Stories from the Hippo

Personal stories of parenting, mental health and other musings

boySomewhere along the way, our little toddler has been morphing into a boy. It has been wonderful to watch; at the same time, I am finding myself missing his babyish ways. In fact, I think that is why, to a certain extent, I have been away from writing this blog. Life has taken over the last four months and we’ve been trying to get through it. Nothing bad. Just the usual suspects showing up at the door: no time to write, not enough sleep, start writing a little then lose my train of thought. The list goes on. But I digress.

In the last few months of 2016, we watched our toddler lose his babyish features. It can probably be said that his metamorphosis began when he finally had his ‘real’ haircut. He lost the soft, rounded baby-faced look that family and friends had gotten used to seeing. Once his locks were chopped off (and his locks were very long, unkempt and straggly-looking) his face was truly revealed and the boy took shape before our very eyes. We received comments left, right and centre from all corners – family and friends and the mothers I often chat to at our local playgroup.

I’ve labelled 2017 the ‘Year of Transitions’ – not just for our little boy, but also for me too. This is the year that said boy in question begins kindergarten (he has now been attending kindy for five weeks this week). This is also the year he turns four years of age and moves past being a toddler into a preschooler.

In the beginning, his transition wasn’t without its downside. Dang! Once upon a time he was a good sleeper. That is, until the end of October last year. All of a sudden we began struggling with his sudden bedtime resistance. This would mean that we would put him to bed and follow our usual bedtime routine – brush teeth, change into pyjamas, pick out a couple of books, read before bed and then lights out. He has a nightlight in his room. There have been no changes in his environment or in our daily lives. No upheavals that would cause him distress. But despite this fact, he suddenly decided that he was not going to sleep at bedtime; instead he would constantly get out of bed and jump around, ask for food and so on. Basically, he would do anything else but go to bed and sleep! To be honest, I never thought we would see the end of such bedtime anarchy!! It affected all of our sleeping habits and the little man would often end up sleeping in our bed. Sigh. Thankfully we’ve managed to get on top of this behaviour and we’ve been able to get him into a reasonable sleeping time and pattern. Just in time for the start of kindy.

After being away from the workforce for almost four years, my transition is to re-enter the workforce. Albeit on a part-time basis at least, but still… I feel a bit out of practice. You know, talking to a little person instead of a steady stream of adults in an office environment with ‘big people’ talk. I’m not sure how I’m going to go with that to be honest. I suppose as long as I veer away from topics on poo, wiping up after little people and the old (but true) adage of needing more sleep – I should do just fine! But either way, I’m looking forward to re-entering the workforce. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

As to be expected, I was more than a little anxious for our son to start kindy. Our circumstances are that he hasn’t been into childcare or any other form of care. We’ve only been to the occasional fitness class (where the crèche has watched him) and then twice a week to playgroup. Since I am a SAHM (stay-at-home-mum), my situation has enabled me to watch him, with the occasional care from my birth mother (his grandma). So we’ve had a nice little routine in place for some time. I feel blessed for this arrangement too. As financially I’ve been able to stay home with our son for the past four years. However, this means that I wasn’t sure how he would go entering a strange environment – for the whole day.

The truth of the matter is, that…  Well, I needn’t have worried myself. All ended well and he is happy going to kindy. He is happy to get dressed in the mornings and knows where he is going to be for the rest of the day. When hubby and I first dropped him off, we were faced with a few tears and a slightly clingy child. But over the weeks that followed, he adjusted well and looked forward to it. I thank our lucky stars for this outcome! There is another mother whom I see every week and is frankly, well…hard not to notice with her child. Her boy is always clinging to her, as she sits next to him and tries to rouse his interest in an activity in order to settle him into the classroom. He makes a small scene when she tries to leave and begins to cry and struggle. I truly feel for her. Transitions can be difficult.

3 thoughts on “Toddler, Interrupted

  1. mariemclean says:

    What a lovely post! It brought back memories of when my boy was little and starting Kindy. He started high school this year!
    Kindy seems so long ago, yet so fresh in my mind. Enjoy these years with your little boy. That cliche about children growing up in the blink of an eye is true!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Walking the Hippo says:

      Many thanks Marie! I thought I’d already responded to your post…but as I am fairly new at this blogging thing…here goes again just in case you didn’t get my message the first time.

      Yes, how time flies! Wow, your boy is already starting highschool! It’s just that 11years seems so young. I remember the transition to highschool. It was filled with much trepidation but also excitement too. All the best to him n to you for 2017! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Walking the Hippo says:

    Thank you for your kind words Marie! Wow – your boy started highschool?! Yes, how time flies. Before having Jack, I used to think I had sooo much time on my hands. Looking back on those pre-kid years and I can honestly say – geez I wasted sooo much of my time!! 🙂
    Hubby and I are trying to enjoy his last week as a 3 year old. He turns four this coming Saturday!


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