I have some concerns about Middie Biddie. She's on the late end of the spectrum in various skills, consistently so. She seems to hit her milestones within days before or after the end of the normal range. They are a couple of weeks shy of 18 months and only today did she walk well enough for me to think that I'm ready to say she can. Still knocking over blocks instead of stacking them.
But while I'm keeping an eye on those things, they aren't really big concerns. What I'm most concerned about is how much attention she's getting and whether or not she's going to feel like Teeny Tiny is favored. Their personalities are so different. Teeny Tiny demands and goes after whatever she wants whereas Middie Biddie is far more passive. The question is - is she really content to play on her own and to just get a different toy when hers gets stolen, or has she simply resigned herself to not having a choice? Does she amuse herself because she wants to or is she waiting for us to come lavish attention on her because she's too shy to ask for it?
When Teeny Tiny takes one of her toys, I'll often tell her No and try to return it. But usually the moment TT wants the toy, MB just kind of lets her have it like she doesn't care and finds something else to play with by the time I can get it back for her. I'm not sure what to do. I want MB to know that she doesn't have to let TT take her stuff. In the years to come, I want her to know that I will enforce TT politely asking and won't allow her to just take. But in practice, at least at the moment, if I try to return the toy, MB no longer wants it and now TT is upset that I took it from her. I don't want TT to think it's ok to just take what she wants but MB isn't cooperating by wanting the toy back so I can give it to her!
Today, we decided to try something a little different and K took TT into our bedroom to let her explore while I stayed with MB in the playroom. In just that half hour, it's like she flourished. She walked a solid 5 steps to me. She laughed a lot more and was much more responsive to my interaction. She turned away from me at times to play on her own, but she interacted a lot more than when we're all in there together. I think she really appreciated having one on one time.
We're going to try to do that for one of the after meal play periods every day. Each parent taking one kid and playing on our own. Frankly, it's so much easier when there's just one! No jostling for position on the lap, no books flying at my face while I'm reading the one in my hands, no tripping over each other when trying to walk towards me. I don't want to thrust attention on Middie Biddie when she doesn't want it, but hopefully having more one on one time will help make her feel secure that we want to play with her. Maybe once she knows she'll get attention, she'll start asking for it a bit more.