30.3.12

14 (and a bit) months


Ummm... who is this little girl and what has she done with my baby?

Life with a 14 month old Lalie Bug is fun, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, beautiful, chaotic, happy, not-so-happy, turbulent, adventurous, unpredictable and evolving at rapid speed. I'm struggling to keep up! (hence my poor effort on the blogging front lately).

There are so many beautiful, sweet moments but I am finding now, more than ever, there is an added dose of absolute misery. Poor babe is in the midst of some serious teething, and to add insult to injury she's also cutting back to one day sleep. The combination of over-tiredness and teething symptoms makes for a Lalie who isn't always the most pleasant company. When she's feeling good, she is pure joy. When she's grumpy, she's an absolute nightmare!

I have to admit, the emergence of a tantrum throwing toddler caught me totally off guard. I thought we were a good ten months clear of the 'terrible two's'. Apparently not. Don't be fooled by her cute, coy demeanor... if you don't give her what she wants, she will throw herself on the floor, screaming and banging her head on the floorboards. At first, I was completely shocked by this behaviour, and in desperate attempts to assert some kind of authority, I met her with equal drama in my voice and actions - which of course only exacerbated the situation. I have since learned that taking her away to a different area, getting down to her level and talking very sternly and direct to her about her behaviour seems to have the most positive outcome. Now I am (mostly) able to divert the situation pretty quickly before we get to the back-arching, head-banging stage. She's certainly exploring and testing boundaries, and I know that it's very important to give her the freedom to do so, but I am also very conscious of this being a crucial stage for setting those boundaries. And despite her being so small, I am also aware that she understands more than enough to handle a little discipline. Being firm with her feels strangely and unexpectedly good, it even seems to be doing her some good as well. She doesn't dispute my tone - she stops, listens intently and follows up with affectionate gestures like hugging or kissing me which seems to imply she's sorry, without being asked. I'd almost go as far to say that our bond has been strengthened, and I'm sensing that Lalie is feeling very secure within the family unit. Of course, there's still tantrums, they're just not quite as... epic.

There's a lot of tears, but there's a lot of laughter too. She's such a quirky little thing, and I spend most of the day trying to conceal my amusement at all the ridiculously cute things she does*. Suddenly I have this toddler who understands just about everything and is becoming so clear at communicating her wants and needs. She's a chatty little thing, exploring her voice and developing a little vocabulary consisting mostly of words beginning with B (book / 'boo', bag / 'baa', blue / 'boo', bubba, birdy / 'bidi'.. and has an impressive crack at banana / 'ba ba ba' and butterfly / 'bit bu ba'). I'm still waiting for her to call me Mama, instead she opts for 'bubba' (which paddy so often calls me). But that's okay, being this bubba's 'bubba' is pretty sweet indeed - and despite my whinging, I am grateful every day for the chance to be spending all my minutes with this sweet, funny, determined little girl.

* so as not to offend her while she's doing very serious and grown-up things like walking around with handbags, using a spoon as a phone, blowing her nose on a wash cloth, hanging out laundry on the drying rack etc etc. She takes all these things VERY seriously!

29 comments :

  1. Really, can she get any cuter? She has grown so quickly! It's an interesting and tough job this parenting lark. But I guess it wouldn't be so rewarding and remarkable if there wasn't the not so great bits. (having just spent nearly 45 mins in the post office so Bella could lick ALL the stamps on my parcels) x

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  2. Oh my what a sweet little girl your Eulalie is and my how much she has grown. It sounds like you're doing a beautiful job there, she sounds like a very happy indeed. xx

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  3. i just had a loud LOL (yes, lol) at being this bubbas bubba. So sweet.

    You have written this perfectly Claire. Lalie is such a sweetie and her strong will will only serve to impress you for the rest of your days.

    She is looking SO grown up- a little bit kate moss (minus the nipples) in these poses... poses?? C'mon bug- your 14 months- is this natural?

    xo em

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  4. oh she's becoming a little girl...so sweet. Daniel and I have found that, in terms of discipline, consistency is key. We have always made of point of explaining the issue with Che too - sometimes sitting with him for half-an-hour after the event so he really understand what he's done and why it's not acceptable. Completely disregard this if you didn't want the advice, but I thought I'd share! xxx

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  5. Claire, I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Your photos are precious and your lovely little stories about your baby girl are priceless. My little boy turns one in two weeks time. Your post today really struck a chord with me and made me laugh out loud. Aren't we so lucky to have these little people in our lives to challenge us and yet make everything complete. Keep up the great work!
    Kate :)

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  6. wow, she shot up overnight! her posture in these pics says little girl, not baby. wasn't it just yesterday where each shot was a blur because she wouldn't hold still?! i especially love the mini-shots of her up against the chalkboard - so girly - darling. love these little monthly updates, i can see how they can be so exciting and bittersweet at the same time. the days go too quickly. i suppose it's not too late to start chronicling for my little mister, i missed month one. i am just so horrid at traditional baby books.

