Since Jasper turned from a baby to a toddler I’ve noticed a few changes in our lives; not only centred around his development but around myself and Pete too. We’ve all grown so much over the past few months and I really think Jaspers transitions have been a lot to do with our family dynamics.
1 – They give back
A parent and baby relationship seemed so one sided in the beginning; you feed them, you change them, you dress them and they pretty much lay there looking cute. Yes they grasp at your finger and smile back at you melting your heart but since Jasper’s become a certified toddler he’s initiated so much more. He runs up to me for cuddles, he starts up babbling conversations with me, he pulls my face towards his for a kiss. It’s so amazing to wait and see what he’ll come up with next!
The whole giving back thing, of course, doesn’t come without it’s downsides. Alongside the fun and laughter they like to throw in some attitude too. Instead of crying or spitting out his food like he used to do when he didn’t like it, now he can shake his head or say ‘no’. He can push the spoon away from me and point to something that he wants instead. He can express what he doesn’t like or want and as frustrating as this can be it’s also so amazing as it’s showing his strength and confidence grow. He’s developing preferences and even though it can be so so trying at times, it’s an amazing set of skills that Muma just needs to count to ten to appreciate sometimes!
3) They occupy themselves
Jasper will now sit and look through a book from start to finish. He could spend hours concentrating in his toy kitchen or at his mini workbench. He really knows what he wants to play with and if I pass him a toy that he’s not interested in then it goes straight over his shoulder and he’s onto the next one! I’ve really found hiss concentrating on toys and activities more has made life a little bit easier for me especially around dinner time. It’s also great for him to not need me as much and lovely for me to know that he can make his own fun without me worrying he’s not getting enough stimulation.
4) I go out and make plans
When Jasper was born I turned into a bit of a recluse. I rarely went out and if I did make plans I always secretly hoped that people would cancel on me so I could stay at home. I’d be more than happy to leave the house in the morning even if just for a 20 minute walk, so that I could then justify being lazy for the rest of the day. It was weird now that I think of it and I definitely couldn’t do it now! By 8am if we’ve had breakfast and gotten dressed I start the feel the pressure to go out. It’s like the bigger Jasper gets the more I need him to explore. I feel awful if I don’t take him somewhere everyday be it soft play, the park, swimming or to a friends house. Some days I even have to make plans in the morning and then in the afternoon otherwise I feel guilty as though I’ve wasted his day as well as mine.
5) Baby dates are actually baby-centred now
When Jasper was younger I met with the people that I wanted to meet with at places that suited me. I never had to consider Jasper in them because he would just come along in his pushchair and smile away. I never had to think about whether he would have fun or if he was around other babies but now that’s top of my list. If we’re not going on a playdate and I’m just meeting a friend or maybe a friend with a newborn or much older child than I try to make it somewhere that’s still fun for Jasper. Most of my friends without kids or with younger babies are happy to go to the park for Jaspers sake; it’s so much easier than trying to control him in Costa!
6) I make more of an effort for me
Until Japser was about one I really didn’t give a damn about how I looked. Yes I dragged a brush through my hair and popped some lippy on but I felt like I lost my fashion and beauty loving mojo. I was just happy to cover my under-eye bags and put a clean top on back then, let alone be wearing the latest fashion. The past few months though I’ve spruced up my wardrobe, spent more time on my hair and make up and have even been considering getting an invisalign (invisible brace) put back on my teeth to re-straighten them and give me that bit of confidence back. I’m able to spend more time on myself now and it does make me have a better outlook on the day when I’m feeling confident and fresh!
7) I’ve got more space
Oh my goodness the amount of stuff you get to say goodbye to. No more sterilising or formula, we all drink blue top milk so it’s one purchase and as simple as filling up the bottle! Jaspy uses less nappies now that he’s older and goes through less clothes a day so my day bag get’s lighter and lighter. We’ve been able to put the moses basket, walker, bouncer and play mat in the attic making my living rooms so much less cluttered! Yes It’ll all be replaced by his new toys but at the moment there’s no huge equipment taking over!
8) Pete can do Dad things
Before both mine and Pete’s relationship with Jasper was pretty similar. Except for me breastfeeding, we both fed, changed, clothed, bathed him and there weren’t really any set roles. Now though it’s so nice to see Pete doing typical dad things like living out his inner child by playing cars with Jasper. It melts my heart to see Pete working at his desk with Jasper sat on his lap, or when they rough and tumble on the floor. Of course I can do all of these things with him too but sometimes it’s for him to have set things that he does with each of us.
9) These phases just don’t stop
When Jaspy was a newborn I learnt about all of the sleep phases, the developmental leaps, the teething order. Apart from the terrible twos I never knew about the different phases that toddlers go through but boy do I know now! Head banging, throwing, tantrums … and I’m told there’s more to come!
10) I picture the future clearer
When Jasper first came along I couldn’t see past him being a newborn. I new I’d have a toddler, then a child, teenager etc etc but I couldn’t ever picture it. Now that I’ve sen Jasper transition from a newborn to a baby and from a baby to a toddler I can start to picture what he’ll look like as a 3 year old and even when he’s at school. I’ve seen different versions of him so I think it’s easier for me to predict how he’s going to continue to grow now.
What have you noticed since your little one became a toddler? Have you experienced some of the same things as me?
Thanks for reading!