Older or Younger? A game for Mama!

Let me introduce you to my man, Sprog, and whilst he is my little man, it would appear that in fact, very little about him is actually little at all.  He is 17 months old (born August 2013) and a delightfully happy chap. When he was little was out of his Moses basket and into the cot at just 2 weeks old as he was too long for it.

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Over the last few days and weeks, we’ve noticed a big change in his physical development.  For example, he seems to have outgrown what are known as ‘baby arms’ in our house (you know when their arms don’t stretch above their heads) and can now reach high enough to put something on his head, in this case a party hat!

He’s started to look like he needs a bit more space/length in some of his t-shirts so I’ve started to route out the 18-24 month clothes 😦 As I’m doing this, it makes me sad, and makes me understand a little bit more why people start trying for another baby around this time (please don’t get excited … No.2 will not happen for a while).  He got a lovely jacket for Christmas which is 18-24 months and whilst we do have to roll the sleeves up once, it fits perfectly elsewhere. If I’m honest, we actually had trouble doing it up the other night after dinner as his tum was too round for it.

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But at the moment I’m a little troubled by the lack of guidance on the developmental milestone after the first 12 months and before they start school.  There seems to be a great big void in the advice that we then get.  We get hounded by lovely Health Visitors for the first 12 months as we dutifully take them to get weighed every now and then to satisfy our need to know that we are keeping this beautiful child alive and healthy! Then nothing.

Having had a quick glance at the options in my local (and therefore admittedly, small) WHSmith’s this evening, there are all the crisp and clean looking versions of the slightly mangled ones we possess about the first year and then books about how to control your toddler – not about how to challenge them… anyway, I digress, perhaps I need to investigate this further for another post.

So, baring in mind that I literally know nothing about what a 17 month old should theoretically be doing and understanding I discovered myself playing a fun new game today when we were in town – Older or younger?!

The rules are very simple… without asking any exploratory questions, guess whether the child you spot is older or younger than your child!

I had 2 examples were I could not guess… I’m too scared to ask the parents so I shall forever be wondering!

  1. This boy was quite a distance from us in the M&S café (nice little lunch time treat to ourselves!), but he appeared to be taller than Sprog which automatically made me think older.
    • But he had a smaller face
    • But with more hair (not hard, Sprog’s lacking in hair)
    • Drinking water from a bottle still
    • And then I spotted something which made me question everything… he was eating baby food from a jar still! Now just because I don’t know anyone still doing this at Sprog’s age doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen but I was now super confused.
    • And then he started babbling away in exactly the same fashion that Sprog does…
  2. The second boy arrived towards the end of our lunch and probably around the same height
    • Face was smaller and slightly less hair (on the basis that Sprog has a small amount of hair, this made me go younger)
    • He was chatting quite a lot but again just babble
    • He had a dummy in (now this made hubby say younger straight away but I did remind him that a dummy means nothing really!)
    • So we decided probably younger.

Honestly, this ended up being a game that I played, mentally all the way around town as we shopped. I was never judgemental about how parents were getting on but it made it abundantly clear to me that past 12 months, I really don’t feel like we get much support.

If you try out my game, let me know how you get on. I found it much more difficult than I thought I would. It did spur us on the try and measure how tall he is and we got somewhere between 86 and 88 cm which means our beasty boy is 95th to 99th percentile for length on the little chart!

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