I’m pretty sure Alyssa has had more of a documented life than Toby, so I shall endeavour to catch up a little!
Toby’s current focus is learning to talk. As of the last one or two weeks he has embarked on his language explosion phase. Until recently he really just had ‘Mummy, Daddy’ and then a couple of days of a word here and there such as ‘peanut butter’ and ‘bisgabadi’ (spaghetti – an Alyssa-ism which we wholeheartedly encourage).
He’s now coming up with a new word most days and his vocab includes ‘bike, bath, bye, Nani, Poppa, bubble, bumblebee, car, present, yeah, and no’. Unlike Alyssa, who started with clearly articulated words from the start, a lot of Toby’s are just the first half of the word. This difference is constantly apparent in their personalities – Alyssa observes, analyses then will participate when she knows she’s got it sorted. Toby leaps in and delightfully gives anything a go without much consideration for the consequences or whether he’s actually capable or not. Boy versus girl, or just Antz versus Megan influence – who knows?
On this theme, Alyssa seems to particularly dislike being wrong or doing the wrong thing. She’ll happily ‘pretend’ to be mischievous and wait for someone to affirm her boundaries, but if she thinks she thinks she’s doing the right thing and gets told off her face slowly crumples and she becomes terribly upset. She sees right through someone who’s making fun of her – even in a kind, adult-condesending kind of way, and rewards the people who truly respect her. You know, people are constantly belittling and underestimating children – with the tone of their voice, the words they use, the side comments to other adults, and with their body language. Children are smart, people! (especially mine, obviously).
Toby has also just transitioned to being all about his Daddy. He is absolutely delighted when Antz gets home from work, and would much prefer a Daddy cuddle if he’s hurt. This has probably coincided with him deciding to finish breastfeeding – his last feed was on his 17 month birthday and although he’d been down to just one morning feed a day for a while, I had hoped to keep going for quite some months yet. Perhaps due to the WHO recommendations to feed up to the age of 2 and beyond, or the stats that show the much reduced risk of breast cancer when feeding that long – but it’s a mutually agreeable relationship and Toby was done. Given that he was never that into it from the start it’s probably a good thing he stuck with it for that long anyway!
Alyssa has really left toddler-hood behind. She loves imaginary games and directing Toby with what is role is. She is much cuddlier than she used to be and will snuggle endlessly listening to stories, and is riveted by any imaginary stories I make up with a character with her name – whatever it may be. Most of the time she is lovely with Toby – looking out for him, telling me if he’s hurt himself and including him in her games. Occasionally she gets in a pushing-kicking-you can’t play with me mood, but fortunately this isn’t the norm at the moment.
And Toby, fortunately for him, is a total cruiser. He’s clingy at times wanting to be picked up, but generally all he’s asking for is for us to be present – to sit on the floor and be there with him. He still loves going up in the wrap (thank goodness, I’d struggle if I’d lost breastfeeding and wrapping) and we still use this as our main form of transport – Toby up on my back and Alyssa riding her bike. He loves to be free to explore and climb, and is a bold adventurer. We walked up a steep hill for a picnic dinner the other week, and Toby insisted on walking down himself – despite repeatedly stumbling and tumbling and somersaulting – he just dusted himself off and kept on going.
In the daily care side of things, Toby is an eater of everything and Alyssa is not. Although, usually at dinner time now she will eat something – it’s not that often that she doesn’t even eat a mouthful. She doesn’t eat many intact vegetables and meat unless it’s processed and salty, however tucks into things that I make from scratch such as vege filled pasta sauce, gnocchi, vege nachos or pasta sauce infused scones. Alyssa and Toby share a room and sleep from around 7pm to 6.30am, each having the occasional wake up for water (Toby) or the toilet (Alyssa). I’ve blogged about Alyssa coming out of day nappies, and a month or so ago she was dry one night so she was out of her night nappy the next, and she’s only wet the bed once on waking at 6am.