The other day I hosted the first meeting for our new toddler homeschool preschool. I wanted our first topic to be “classic preschool”—as well as something accessible to our 2-year-olds. I thought about doing a back-to-school theme but figured it was too abstract; instead, I chose to focus on toddler activities about color.
Kiwi is constantly learning about the world through colors. When she asks for a bowl, she specifies what hue she wants. She calls on things not just by their name (“dog”) but by what kind of dog (“white dog”). And about 100 times a day she holds up one finger and announces, “Blue. My favorite!” (Followed immediately by, “Purple. Peeper’s favorite!”)
A homeschool preschool curriculum filled with toddler activities about color, then, was right up these kids’ alley. They enjoyed the fine motor skills-tuning project, the sorting activity that works on pre-math skills, and of course plain ol’ art.
Do you have little ones that would love toddler activities about color? Try these! Even if your toddlers don’t know yellow from red, they’ll enjoy these activities—and learn at the same time.
On the morning of Kiwi’s 2nd birthday, our brand-new two-year-old woke up and wanted to snuggle in Mom and Dad’s bed. Minutes later, Big Sister Peeper woke up and joined us. Not to be left out, our dog Finn hopped up onto the bed, too. So the first thing we did on Kiwi’s 2nd birthday was snuggle in a big family pile. I can’t think of a better way to start any day, but especially the birthday of our youngest.
Mornings are understandably hectic, thanks to two working parents trying to get ready for their jobs, two kids who would rather goof off or read books than eat breakfast or get dressed, and one dog who takes his sweet time doing his business on our walks. But on Kiwi’s 2nd birthday, we let the usual morning hubbub take a backseat. Spending a few minutes together as a family, undistracted, didn’t come with a ribbon or fancy wrapping paper. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful gift.
If you’re looking for Kiwi, she’s busy trying to literally merge herself with me. Because she does nothing halfway, she’s taking the clingy phase to new extremes.
What, your toddler doesn’t try to smash herself into you with such force that you suddenly become one person instead of two? Isn’t that attachment parenting?
Oh, my bad. I thought that was totally normal behavior.
Over the weekend, Eric was mowing the lawn while the girls played outside. Kiwi followed behind him pushing a green plastic toy mower. Peeper was blowing bubbles but wanted a turn with the mower.
“Can I have a turn? Here, you can take a turn with the bubbles,” Peeper offered.
“MO!” Kiwi yelled. Then she left the toy mower, picked up the bottle of bubbles and dumped out the whole thing on the grass. Then she went back to her toy mower and happily pushed it along as if everything were right with the world.
Eric told me the story and we laughed hysterically—partly because the scene so perfectly exemplifies the feisty, sometimes ornery, stage our almost-2-year-old is in.
At 21 months, Kiwi has developed an ornery, argumentative streak. I know that 2-year-olds love the word “no,” and apparently Kiwi is entering the toddler no phase a few months before she officially enters her terrible twos.
Of course Kiwi isn’t actually terrible, but the no phase is strong with this one. She says “no” more than any other word by far. I knew this was coming—Peeper started her own no phase immediately after her second birthday—but repetition is slightly ridiculous.
It’s a small mercy that I barely remember my first day on my own with both kids: Predictably, it was a disaster. The day involved a lot of tears, boiling over macaroni, leaking boobs and at least one text informing my husband in no uncertain terms that we were done having kids. But we survived—and you can, too, when it comes time for your first day on your own with kids.
After all, as hard as that first day was, it wasn’t all bad. I managed to put Peeper down for a nap (success!). And as I was rocking both kids in the rocking chair, Peeper kept reaching over and petting her newborn sister’s fuzzy head. It was beautiful. It was tender. It was a moment that kept me from completely giving up.
To get through your first day on your own with kids, New Mom, I’m offering a few tips. Some of these helped me during the early and hard months of having two kids, and some I’ve heard from others.
Until it gets easier—and it will get easier!—here’s how to make it through your first day on your own with kids.
Kiwi recently turned 20 months old, and I love my curious, spunky, opinionated toddler more each day.
She’s moved past her static cling stage (mostly), though she still loves Mama time. She is growing up fast—but not too fast. And I’m definitely not pushing her to speed up!
At 20 months old, Kiwi is learning something new every day and exploring the world in the way she best knows: through experience. She gets into everything, which is simultaneously infuriating and hilarious, like when she finds the pots and pans then reaches into the utensil drawer for a spatula. Instant drum set!
There are so many things I love about my toddler, but I wrote about just 10. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.