Bwess

My little girl is growing up so very fast. On the one hand I want to keep her small, on the other I’m in awe of each milestone and watching her personality blossom. She isn’t really talking much yet. She tries, but sometimes a lot of the words come out sounding the same, or are just sounds. I was worried about her not speaking much yet. Her brother set the bar high for speech. He spoke well quite soon and articulates his thoughts quite beautifully for his age. A couple of weeks ago I had a light bulb moment. Since Elijah is in play school now, we are trying to teach him to speak Afrikaans as well and therefore Gabby is not only exposed to English, but Afrikaans too. This might explain why she is taking a little bit longer to start speaking. Also, every child is different. It is quite clear that she understands us very well as she follows instructions and “answers” questions.

She has been doing the cutest things of late. She has started shrugging her shoulders when she doesn’t know something. It is too adorable. The other day she was in the kitchen with her dad and I was busy getting ready for work in my room. I sneezed (rather loudly, as I do) and she came running into the room, looked at me and said “Bwess” and ran off again. Huge heart melt moment right there!

At 23 months old she is still breastfed. While the snide remarks, disapproval and judgement from other people intensifies as she gets older, I am still grateful for this amazing mothering tool. I can’t tell you how much easier things are with her than they were with Elijah. Yes, they are different children, but I find breastfeeding invaluable in situations that would have worked well with him too. Recently Gabby went through a phase where she would start throwing a tantrum and latching her on would instantaneously soothe her and put a stop to it. With Elijah we would pretty much have to wait it out and just make sure that he doesn’t hurt himself while he was having his meltdown. If Gabby hurts herself latching her on also immediately soothes and comforts her. With Elijah it took ages and while a dummy was sometimes helpful, it didn’t always work. Breastfeeding works every.single.time. It also makes a great in between snack before dinner, instead of her reaching for a cookie, sweet or bread to fill the gap. Gabby is not a fussy eater at all, however her brother is full of nonsense when it comes to food. My friend Arkwife has noticed the same with her breastfed child vs. the one that wasn’t. I like to think that the two are related. One word Gabby has started using (a lot) is “boop” – read BOOB. Yup. She now asks for it. I have often heard people say “Once they are old enough to ask for it, they should no longer be breastfeeding.” While I respect the choices of others, their opinions don’t pay my bills. I actually had the guts to say this to someone who criticized me for still breastfeeding and acted disgusted that I still do, stating repeatedly it was “time to stop”. I am non confrontational and often don’t defend myself, back down or pretend not to be phased. I simply stated “Just let me know which one of my bills you are going to pay with your opinion” and she left it right there. It works. You should try it!

After my post about discipline, Natalie sent me a message on Facebook with information she has put together about discipline and what works for her. I had an aha! moment when she mentioned a reward chart. I remembered that we had used a reward chart for Elijah when we were potty training him and he really loved it. Once he was potty trained the chart was forgotten. We bought a magnetic white board and I split up the days of the week and areas that he could earn a magnet for. Currently on our board are areas we need to focus on: brushing teeth, playing with his sister, eating supper, picking up toys and listening. I drew a small picture for each category so that he can identify them himself. When we got home on the second day I showed him the categories he could potentially earn for and he really made a concerted effort to earn his magnets. I still have to figure out what we will reward him with at the end of the week if he does well. I think we might resort to money sometimes as he really seems to love money! So much so that he will carry around money in his hand at all times if he has any. One night he fell asleep with money in his hand and slept for over an hour with it tight in his grasp and then eventually let go. He is still very small, so I think we can start off with a small denomination like R 5.00. Perhaps this will also open up opportunities to teach him about saving, etc in the future. This is a very new development in our relationship and I am hoping that we can continue motivate him with the reward chart.

Last Friday Elijah went for an open day at his new school. We have enrolled him in the same primary school I attended. He absolutely LOVED it. So much so that he did not want to go back to his old school on Monday. The prospectus came home with him and there are a number of worrying things in there. There are a few things expected of him that he is not able to do yet. They want him to be able to write his name, know a contact number and our address. All things that we will need to cram into him for the remainder of the year and hopefully he’ll be ready next year. There are a few other things we need to focus on, but he is a bright boy and I’m sure we can get him to master everything before he goes to his new school. I am quite excited about him going. His previous school disappointed us in a few areas and I’ll be glad to have him move on. Hopefully he will be happy and flourish there.