What we did: We started the month by celebrating Tom’s third birthday. After a busy August and with a house move to plan, I didn’t feel up to arranging a big picnic as we’ve done for him in previous years, so instead he celebrated at nursery with his friends on his actual birthday then we had a family outing to Pizza Express the day after. John’s parents then came round on Saturday with more presents for him, which he very much enjoyed.
Thursday 7th September was Tom’s last day at his old nursery. He started there at just 6 months old. I felt quite emotional and so did the staff but Tom didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. I’m not sure he completely understood he was leaving.
Tuesday 12th September was moving day. Tom had helped me over the weekend to pack up some more stuff, then went with my mum and Piper to the park on Monday so I could supervise the packers who were doing the rest. I had worried that Tom would be disturbed seeing the whole flat in boxes but he actually handled it well. He was also really genuinely helpful over the next few days of unpacking and constructing furniture. He appears to have taken the move mostly in his stride and was a lot less bothered by the whole thing than I thought he might be, though he did ask a few times when we were going back home.
On Tuesday 19th September, we went back to the old flat to do a last clean and take some old and broken bits of furniture to the dump. John took Tom for a haircut whilst I cleaned. I think going back there and seeing it empty was actually really helpful for him in processing the move. At least he no longer worries that any of his toys have been left behind!
Tom started settling into his new nursery on 20-22 September. I had originally intended to stay the whole hour for the first day but he got straight into playing so I left him after about 15 minutes and went to the shops. The next two days he spent the whole hour there solo and had no issues.
We went to my in-laws for Sunday lunch on 24th September. My sister-in-law and her family were also there and, as usual, Tom was thrilled to see his cousin Rose. He especially enjoyed walking to the South Bank and seeing all the boats on the river.
Tom started nursery properly on Monday 25th September. He goes two days a week – Monday and Thursday. The first day went absolutely fine, although when I picked him up I discovered he hadn’t been to the toilet all day! He hadn’t had any accidents either but it can’t be good for his bladder to hold it in for so long. He ran straight to the potty once we got in. The second day he was a little worried about going and didn’t want to leave the flat. Once we got to nursery though he was fine, if a bit quiet, and was happy for me to leave.
We are getting to know our new green spaces and have made several trips to the local park. We also went to explore the East Ham nature reserve and Tom enjoyed spotting squirrels and birds.
Behaviour: For most of this month Tom’s behaviour was much improved, though he was still pushing the boundaries a little bit. He’s gotten better at responding to the phrase ‘listen to me’ or ‘I don’t think you are listening’ which are good markers for when he is getting close to crossing a line. However, the last week he began to act up a bit again. I wonder if the effects of the move were catching up to him.
If Tom does something he knows he isn’t supposed to he will always tell me about it, even if I wasn’t there to witness it.
He’s slowly improving being gentle with Piper, but still hits her occasionally. I can’t trust him alone with her yet. But he will also be really sweet cuddling and kissing her and sharing his blankies with her.
I still have to remind him to say ‘please may I have’ instead of ‘I want’. Hearing ‘I want, I want, I want’ all day is something that really triggers me so I’m hoping he’ll get this soon!
He is getting good about tidying his toys and will sometimes do it without being asked.
Working on: Tom has been getting more interested in dressing himself and now puts on his own pants, trousers and shoes, though he can’t yet manage socks. He also can now get in and out of the bath by himself. He’s still working on right and left. He’s been really interested in puzzles this month and is getting good at completing them with a little help from us. He has also mastered using his crinkle cutter knife and loves to help me cook.
Playing with: Tom got lots of new toys for his birthday. He’s especially loving his duplo, the board games I gave him, and his dinosaurs. He also loves our new mop bucket because the strainer spins around when you press the foot peddle.
Sleep: Tom coped really well with missing naps quite a few days this month. My in-laws gave him a gro clock for his birthday and he LOVES it. Every morning he comes to tell me that ‘the sunshine is up’ and he enjoys saying goodnight to the sun too. The only issue we’ve found with it is that he won’t tell us if he poops during naptime because he thinks he has to stay in bed until the sun comes up!
Eating: since moving to the new flat, I have started giving Tom an empty plate and then letting him serve himself or choose how much of something he has on his plate. This has worked really well – he is much more likely to clear his plate now and he will take and eat vegetables without being prompted because he knows he won’t get fruit or yoghurt until he has some.
Potty: Tom has been ‘trained’ since February but we had ongoing issues with days of lots of accidents and lots of protesting about using the potty. He also tended to save pooping until he was wearing a nappy at nap or bedtime. But this month he made a real step forward. 80% of poops and 100% of wees went in the potty and he takes himself with no prompting from us. I used to be quite cynical about people waiting until three years old to train their kids but this experience makes me think that we might actually have saved ourselves some stress by waiting longer. Mind you, we would then have had two in nappies which I really wanted to avoid. He still wears a nappy for sleep and will do until he starts waking up dry some nights/naptimes.