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Recent life snippets with my young toddler

My young toddler is 13 months and 3 weeks old now. Oh boy! He's not a little baby anymore.

*gasp dramatically*

To be honest, I'm not so prepared for the changes that I'm facing now. Handling him is quite a feat because he's so much mobile now and wants to do things HIS way. I don't want to become a tiger mom as I want to practice attachment parenting properly without too much yelling and spanking. So, I read up about young toddlerhood and found some nice nuggets to chew on.

Actually, what does a 13-month-old toddler go through?

Ever-changing eating habits

I learn a few things: 1) My hearty eater's appetite has shrunk. BUT, don't fret because it's typical for toddlers this age to eat a bit less and suddenly become more picky. He's growing more slowly, so he really doesn't need as much food. 2) Don't pressure him to eat more. Let his appetite determine how much food he takes in. 3) Don't let him eat too much not-so-healthy snacks out of worry that he's not eating enough. 4) Look out for his cues. Food-throwing usually means he's done with eating. If he hasn't eaten much, offer a different food. But if that gets tossed too, he might really be full.

Note: At the time of writing this blog post, his appetite is back! Yay!

Luke and all his favorite activities.

The boss of the house 

He's like a little tornado - pushing, throwing, and knocking down everything all over the house. He has lots of toys (containers, blocks, shapes, balls, toy cars, etc) but he still prefers dragging and pulling adult stuff (bags, books, pens, remote controls, mobile phones, etc) everywhere. Recently, he likes to play with doors - open and shut, again and again.

I need to remind myself that he's not being deliberately destructive. He's experimenting with things around him and excited to be able to make things happen again and again, even if it makes me go, "Boyyyyyyyy!!!!! Enougggghhhh!!!! Nooooooo!!!!"

Little chatterbox

He can say "ma ma", "pa pa," "mam mam" and quite a fair bit of baby talk with different intonations that I don't know how to describe. It's recommended to talk to toddlers this age a lot, even if he can't fully respond yet. It makes him feel like he's a part of what's going on around him and makes him want to participate in the conversation.

He loves to sing along too! His favorite songs with gestures are "Incy Wincy Spider", "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes", "Wheels on the Bus", "Clap Your Hands", "C-o-c-o-n-u-t", "A-B-C Song", and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

It's also recommended to listen to him "talking" if I want to encourage him to talk. Just listen to him babbling away as if I can understand every word. It's really funny!

Another thing that I find interesting is try to use hand signs if he seems frustrated by his inability to make me understand his needs. E.g. if he wants to be lifted from the ground, he will lift up both hands.

Traveling nightmare

We went on a road trip back to Kuala Terengganu last weekend. It was a 7-hour drive. Out of those 7 hours, he napped for about 3 hours (combination of 2 naps). The remaining 4 hours were quite a disaster. I should have known earlier that the secret to traveling with a 13-month-old is: Be prepared, both physically and mentally.

I packed some easy-to-handle snacks (i.e. ready-cut fruits, dry cereal, biscuits, and pancakes), water bottles, hot meals in thermos flasks, diapers, wet wipes, toilet roll, baby clothes, and toys (i.e. his favorite toy cars, books, and music box).

Here's snack box #1 for our road trip to Kuala Terengganu last weekend. I prepared fresh blueberries, tangerines, cereals & biscuits, and pancakes.

Here's snack box #2 for our road trip back to KL. I prepared homemade raisin bread, chocolate wafer, cream crackers, and dried apricots.

His main meals were packed in separate thermos flasks. I prepared chicken stew rice and beef brown rice porridge. We fed him main meal when we stopped for our lunch at the R&R station.

Baby and his snack box. :)

Chicken Stew Rice

I marinate a few pieces of chicken breast slices in sesame oil, minced garlic, and a tiny pinch of Himalayan rock salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. Heat up sesame oil in a pan, add minced garlic. Add chicken, goji berries (soaked in water for 20-30 minutes and drained), carrot, and button mushroom slices. Add water to cover. Bring to boil. Add precooked rice. Simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is easily breakable with a fork.