Keeping up with the toddler



As Séimí finds his feet, Mam and Dad are kept on their toes

The Dad Diary
Edwin McGreal

Séimí turned 18 months yesterday (Monday) and he is now at the mad-for-road stage. He’s watching his big brother and big sister and wants to be able to do everything they can.
Within a few months of learning how to walk, he can now run surprisingly fast when he needs to get somewhere in a hurry. It’s usually somewhere you don’t want him going, so you’ve to be quick on your feet too.
Séimí will sprint as fast as his little legs will take him if he sees a bathroom door open, with the aim of adding to his list of things he can throw in the toilet. It’s a long list but, so far, we’ve managed to keep electrical items off it.
He will scamper too if he sees the back door open or the gates are even ever-so-slightly ajar. So you’ve to keep a good, close eye on him. Sometimes his siblings might alert you but other times they are so consumed in what they are doing that they don’t notice.
Frankie is playing football a lot these days, both inside and outside. Séimí likes the look of it, and on Friday morning I was witness to a lovely game of catch between them, Frankie throwing it lightly to her littlest brother, who held his hands out and caught the ball in his arms again and again. It was kinda impressive too! He would then throw it back and wait for the next catch.
Wrestling is his favourite game with Éamon. The giggles out of the two of them is lovely. By times though you’d see Éamon acting a bit dangerously and warn him to ‘be gentle’, but then Séimí would start roaring laughing and Éamon would retort ‘But he likes it’!
It is a joy to see the delight both Frankie and Éamon take in playing with their baby brother and Séimí’s reciprocal enjoyment, even if matters sail far too close to the wind at times.
He’s climbing ferociously too. He can get onto the couch, table, you name it. And his latest trick is to go onto the top of the back of the couch, so myself and Aisling had to put all the furniture against the walls so he cannot topple over the back.
As I mentioned here previously, Séimí is now sleeping the night and we’re still so relived about that. He’s eating quite well but has a rather frustrating habit of throwing food if you put too much in front of him. By too much, I mean anything that he’s not actually in the process of eating at the time. So you’ve to drip feed him pasta one piece at a time.
The laughter from his siblings after he throws something only encourages him, and sometimes you’ve just to deal with an acceptable level of mess.
You can let the older pair outside on their own, but Séimí needs watching. Anything that is not nailed down will be pulled apart, and anything loose on the ground has a decent chance of being ingested.
All very natural behaviour for a curious toddler. Just don’t take your eye off him.  

In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.