The moment you realise your little one went through changes from baby to a toddler and you weren’t prepared for the avalanche of emotions!
Put your seat belt on and hold on tight. These changes had just started and it’s going to get more exciting (and bumpy).
Stuck in a rut
From the moment baby is born you had to deal not only with baby but with your new life.
Learning every day something new, most days caught up in repetitions that motherhood carries.
Have you ever felt like living in a bubble? With no idea what day it was or what others have been doing lately? I was like that, feeling like being in another dimension where only me and my baby (and occasionally Daddy) lived.
Constantly reminding myself to make sure baby was fed. Changing his nappy as soon as needed. Entertaining him with songs and books..
I was in love with baby, and I still am. But now I’m a bit more relaxed. He’s two years old now and likes to play by himself now and then, relieving me from full attention.
One day I’ve noticed that he is chasing other children in the playground. One of those children’s mom is beside you and with a smile she starts talking to you.
During the talk she mentions about nursery, and asks you if yours goes to one.
You want to answer “Oh no, he’s still too young to go!” but you can’t. There’s no more excuse as he’s a toddler now, acting as a toddler should be.
This moment is when you realise that he is not a baby anymore and..
Ready for Nursery
You see, even though my mom is filipino, Dad is from Barcelona. I was raised there up to my early twenties.
In Spain children goes to “La Guarderia” (nursery in Spanish) from around 4 months because most mothers work.
Spanish Maternity leave only last up to the child’s third month I think. Many go back earlier though because of financial reasons.
Those who are stay at home mother do start bringing their babies at the age of one. There’s no law that says you have to enroll your children in a Nursery from that age, but over there it’s like a social assumption that you do.
I’ve been asked constantly from aunties and my parents (even friends) about ‘when is my son going to Guarderia’. Ever since he was seven months. Every single time we spoke over the phone.
Here in the UK where we live (hubby is British) we are lucky to have maternity leave up to 52 weeks (36 weeks paid and the rest as extension with no pay).
Also we have grandma and grandpa who loves our son so much and wants to spend lots of time with him. We have been very lucky to have this extra help that we can trust our son with, he loves being with Nana and Grandpa!
Yet now a his age the continuous walks on the pram are a bit restricting and prefers to walk by himself. Indoors playing with his usual toys is becoming a bit boring. Even playing with Nana or going upstairs to see Grandpa are not enough for him anymore.
He’s very active and prefers to run around (to the dismay of old Grandparents). Climbing on furniture or things is becoming more regular. And now, play with alike people like his cousins (age four and six) and in his case..
Peers his age
Well not exactly the same age, but you know what I mean right?
Now they feel more confident to discover by themselves. They suddenly realise there’s little people like them, playing the same games they like.
They are attracted to them because they are more alike in age and size to contrary to Mama or Dada.
We parents cannot teach some things as effectively in Nurseries. Not only they learn from their teachers but by.. Copying other children!
Yes, they discover and learn much faster by copying other people they can relate to better, in this case, other children their age.
They think “If he can do it like this and that with his hands..” -Now looking at his/hers- “.. I can do it with my own hands!”
It’s a bit like of a “Monkey” stage, mirroring each other. Later they make it their own by adding their personality or even changing the whole thing! A clear example is ART.
They are given a paper and some brushes but they don’t know what to do, or they are a bit shy about doing something.
Suddenly a child starts painting. Those who didn’t start yet would take a minute to observe their active peers, and after getting an idea of what or how to do, they will start painting too.
Some will be painting an apple as Martha and Joel, but few others will come up with a whole new idea like a train or a cat or anything else!
In the past we would tell them this is for this and that for that. Now they may even “break the rules” to make you start getting the idea that..
“I’m my own”
Meaning that his or her personality will be even more noticeable from now on, and they will not be afraid to show it to you!
It’s a bit bittersweet to acknowledge and realise that time flies. That your little one won’t be little anymore one day.
He used to chase me and his Dada, but in a playground full of children he would walk away from us to be with other children.
It’s NORMAL and part of the growing up process (I can see you getting a bit emotional, I do too!).
In toddler eyes their life vision has expanded. They are more adventurous and more curious about the world around them.
What I’m trying to say here is even though we teach or guide them and provide them tools, it’ll be ultimately our child’s wish what to do with those!
This emotional transition for parents to see their child growing from baby to a toddler is one of the biggest, and most special ,yet shocking moments.
From the day they were born you adjusted and learned to do things for them. It was all about them, and now you have to let go. Slowly, steady, so they can make themselves their own.
With light and joy,