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  7. I'm loving reading your blog and watching your little one grow up. So much change since her birthday already! Lisa xx

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  8. Happy 14 (and a bit months) sweet Lalie! Beautiful dress as always. I think you look like your mama in that first pic.

    Elke started to throw some nasty little wobblies around the same age but now we've hit the so called 'terrible twos' they've become a fairly rare event, exacerbated only by tiredness.

    I hope she feels better soon (Horrid teeth!) and works out her new sleeping rhythm. xx

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  9. Claire I love your blog very much and your little one is so, so sweet. Lovely to read this, Jo xx

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  10. Working out those boundaries and disciplinary methods can be tricky, but I agree that boundaries actually help them flourish more. At least that's how it is with our boys. She is one very endearing little girl!
    Ronnie xo

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  11. Wow she is growing up very quickly...and yes, her face would fool me, I do not believe for one second that she has tantrums ;-) I agree with Jodi, consistency is most definitely the key. It AMAZES me what these little brains really do understand.

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  12. I do NOT believe that the divine little girl in those pics ever throws tantrums. Impossible!

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  13. I love this claire. this post shows what a beautiful mother you are. I was nodding at everything you were saying. my eliot is only a month behind lalie so is doing a lot of the same things. third time round I am still raising him the same way I raised my first babe. I never babied them, or had odd names for things, they were disciplined very early by a stern voice to know their boundaries, for their safety to begin with and then for the testing you part - for a baby is far smarter than many people care to believe! I just adore all the pointing and chit chat at the moment, all the guessing as to what he wants has now passed :) x

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  14. Lalie is quite the little poser isn't she? :)
    You mother beautifully Claire and while it's a learn on the job gig that often throws a spanner in the works, I think you have it down pat.
    Xx

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  15. Your precious girl is just a little younger than my own and I can so relate to your experiences. She has the most gorgeous, outgoing personality - so very different to her two older brothers, but with that also comes, stubborness and determination and the occasional melt down. Managing these mini tantrums is hard at this age as she is almost too young for time outs but we are finding a little cot time seems to work.
    I look forward to your Lalie updates, she is just gorgeous.

    Speaking of gorgeous, where did you get her shoes from?

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  16. I use this word a lot to describe my 20 month old babe, but it's so accurate, fractious. He has been this way since approx 14 months too. I understand Claire, it can be really tough, but oh so rewarding in the next breath. Your Lalie Bug is delightful, I love the photos and that precious little dress, gorgeous! xo

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  17. You sound like you are handling this phase really well. I too remember feeling very shocked that my just one year old had her first full on tantrum after being extracted from the home corner section of her big brothers first day at preschool and discovering she had to come home with me! Full on lying on the ground in the carpark stuff. She is still feisty but slightly less public about it these days at 3! melx

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  18. All of a sudden she looks so grown up! You have yourself a gorgeous little lady there 'bubba'. xx

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  19. Spoon chat is the new black MUM.. don't you know anything!! xx

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  20. What a gorgeous girl, so very sweet x

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  21. D.I.V.I.N.E. Your parenting sounds top notch too. Kellie xx

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  22. So lovely, and wearing such a pretty dress. Love the parenting ideas too. I'm taking note for future reference! Xx

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  23. you make motherhood sound like the best thing around. i so enjoy the way you describe her, it's completely heartwarming and i can't wait to hear more. you're a marvellous mama by the sounds of things and i cannot wait till one day i can experience the blowing of noses on washcloths kinda behaviour. utter sweetness and gorgeousness combined. thank you. xx

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  24. I absolutely love this age - cheeky, independent and so full of personality. And, yes they understand far more than we often realise, even though they can't fully verbalise it.
    That's one gorgeous little bubba you have on your hands here, bubba :)

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  25. What a little lady! So sweet.

    Urgh the tantrums, it can be so hard to get them back once they are 'gone'. Sounds like you are handling it all beautifully.

    HAHa.. also laughing at you being your Bubbas Bubba.

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  26. Precious... It's the only word that comes to mind. xx

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  27. Claire she is so gorgeous. And I love her little drawings too! x

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  28. She's adding her own interpretation on the blackboard! x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - it really means so much. I will try to reply where I can! xx