But there are also many, many moments where I watch him in all his mid-tantrum, roll-on-the-floor hysteria and wonder how the heck I’m going to get this despicable behaviour in check.
Since my last Ryder Roundup here, Ryder has celebrated 2 and a half years on this earth. This is the stage of actual conversation, cute facial expressions, exploding vocabulary and one very strong personality making its presence known. I am seriously digging it.
He has settled in well at play school after a bumpy start to the new year following the long Christmas holiday. This will be his last year at his play school, which is a very simple affair run from a home in our suburb. Next year he heads off to a more established pre-school in preparation for feeding into big school (which suddenly doesn’t seem that far off any more!)
We still haven’t made much of a dent in potty / toilet training. So far we’ve had only two occasions where he willingly sat atop the porcelain throne on his own. He is still obsessed with the dozens of colourful skants his grandma has gotten him and every day we engage in the sacred ritual of carefully selecting the colour of underpants he’d like to wear OVER his diaper that day. So intense is his obsession that he has been known to gather about 5 of these undies up in his arms and carry them around with him everywhere. Even to the supermarket, where he proceeded to leave a trail of rainbow undies in the aisles for me to go back and retrieve. (This was also the day he urinated in the frozen foods aisle while not wearing a diaper. Needless to say, we made a hasty retreat right the heck out of there.)
A bunch of underpants on one arm and beloved pillow on the other
The dreaded “Whyyyy?” phase is in full swing. A dear friend of mine says this precedes the non-stop questions phase, which is far more brutal. Yay. Can’t wait.
There’s a specific plant alongside our car port that inexplicably freaks him out. Whenever I am strapping him into his car seat, he regularly and anxiously exclaims “Tree yooking me!” because he genuinely believes the tree is giving him the evil eye through the window.
The trees have eyes! Run for your lives!
We’ve had to nip his first real friendship in the bud. Already! At 2 years old! He’s been really attached to a little 5/6 year old girl who lives in our complex and initially it was wonderful seeing him connect and play with her over the last few months.
With the former BFF
But recently it had reached the point where he’d throw tantrums to play with her every evening as I got home, and we’d have them running amok in our home right through what should have been dinnertime and pre-bedtime. The turning point for me was when another little precocious child moved in with the family and I had both of them screaming at our gate every day supposedly wanting to come in and play with Ryder. Which wasn’t actually the case. They just really wanted to play with Ryder’s toys and mostly ignore him. And then when the little friend proceeded to painstakingly break one of my garden ornaments without realising that my husband was watching her through the kitchen window, I was like oh hell no, bosom buddy has got to go.
He does however love our nanny’s daughter Faith who is here in the mornings before school and then in the afternoons once they’re both back from school. He started off calling her “My Fafe” but now she is “Faithy” and they play beautifully together.
|Ryder & Faithy|
His favourite bedtime story is The Three Billy Goats Gruff, which I have to read every. single. night. Never mind there are like 200 pages of other stories in that particular book. He calls it “Dragon” because to him, the creature under the bridge is not a troll, it’s a dragon. He knows the tale so well that, like most toddlers, he loves to recite portions of it along with me, complete with all the inflection and expression that I put into it. On my birthday, he picked up one of my birthday cards and started “reading” it, with his babbling version of billy goats tripping and trapping across the bridge.
He is still obsessed with trucks, buses, planes, trains and automobiles. New obsessions are dinosaurs, lions, snakes, “docodiles” and basically anything that mummy says she is scared of. Especially “sungo yoyos” (shongololos) which I have had thrown at me while lying on the couch because he knows how much I despise them. Boys eh!
Surrounded by “docodiles” at Phezulu Safari Park
If I ask for a kiss, he instructs me to “Cry!” at which point I must feign anguish at being deprived of his affection. When he is satisfied that I have wailed enough while he chuckles in glee at my pitiful behaviour, only then am I rewarded with a smooch. (Yep. Not the way to teach him empathy, Mum of the Year.)
Nursery rhymes are not the only thing he sings these days. Who doesn’t love a bit of Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith? Ryder’s favourite songs are “Thinking Out Loud” and “Stay with me” and he tries to sing along with the utmost emotion and head bopping. Very cute. He also loves Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk especially the lyrics “Too hot! Hot damn!” Another favourite is that catchy “I’m in love with the coco” song, which I only found out recently is not exactly the type of song you actually want your toddler to be singing.
I’ve heard Ryder count to 20 only twice. Other than that he gets up to 15 and gets distracted. He reads all numerals and recognises a few letters, but his favourites for some weird reason are the usual A, B, C, D, E and then H, I, R and W.
|My OCD is in over-drive when he mixes up the letters and numbers like this|
His speech is now cutely peppered with little expressions like “Oh my!” and “Wowee!” which he definitely gets from me. (Now would be a good time to tone down my potty mouth, too.)
He is enjoying his swimming lessons so much. Some days he’s not in the mood, but for the most part he digs being in the water. I’ve made enquiries about getting him into gymnastics classes, but the local club only takes them from 4 onwards. He’ll be trying out the kids’ soccer programme at his play school this week before we make a decision about signing him up.
He got his first little smack from Dad on the day he turned 2.5 because he was being extremely defiant when Hubster instructed him repeatedly to do something. I had to bite my tongue and support my husband, but I am not a fan of regular spanking, and the Hubster and I will need to explore different methods of discipline to figure out what works for us. Especially now that Ryder is pushing the boundaries so much more as his personality develops and he tries to figure out the world around him.
He’s drinking waaay too much milk (cows milk) and it’s almost as if since we weaned him off his dummy, he’s more dependent than ever on his milk. This week he’s had the flu and hasn’t really wanted to eat much, which equals wanting nothing but milk and then waking up in the wee hours hungry and wanting…more milk. It’s felt a lot like having a baby all over again this week, but this is usually what happens when he’s feeling poorly.
And on that note, he is still sandwiched between us every night. From reluctant co-sleepers desperate to get him out of our bed, we’ve now slowly grown into realising that he’s growing so fast and it’s actually quite lovely to have him in there with us for cuddles and snuggles, which won’t last forever.
That was a long one! In a nutshell, I love being the mum of this walking, talking, cute machine!
Love you kiddo xx