Oh, this little girl!
Henley is approaching the “terrible two’s” with frightening speed. She and I have gone head-to-head so many times in the past ten days, I have felt like I am losing my mind one toddler-sized meltdown at a time. Mind you, these meltdowns happen every five minutes about anything from putting on a jacket to laying down for a nap. After several days of constant fighting with my pint-sized cutie, I had two lightbulbs flip on in my muddled brain. Lightbulb one: teach Henley how to “sew” buttons together using a shoelace. At first I was worried her fine-motor skills weren’t sophisticated enough for this activity, but she caught on after two tries! Sewing buttons kept her busy for a solid 15 minutes, and, folks, not one single activity has kept my child entertained for that amount of time…ever!
The second lightbulb: give Miss Henley a pot and some beans/lentils/rice and let her make “soup.” This messy activity will occupy her for hours. She literally pushed naptime back two hours by playing (by herself!) so nicely that I was able to do dishes, switch laundry, pay bills, and do several meals worth of meal-prep.
She adds salt, pepper, and sugar to her concoction and offers me or Ty taste after taste. She measures ingredients, stirs the soup, ladles portions into various bowls, and uses the funnels to fill bottles with smaller openings. She even sweeps the floor when it’s time to “cook the soup” for the night. “Cook the soup” means we put the soup pot on the stove with a lid for the night, basically soup time is over for the day.
Thank goodness for those moments of inspiration that come in the midst of meltdowns, fights, and sleep deprivation. A tired, worn-out mama and a tired, worn-out toddler are not a good combination! Ty has come home the past couple of days to the button or soup mess and just shakes his head, smiles, and enjoys the happiness of his two girls.
On a side note: when did my baby get so big and old-looking?! I’ve obviously noticed her personality and independence growing, but her looks are also maturing. She doesn’t look at all like a baby anymore, hardly like a toddler!
If any of you have good activities to keep little hands busy please let me know! And if any of you have pint-sized cuties of your own, I highly recommend button sewing and soup making!