Holly can really only be described as a monkey. A monkey is cute. A monkey is, undoubtedly, clever. A monkey can do fun tricks, jump around a lot and put a smile on your face. But, if you're in a safari park and a monkey pulls your wing mirror off they suddenly don't seem that cute or fun any more, do they? This is just what Holly is like. She is the cutest bundle of scrumptiousness I've ever come across and yet she is also a whirlwind, a wrecking ball, a handful from the very moment she wakes up until the moment she finally drops off to sleep at night.
Having been through the 'terrible twos' and the 'even more terrible threes' with my Lara, I would say that Holly's behaviour has, since she was 9 months old, mirrored that of a child almost exactly 2 years older than her. Right now Holly, at 20 months old, is behaving very much like her big sister did aged 3 and a half and... to be honest, it is exhausting.
My new year's resolution is to stop shouting at Holly and to try not to let it get to me. To stop letting her push my boundaries of sanity and to try and understand her a little more. It is hard when your toddler can't tell you everything they are thinking and I know this is the source of much of the tension and frustration between us.
It has recently crossed my mind that Holly may have some level of hyper activity that we need to address. But she's only 20 months old. It is hard to tell at this age whether it is just cheekiness, or the early signs of longer-term behavioural issues. So I'm going to start with exploring Holly's diet to see if there are triggers for her behaviour there – ketchup, orange squash and chocolate are all on my lists of suspicions.
In the meantime, myself and Mr. B. are looking out for one another and effectively sharing shifts of time with Holly – stepping in when we see the other one being pushed towards the edge by Holly's behaviour. This week we have shouted less at Holly and seem to have had a few more successes when it comes to convincing Holly not to hit us repeatedly over the head with a toy.
We are working with nursery to try and identify the things that make Holly most happy – they've bought her things to climb on and I think we will try and do the same. It will feel nice not to have to say “No” when she climbs on something. Music is another thing nursery have noticed helps Holly to focus so I'm going to spend more time with her listening to different types of music and playing with musical instruments.
I'm hopeful we can make 2014 the year in which Holly finds the mellowness too!