Claire turns 30 months – reflections...

The last two months was probably very trying for Claire as she adjusts to the addition of a new family member – heck, I think it was trying even for us!

Once the only child, she is now an elder sister. She has shown clear affection for her little brother – fussing over him (“mummy, didi is crying”), giving him heaps of hugs & kisses and even helping us take care of him (bringing wipes & diapers when he needs a change, drying his hair after his bath, etc) but having to share our attention ‘so suddenly’ is probably something she never really expected even though we made an effort to prepare her right from the start.

As a result of this ‘shared attention’ or maybe to her - ‘a lack of attention’, she suddenly turned into this annoying, attention seeking little gal who cries and whines over every little thing. We have lost our tempers at her numerous times because of this behavior and when that happens, I sometimes wonder if we expect too much from her? She is after all, just a little gal. I still do not believe in the terrible twos or terrible threes that everyone talks about and think that all she needs is a little time to adjust and accept that things have changed. When that happens, I’m sure my little angel will return.

She has grown leaps & bounds since the last time I wrote about her development. Physically, she is finally past the 10kg mark – although Chace’s arrival caused her to go on a food strike and she dropped below 10kg for 2 – 3 weeks.

Speech wise, she has been speaking in complete sentences for a while now – she can even narrate incidents to us. Often, we doubt what she tells us but so far, it has all been truths. E.g. one Saturday afternoon, she told me that ‘nai nai (paternal grandma) bang her car at the church!’ I thought she was just imagining and probed further… asking her where and when and what happened. On Sunday when I met my mom-in-law, I asked her about it and true enough, she really reversed into a pole at the church. On top of that, she has an extensive vocabulary (though not accurate pronunciation at times) because I never believe that any word is too difficult to be taught, even to a two-year old.

Mentally, she has a fantastic memory and really absorbs information – good & bad - like a sponge! This is truly the optimal age to introduce new concepts and I have made the effort to start teaching her to recognize Chinese words, starting with the objects around the house – I printed out names of things around the house (e.g. television, wardrobe, mirror, etc), laminated and stuck them on the various objects. I can see that she enjoys learning too as she will point to the different labels and ask me ‘What is this, Mummy?’ continuously! I hope to give her a good start to learning mandarin since we plan to send her to a school with a strong Chinese curriculum in the future.

Socially, we can see that she has started to play with other children, particularly those she sees frequently. She is also willing to share her food & toys with others. However, at the same time, she has started to become ‘wary’ of unfamiliar faces, often hiding behind us. I have to constantly remember (and remind dh) about not labeling her as ‘shy’ but rather encourage her to acknowledge the other person (or people) and say ‘hi!’ instead.

Unfortunately though, many of her little friends have started going to school or rather, playgroups… leaving her very little interaction opportunities. Dh does not believe that it is necessary for her to go to school until she is 5 since that is the age that our generation started ‘formal classes’ so I guess I will have to continuously seek out other mummies & their toddlers on the same wavelength to arrange play dates for Claire.

All in all, it has been a fabulous 30 months… I just hope that ‘acceptance’ will come soon and she will revert to our darling little angel.

May God continue to shower you with his blessings and keep you in good health always. May He guide you to become the gracious and loving big sister (and darling daughter) that we know you can be. We ask Him to also give us the strength and patience to help you along your learning journey and show us how to become better parents. We love you, our precious little angel – although we scream and shout at your nonsense sometimes. Happy 30 months old!


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