So its official, your jelibaby has become a jelitot! They are on the move at last – so why do I sense many of you groaning
Progressing to the heady heights of jelitot what can you expect? Be prepared you may need a drink or a two handy! Jelitots have a habit of turning into jelihorrors if you are not careful
The life of one year old can be very high maintenance. Your baby is on the move and probably babbling or trying to chatter. Maybe they are already talking in sentences that leave you gasping or perhaps even ‘mum’ is a struggle? Communication is 80% non verbal, an amazing statistic that until fairly recently I was unaware of. Most communication comes from the unspoken word. Sadly that further complicates life for a jelitot who finds reading faces and body language very difficult.
Is your jelitot clapping their hands and joining in with nursery rhymes? Perhaps they only appear to like ONE in particular and enjoy hearing it repetitively? Do they copy the actions in rhymes such as ‘pat a cake’ or ‘round and round the garden’? Do they respond to their own name? Perhaps they hate being sung to and refuse to join in or show interest, perhaps they respond by crying and becoming quite distressed.
And how about pointing their fingers? I know for many reading this you may not be able to remember but for those who are at jelitot stage now, please take note of when and how your jelitot points? Are they pointing to demand a drink? Or are they showing you something that they wish for you to share, e.g.: a rainbow or the dog barking in the garden? And how about their sleeping pattern now they are a bit older? Are they cuddled up in bed every night with you or do they settle easily on their own in their cot? Many jelitots still present nightmare nighttimes for parents. Most take up vast amounts of time and leave us feeling exhausted, as if we weren’t exhausted enough. Night shift for a parent of a jelitot is often worse than the day shift.
And what is the kitchen in your house like? Never ending supply of bottles still or perhaps your jelitot is eating you out of house and home? Diets for jelitots can be very limited. Whilst some jelitots eat anything and everything you present to them, others will become faddy eaters with a very limited menu. I remember my children refusing all their main dinner flavours in preference to the fruits and desserts of a smooth creamy texture. My children preferred finger foods; they hated holding spoons and forks, even the special bendy ones. Still to this day as young adults they prefer their fingers.
How clingy is your jelitot? Attached to you still? Feeling like the designer handbag is becoming designer baggage? Yes I know that feeling too. Even the toilet and the shower were not private places anymore. Wherever I was the children had to be there to.
Do you have a noisy jelitot on your hands or a peaceful quite one? Mine were all at full volume and my ears were constantly blasted with screams and demands. I used to remind them all that I was not deaf only for those words to be lost somewhere between my mouth and their ears. Constant crying and screaming is exhausting for everyone concerned and can have a huge impact on family dynamics.
As your jelitot lurches towards their second birthdays most will be walking and exploring. A new year brings new challenges. Being a jelibean is a lifelong thing; it is developmental and as such changes throughout our lives. So what can you expect and what should you look out for?
Play now will be taking up a lot of time for your jelitot/jelitoddlers. Do they prefer to sit alone and line up their cars? Or maybe they love to play with other children but tend to be a bit boisterous? And if your jelitot has siblings – do they play with them or play AT them making everyone’s life miserable?
Keeping on the subject of play, are you noticing your jelitot lining up their toys? Preferring one toy in particular? Are they colour coding bricks? Does your child enjoy ‘pretending’ with an object making the brruumm noises? Or maybe they just look at it and spin the wheels endlessly?
If another child comes to play or siblings have friends round, does your jelitot share their toys or refuses preferring to play as though the other child didn’t exist?
Pre school/nursery – how’s that going? Is your jelitot screaming every time you try to leave them or oblivious to the fact that you have gone and got stuck in straight away! How do others describe them?
Sociable with other children, aloof, active but misunderstood
Frustrated, nervous, anxious and withdrawn and a loner
Excitable, easily distracted getting upset easily resulting in hitting or biting
Sad and crying upset at being away from mum
Appears to control others play deliberately upsetting others
Socially unaware of other children
These are just a few of the comments I have heard and witnessed. I am sure you can add to them over and over.
Is your jelitot in a bed yet? Do they have their own room or still sharing with parents? Is bedtime a nightmare still? Are there strict routines and rituals that your jelitot has to follow? Comforters – blankets, teddy bears or other much loved objects. What type of bedcovering do they have, some jelitots hate being covered at night whilst others snuggle up like a dormouse.
Does your jelitot INSIST on a bath or REFUSE one. Hair washing poses many problems for many jelibeans as does tooth brushing. And then when you get through all these rituals what’s it like keeping your darling jelitot IN BED?
SOCIALISING WITH OTHERS
Is your jelitot asking questions endlessly such as ‘How high is the sky’ or ‘how deep is the ocean’? Do they like factual information and know every single dinosaur in extinction? Do they need explanations for almost everything and some are precocious in their speech. Maybe though they are prefer to sit quietly and wait to be approached by others, unable to initiate?
Most jelitots and jelibeans prefer people of slightly older or younger age than themselves. Finding their own peer group too overwhelming many preferring adult company or their own.
HARE OR THE TORTOISE
How old was your jelitot when they started walking. Do they never sit still choosing to rush around like a ‘toddler tornado’? Others may prefer to sit very quietly in their favourite spot doing the same activity.
Is your jelitot always bumping into things and falling over? Spinning around in circles never appearing to get dizzy? And are they riding a tricycle yet or a bike with stabilisers? How are they doing, a born natural or maybe they are finding it a struggle to co-ordinate?
SENSORY DIFFERENCES IN A JELITOT/JELITODDLER
So many differences it would be impossible to list them all, but I will do my best to flag up a few that you may be noticing.
- Food fads/picky eaters?
- Major preferences for certain textures, flavours and colours of food?
- Prefers cold food to hot food/vice versa.
- Presentation of food – how it sits on a plate, touching foods, mixing hot and cold, insisting on using a specific bowl or plate.
- Dislike of wearing clothes preferring to be naked or in pants.
- Fascination with shoes/wellington boots
- Preference to be bare footed
- Label irritation
- Pyjama preference to day clothes
- Insisting on same clothes every day
- Sensitive to certain fabrics
- Highly sensitive to certain sounds
- Can hear more than one conversation at a time
- Anxiety by loud unexpected loud noise
- Puts hands over ears to shut noise out
- Difficulty in hearing sounds requiring audiogram and assessment
- Unusual perception to light preferring darker environments
- Covers eyes in daylight and finds sunlight too bright
- Always likes curtains drawn
- Settles better at nighttimes when dark
- Sensitive to certain smells leading to a high state of arousal, sometimes resulting in meltdowns.
- Smells fingers repetitively
- Smells food before eating it
- So that gives you some idea of a few of the problems that jelitots throw at us! And then there are the meltdowns or maybe you are used to calling them ‘toddler tantrums’ or the ‘terrible 2’s.
- Cannot feel pain or feels pain easily?
- Unusual perception to light, needs sunglasses often?
- Picking skin/biting finger nails
- Prefers heavy touch to light touch
- Attracted to highly sensory areas such as funfairs, amusement arcades
- Likes or dislike fairground rides
- Liked to be swaddled as a baby or hated being wrapped?
FOUR YEARS starting school and life at home.
Handwriting? Can they hold a pen/crayon? Can they colour within lines? Do they need glasses?
Were they always on the go and getting into mischief?
Clingy and didn’t like being left
Teachers would report incidents of concern?
Concept of time?
Aloof or almost aggressive in attempting to socialise?
Anxiety/Fear of others or things