Re: My 17 month old is draining us
Honestly, he sounds like a very normal toddler to me, and this is actually mine and my husband's favorite age as they are really starting to get their own personality and making their own choices!
1. We don't cater to meals. My oldest went through a VERY picky stage of not eating much, we still served him whatever we were eating, if he ate it fine, if not, he wasn't starving, it was his choice I made sure at least one meal a day had some thing in it he really liked and didn't worry about the rest. He's gotten much better and at 5 always at least tries his food now before he decides if he likes it or not, and will eat tons of different things he used to say no to.
2. Some kids are just way more clingy than others. All of mine have been weary of other people and preferred us much to my IL's dismay. By 2 they were MUCH better and easily go with other family members and close friends, but still are very quiet and stay close to me around people they know well. DH and I are both sort of introverts, ,so it makes sense to me that our kids are too. As for dropping him off with other people, it's easiest if you just do it and move on instead of worrying if he is upset or not or trying to comfort him (not saying you do this, I just know some people do.)
I babysit an 18 month old and gets SO upset when his grandma lingers and tries to get him to be happy before she leaves. The few times she just kisses him and goes, he cries less than 30 seconds and then runs off to play like she was never there.
3. Naps are tricky to figure out, I would try and do the exact same schedule as the DCP, especially if it's working there. It might just take him some time to realize that the rules don't change at home. My kids were always early risers, there isn't a whole lot you can do about it but find a way to make it work with your routine. It's rough when you're working too.
4. 18 month olds have VERY short attention spans. My daughter is 23 months and is just now starting to sit down and play with things for longer than a minute or two. They like interaction with other kids/adults, even if they are not playing directly with them, they don't like to play alone. Often my daughter plays at my feet as I do other things, but I interject or sit down and add to her play every few minutes. It wasn't until my kids were closer to 3 that they liked to wander off and do things on their own.
A lot of times it just takes a change in expectations, toddlers are unpredictable little people who are just learning that they can make choices and do things their way.
Hi I'm Sara mommy to 4 little Mischief Makers