I have to admit I was a little intimidated about the idea of spending 4 days alone with my daughter. Is that bad? I mean, I love her to death and all… but 4 days is a long time to entertain a toddler alone in a small apartment!
In the end, I think the whole thing was really enriching for me. I know it sounds lame, but I feel like I’ve really connected with her! She’s been changing tremendously fast lately and I’ve been really trying to focus on treating her like a child, not a baby. It’s something I’ve been trying to practice for a while but the extra time this weekend has really helped.
I think the hardest thing for me during this transition from baby and to toddler is transitioning our go-to activities. For months and months she was happier out and about, window shopping, etc. She thrived being distracted by new and shiny things. Now she thrives with familiar things. She’s been happy at home, playing with her toys, actually cuddling with me while watching TV (like a whole 5 minutes!!)… And when she’s bursting with energy and climbing up the walls, she really enjoys playing with the ball in the parking lot or on the grass in the park. Things she’s done a million times. I was worried about finding new things to entertain her when in fact, we’ve had a blast playing at home.
The second thing I’ve really been trying to do is explain to her what we’re going to do before we do it. And I think she understands! Part of it may be language, part of it is repetition. I tell her we’re going to put on our shoes and play with the ball outside. So after I put on her shoes, she knows to pick up her ball and walk to the door. I tell her to wait for me to go down the front porch and she knows I will give her a hand. When she’s done playing with the ball, she leaves it behind and walks towards the park or the bird cage at the hotel. I think it really puts her in charge because she KNOWS where she is and what’s going on.
And call me crazy, but I think her language has developed overnight. Chris and I heard her say “two balloons”, clear as day, when she was holding 2 balloons yesterday morning. Later we were going up stairs somewhere and Chris was saying “up up up” and she started saying “upupupupup!” Also, Chris doesn’t believe me but I *swear* she said “hello kitty” (at her Hello Kitty build-a-bear, not hello to the cats), and “anna” at our cat Anathema. Yeah, maybe I am going crazy!