I was prepared. I packed my kid’s favorite soft toy in his little backpack, a change of clothes, a precise description of his routine at home, the likes, the dislikes, how he eats, drinks, sleeps, what he does when he’s frightened and how to calm him down, what games are his favorite and what music helps him relax.

Have you ever felt like “This is too good to be true”? Normally if things seem that way, they turn out to be that way, too. So now that I’ve found a child care center that sounds like “too good to be true”, does it mean that I’m incredibly lucky or does it mean that I’m clueless and just don’t see things as they really are?

I postponed this moment for as long as I could, but couldn’t do it forever. The sad truth is that I need to work more than 1.5 hours a day – and that’s all I could manage so far because that’s how long Eric is sleeping throughout the day, and that’s all the quiet time that I get.

Eric is approaching 18 months and such “milestones” always make me ask myself two questions:

1. How does he measure up?
2. How can I help his development?

Life is sure a strange experience, isn’t it? At first I didn’t have a child and when my son was born, it took me some time to get used to the fact that his little person is going to be attached to me for quite some time now. It took me a complete change of mindset to become a Mom, a person responsible for a child every second of every minute of every day.

If you were to ask me when I was single: “What makes a good present for a 16 months old boy”, I’d say “Beats me!”. But now, living with a baby for that long and having spent every day of his life with him, I have a very good idea what toys stand a chance.

It is true that every kid is different and they all are unique, but there are activities that most of kids like at 15 – 18 months and there are toys that almost always will be a success with toddlers of that age.

How do I stop hosing down his high chair covered with food?
I teach him not to use his hands when eating soup or porridge. We have this agreement where I help him to get a spoon full of soup from the bowl safely to his mouth. To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t always work and sometimes he fights my attempts to help. Then I leave him to try, but follow the dripping spoon with a bowl, holding it right under, so that the food would fall back in.

When your baby starts trying to feed himself, you quickly realize how easy, even boring, you life was before. No fighting over the spoon, no washing food off the walls and the floor 5 times a day, no bathing the baby after every meal. No hosing down his covered with porridge high chair, no washing sticky fingerprints of your clothes, no undressing in the kitchen because he just spilled a glass of milk on you, no finding pieces of toast 5 meters away from the table. It turns out that you were missing on a lot of fun before this self-feeding thing began.

Eric turned 12 months and it was time for me to think about switching him from formula to cow’s milk. A little history: he was exclusively breastfed until the age of 8 months, and then I