What is the product of (time change + full moon + molars + exploring physical, emotional and mental boundaries) x 5?
Growing pains and simply the beginning of toddlerhood. I try to put myself in their shoes… I have trouble imagining a world where you:
- Don’t understand even 1/3 of the words spoken to you or about you.
- Desire to do things just like others (parents) but often lack the physical ability or coordination
- Can’t comprehend why hitting your head against a hard object or poking your sibling in the eye, or even playing with poop is a bad thing.
- Want to tell the world, or even just you mom, what you want but find the best way to get their attention is to scream.
- Experience periodic pain (teething) and don’t know why it is happening or how to make it go away.
- Have someone else controlling everything in your life from when you sleep to when you wake.
This sounds like a very scary world for me. It is very important to me to help equip my children with both choice and tools for communication at such a young age. I hope that this will help to lessen the growing pains for all involved. So, how do we do it?
- Recognize their limits by trying to see life in their eyes.
- Be the parent. While we try to empathize, we also need to have boundaries and provide a healthy environment with consequences. We now have a penalty box, which is simply a re-purposed baby gate. They are beginning to recognize that “bad baby” gets 2-minutes for hitting, biting, banging their head, throwing food, need I go on?
- Teach them to sign and encourage them to use the words they know. While signing at young children may seem like it is effort done in vain, one day it all clicks. Our kiddos can now sign and say a variety of words, which saves us a tantrum or two.
- Maintain a routine. While their schedule needs to grow with them, we try our best to keep meal times, nap times and bed times the same each and everyday. This helps them to know what comes next.
- Choice is tricky. We try to provide them options in regards to which books they would like to read, or toys to play with. When it comes to eating, we choose what and when, but they get to decide how much.
While physical growing pains don’t typically start until around 3, you wouldn’t know it around here! The quints are also physically getting bigger! Theo is leading the pack in both height and weight (no surprise), but Lily is just a few centimeters shy. Bella is turning out to be our light-weight partially because she is quite the jumping-Bella-bean. Ellie and Kali were the exact same height at their 18-month visit, with Elliott just a couple pounds less than her.
- Elliott: 30.6 inches and 20.5 lbs
- Kali: 30.6 inches and 22.8 lbs
- Lily: 30.8 inches and 21.3 lbs
- Bella: 30.1 inches and 19.8 lbs
- Theo: 31 inches and 25.9 lbs
Potty training is the next item on our milestone agenda. We have started introducing the potty and the necessary language. We are waiting for other cues that they are ready. At this point, Bella appears to be in the lead by hiding when she poops and wanting to take off her diaper and help to wipe.
While looking ahead to what’s next, I find it a daily practice to remain present; trying to appreciate every moment that will soon be a memory.