What I’ve Learnt In Two Years As A First Time Parent…

Hi all!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may know I do these parenting review posts at every milestone age. You can check them out here. Abigail turned 2 last week and it still blows me away how fast it has all gone. I feel like it was just yesterday that I saw her beautiful little face for the first time; all grey and wailing. You can check out her second birthday photo diary here. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

The last post I did was when she was 18 months old, so 6 months have passed since then. From then till now, I have noticed a huge improvement in her vocabulary. Abigail began to repeat words back to us and put little sentences together like ‘more chips’ and ‘night night.’ It has been really amazing watching her interact with us and the people around her more. She can follow basic instructions and is able to anticipate what is coming next in her daily routine.

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This was taken at a little family road trip we took a couple of months ago to Lake Wendouree in Ballarat.

Food is still a struggle which I am sure most parents can relate to. Abigail is supremely fussy. I was planning on doing a ‘What My 2 Year Old Vegan Eats In A Day’ post but honestly, it will be super boring. Let’s just do it here. At this stage, she eats 3 Weetbix with full fat soy milk for breakfast followed by her multivitamins. As a snack, she usually has a chia pod or paleo bar. For lunch, she typically only wants hummus and bread. For dinner, she eats a little bit of whatever I make and the rest goes on the floor. I try to give her some warm soy milk before bed as well. Sometimes she wants it, sometimes she doesn’t. I’m not going to lie, it’s very frustrating. I’ve given up making her all of these elaborate healthy meals because she sniffs them once and throws them off her highchair.  She has also stopped eating a lot of things she used to love which is tough. I’ve realised it’s best to play to your kid’s strengths. If they like banana, make a smoothie with lots of other things thrown in. If they won’t eat chickpeas, try hummus. Her maternal health nurse insisted that we don’t give her too many options otherwise she will always expect more and ignore what’s in front of her. It’s tough but it has been working much better now that she knows a buffet isn’t optional. For older children, her nurse said to never ask them what they want to eat. You say ‘would you like an apple or banana’ and they get to choose from those two options. Having said that, I know it’s tough and sometimes I just give in and let her eat hot chips for dinner. You do what you gotta do to mentally survive. Am I right parents?

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The lovely Lake Wendouree in Ballarat.

In lockdown, all of the weekly activities we were doing to keep her socialised have been cancelled. No swimming, playgroup or Mini Maestros. It has been hard finding new ways to entertain her and ensure she is mentally stimulated. We do as much as we can at home. A typical day in the life involves her getting up at 7:00 am, eating breakfast, playing until about 10:30 where she gets to watch an hour of nursery rhymes (Little Baby Bum, CocoMelon, Dave & Ava and LooLoo Kids on YouTube are a big hit), eat lunch, have a big afternoon nap until 3:30, more playing (usually outside in the backyard or park) and then dinner. She goes down at 7:30 pm and we do it all again the next day! I’m thankful she is able to amuse herself for long periods of time and is engaging in more pretend play with her toys.

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Winter beauty!

Speaking of sleep, she still has her one big nap from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. This is my time to relax, read, watch a movie/show and do a bit of cleaning. I’m savouring this as much as I can because by next year, she will most likely have dropped naps altogether! Also, in case anyone was wondering, we are planning on toilet-training Abigail at around 2 and a half, but at this point in time she doesn’t meet the list of requirements that show she’s ready so until I can see that she does, I’ll wait. It would be too stressful to start now when she’s not there yet. My mother in law bought her a toilet-training kit for her birthday and I have a reward chart put away for when the time comes.

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Always curious and on the go!

Finally, I want to end that a month ago Abigail went to the hospital for the first time since she was born. It was ultra scary and a day I hope I never have to repeat. It’s nothing super serious, but she developed these awful, big mouth ulcers that were interfering with her eating. She would cry for most of the day and bleed all over her pillow/sheets after waking up. We went to the doctors twice and they gave us anti-fungal medication that wasn’t helping at all. Finally, we drove to the hospital. Francis wasn’t allowed in due to COVID so I stayed with her for a few hours. The doctor finally assessed her and confirmed it was from a virus. He told us the medication wasn’t helping and to throw it out. All we could was keep giving her paracetamol and to let it pass. After a couple of days, they went away completely. Even though there was nothing I could’ve done to prevent it, I felt like a huge failure. I cried as I sat in the hospital waiting room, feeling like the worst mother in the world. This is the part of parenthood that nobody can prepare you for. It’s that utter helplessness and desperation. Accepting that you can’t control everything (especially when it comes to them getting sick/hurt) is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. I just want her to always be safe and happy but I know that’s unrealistic.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you relate. Also, are the terrible two’s a real thing? Thanks for reading!

Peace & Love xoxo

 

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