Well folks, we’ve officially entered the toddler phase with Dane! Next week he’ll be 14 months old, and he’s already acting like he’s 2.5. He’s constantly into everything he shouldn’t be, he’s needy/whiny and very selective in what he wants to eat/drink.
We’ve entered the “fun” stage of needing to open the shower door just to see what’s going on in there and screaming bloody murder when we pull it shut so he doesn’t a. fall in and hurt himself or b. get soaked.
He never wants to come inside the house and stomps his little feet and protests even though it’s getting chilly and dark out. He also has literally not an ounce of fear in his body, so when he goes bolting down the every so slightly slanted driveway and we try to steer him towards the grass, he cries like we’re the meanest mom and dad in the world.
And don’t even get me started on dinnertime. When he first learned to shake his head no, I thought it was so cute… oy vey. Every night seems like a struggle filled with no’s and aggressively pushing food away and the worst yet – grabbing a strawberry (which he loves) and dangling it right over the edge of his highchair, while looking right at us and daring us to tell him no. With all of our might, we try to redirect and stay calm, but no matter what – he’s dropping that damn strawberry, and he gives zero fucks. Any other parents relate to this madness?
This post isn’t meant to be all complaints… well, maybe a few. It’s just acknowledging that each and every phase is going to have it’s ups and downs.
For instance, right now if we ask Dane to go get something – a book, or his shoes or even his monster jammies – he does it. How awesome is that? I can say, “D, go take this water bottle to daddy”, and guess what? He knows what that means!
He waves buh-bye to passing cars, says woof woof to our neighbor dogs, gives kisses when asked, and I *THINK* has his own way of saying I love you. It kinds of sounds like Iyaaa and he says it often. That shit makes my heart melt.
He amazes me with his motor skills too. He climbs the stairs (very quickly) and can now come all the way back down on his own. He can get down off of our bed, up onto the couch, and into his recliner without help from us.
I use an app on my phone called The Wonder Weeks – it talks about stages in a child’s life in “leaps” – what the look for, developmental guidance and advice. Dane is in the ninth leap and here’s a little excerpt: “The time has come to lay down some ground rules, and now that he has entered the world of principles – he yearns for rules. Your child will only discover the rules you present to him.” It goes on to say, “Temper tantrums and the terrible twos are concepts we all know, but where do these come from? They can literally be a cry for rules. Your little one wants to learn rules, and he can only do this by pushing the boundaries.” (Sometimes I’m amazed at how spot-on this app is).
I have to remind myself to be patient with him a lot. I try so hard to stay calm and remember that each thing he learns and internalizes is directly related to what we say and do. I knew parenting wasn’t going to be a cake-walk, and I’m grateful for my little boy for helping me grow and help me do things I never thought I was capable of.
So I’ll raise my glass of vino to tough parenting times, and easier dinners to come.