Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The end of an era. Tales of my Boddler.

Does anyone else have a Boddler?

Miss B has stopped breastfeeding. All by herself.

Once again, she has proved that she is an awesome and independent baby! I breastfed A until he was two and he stopped no problem too. I had to, however, instigate that process and worried night and day about how he would take to it and how (given that I was already going through the diagnosis process that would uncover A's ASD a few months later) he would take to the routine change. I was prepared to go through that rigmarole again and my worries were probably intensified by the fact that she wasn't an easy baby to feed without complications. I never questioned breast feeding and would never have considered another option. I enjoyed feeding A and because he was a greedy guts dread to think how many bottles I would have had to make! Sterilising at 2am, no thanks! The specialists at the hospital have even remarked that the close bond we shared facilitated by the feeding has helped him emotionally. Children with ASD who have extended breastfeeding are shown to have a greater capacity for empathy than their bottle-fed ASD peers. It isn't always easy but then what is?

In her early weeks, she had to have her tongue snipped as she was officially tongue-tied. There was far too much skin attaching her tongue to the bottom of her mouth and so couldn't feed properly. She was so thin and fragile looking but quickly plumped up after having it snipped. Then we discovered that she had reflux. Once she was able to take larger amounts of milk, she would spend most of the day bringing it back up again. We had to keep her elevated at all times, she slept on a giant foam wedge and never failed to throw up everywhere when we changed her nappy. She has never, ever been a chubby baby though and given that A was rather portly, this worried me. I took her to get weighed every week and obsessed about her feeding pattern for awhile until I calmed myself down. This period of calm however coincided with the now fashionable weaning age and so we had to start again with a new routine, her fatty milk feeds becoming replaced by mushy veg and so I worried again. The introduction of solids seemed to calm down the reflux and she eats everything in sight. Already at the age of 16 months, she enjoys lunching with the ladies and really will eat anything you put in front of her. So now she has replaced her night feed with a cuddle and has never once broke her routine. So comes the end of an era. My baby is growing up, becoming more independent and it's just fascinating watching her personality develop.

Well she really isn't a baby any more but neither, in my opinion, is she a toddler. We attend a few toddler groups and she is always (unless a baby sibling of a toddler comes along) the youngest by far. She doesn't exhibit the kind of abandon that toddlers do. She is still inquisitive and watches everything that is going on. Toddlers are really self centred, crashing their way through the crowd, intensively playing with a single toy before stealing a new one off of someone else. In my mind a toddler is a little people from 18 months to 3 years until they are officially a pre-schooler. She is for at least the next two months, my Boddler. But on second thought, she really always has been a it of a boddler, neither a baby or a toddler.

I suppose the term boddler might ring a bell with a few of you out there. Some people have babies who are babies from day one, that look like drooling potatoes that look like neither parent and who it takes until approximately a year or so for them to stretch and grown into a little person. There is a group of babies we hang around with that are either a month older or younger than B and she is completely different to them. Two of the gang are not walking yet and a few are still quite bald. A few of the mothers were quite taken aback but in full agreement when I pointed out last week that when B does something marvellous or new, the group don't make a huge fuss of her because she looks different, older so more is expected of her when the gang are all at the same developmental stage.

I seem to have had two kids who are full of personality from the beginning and have stood out from the crowd for a few reasons. With A, it was his height. He was a huge baby and chubby so although he looked much younger than B at their respective ages, he was very tall and so was constantly mistaken for a toddler when only a boddler. I remember one outing to a soft play in Edinburgh whereby the mother of another child actually approached me to ask me to remove my child from the toddler ball pool as clearly he was in contravention of the age limit of three years old. A was at this point a mere 18 months old! Another incident was where I was lectured by a middle aged woman in John Lewis' for having put such a big boy in a pushchair and that I was a bad mother for encouraging laziness. In fairness, aged 18 months in a Maclaren buggy, A did look a bit like Fred Flintstone, powering the buggy with his long legs!

So with B, I have another child who does things earlier than others (walking at 9 months so at 16 months, she is running about the place with confidence), who has masses of hair (which really needs cut!) and who generally exhibits a demeanour of a worldly person. Her hair is really long yet I am putting off getting it cut as I am convinced a proper hair cut will make her look older still!

Miss B at 15 months! Very Deep Purple hair...


  1. I have a boddler too. JC is 8 months but he has a head full of hair and looks a lot older. I doubt he will crawl as he constantly wants up on his feet and seems desperate to move. He has always been a strong personality and has never been a laid back, take it all in his stride type of baby. He has very clear ideas about what he likes and dislikes. I love that about him!

  2. Ha ha, I had JC in mind too when writing this! It makes them completely awesome! Xx

  3. A 'boddler'! Love it! What a great term. DD was very much a baby as she was only 4 pounds at birth but she did go through a bit of a boddler phase. It's amazing to see their personalities shining through though isn't it? Great post :D


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