, simple things like taking her coat off, helping to tidy up and brushing her teeth all by herself. We are getting there slowly but surely.
Parenting can be such a contradiction at times. On minute you want them to be fearlessly independent the next you want them to stop growing all together. Maybe it’s us parents that need to decide what we want nevermind the kids – I think the answer will always be the same though…just be our little baby forever we like it that way:)