We are currently out of town on a much needed vacation. I'm sure we'll be posting about vacation events soon, but for now I thought I'd post this. I started it a while back, so it is largely a snapshot at 26-30ish months.
When Lord C was out of town four days a week, we had child care some of the time, but even then I would be watching him and caring for the hotel in the bracketing hours. I would have to get up early enough to put breakfast out at 5 am. Before I left the room, I would grab the parent unit from the baby monitor and make sure I have a good view of him. This is a product we never had before, because we never had a need of it. I would quietly leave a sleeping Toddles next to an empty pillow as I slip out of the room. Even though the monitor reaches as far as I've ever seen one capable of reaching, it still falls several yards short of the front desk, much less the back of the house area. I prop it up near the coffee station and turn the volume all the way up.
I prepare and deliver, or prepare and set out, hotel breakfast, alternating between stovetop and checking the monitor to see if he's moved. If I'm lucky, he won't stir too much before I've gotten my breakfasts delivered. He's only stayed asleep until my morning desk person has arrived a few times. Usually he wakes up about 30-45 minutes earlier. On those mornings, I hear "Mommy? Moom! Mom, where are you?" coming from the monitor. As quickly as possible, I'll make sure nothing is still on the stove and put my "away from the desk" sign up. I'll grab my keys and the parent unit and use its two way communication to assure him: "I'm on my way, baby. I'll be right there. It's ok, I'm almost there."
Toddles would have to go with me whenever I needed to do anything for the hotel before or after childcare hours. He has been with me while I delivered breakfasts or fixed many locks. He will still occasionally want to go to the office, and sometimes he will tell us "I love you, but I have to go to work. But I'll be back!" Sometimes he will sit at our computers hitting keys and declaring "I working!"
"Ow!" / "Fall" / "Hot" We let Toddlesworth have a wide berth, but warn him in advance of any dangers. He was familiar with how cactuses were sharp, even before we fell face first into one. Now, he will still do things like climb on an end table, but he will put his hand up toward me (like 'stop') and say "It's ok mom, I'm being careful!"
"Hap-peh! Hah-pey!" one morning he woke up, looked at me, smiled and exclaimed that he was happy. It was the first use of the word, and he occasionally repeated it for the next couple of weeks, whenever something especially pleased him, always with a huge smile. (I wish I remembered when that happened... he must have just turned two . His pronunciation and vocabulary have both improved so much since then. Now, he will notice when we are not happy. He will ask "Mom, are you happy?" Sometimes I will say, "Yes, I'm happy," Sometimes I will tell him I am not happy right now, or I'm frustrated, etc. He will then look up at me with the hugest impish grin and ask "You want to be happy? You want to smile?" It is almost impossible for me not to smile back at him when he does that, and it always improves my mood.)
In the same vein, he will tell us things like "You not angry?" "Just calm down! Just be calm!" If we are having a discussion he deems too heated. He will also say "don't be angry to me" and tell us "I not angry." if we are raising our voices, or if he wants to assure us he has calmed down.
When Lord C was away, he got slightly more clingy than before. He would very cutely ask "Where is my mudder?" If I walked around a corner, then exclaim "Dere is my mudder!" when he spotted me. He would also say things like "Mommy! Don't Leave me!" and" Take me with you." or ask, with baby grammer, "I go with me?" which were heartbreaking when I could not comply, but also quite adorable.
When Toddlesworth got sleepy when younger, he had a few rituals he developed for comfort.
First of all, I have to point out how lucky we are that we have a toddler that will say "Sleepy! Bed?" and be ready to go to sleep at a reasonable time, most nights. (Boy has that changed! Now we have difficulty getting him to sleep before 9:30 or 10, 11 some nights. It is extra rough with me being even more sleepy than usual. We're trying to get him to sleep in his own bed, there just isn't very much room in our double bed, and I'm sick of my uterus being used as a springboard when he wants to flip over.)
"Howmaunaugh?" ="How Many" He will grab one of our open hands and flip down fingers, asking us 'how many?' each time. (This probably happened around 2 yrs. Now, I will lay down with him on his crib matress and he will ask me to pet him, or scratch his back lightly. I'll put baby sleep music on Pandora, and he will take between 20 minutes to an hour to go to sleep. He has improved slightly in that he used to demand a 'soft blanket/cold blanket' meaning one of his baby blankets that were already too small for him. We would layer several blankets over him, and he would still toss and turn and cry out 'My butt!! My toes!! whenever a body part became exposed. He would also frequently cry "I need a cold pillow!" which meant I had to flip his pillow over and offer him the cold side. He is overall slightly less demanding now, but there is basically no chance to get him to go to sleep before he is ready.
When he is ready to go to bed, he is so wonderfully cuddly and loving. When I would get back to the room in baby monitor days, he would request "Lay down with me?" I would usually take at least a minute to lay down and cuddle him before getting him up for the day and bringing him back to the desk with me. In June, when he was around 2.25, we were cuddling one night when he sighed heavily and said "It's great to be home." "Yeah, it is really good to be home." I answered. "Mommy?" "Yeah baby?" "I love you." I treasure those sleepy moments and would be fine with co-sleeping longer if our bed was a little larger!