If you’ll kindly look at the above title and please note your age. Now, if you could stop acting like we’re well into the terrible twos, that would be great.
I’m not sure when it started, but you’ve definitely been getting better and better at expressing your displeasure when you don’t get what you want. I think the first full-fledged temper tantrum was during the week that we were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving. We needed to go somewhere and I was trying to get you ready to go. For whatever reason, I’m still not exactly sure what the reason was, you decided something was not to your liking and proceeded to have a fit. After whining and crying and pulling at me for a solid half hour didn’t work, you actually got down on the floor on your belly and screamed and kicked your legs for all they were worth.
Up until that point, I always thought that was an exaggeration. I didn’t think kids actually did that. You have proven me wrong.
Since then, you’ve thrown more than a handful of tantrums over the tiniest matters. You haven’t gotten all the way to the floor in a kicking, screaming mess since Thanksgiving, but you do stand there, whining and crying, and stomping your little feet until I give in. Which, just so you know, is not a good way to convince me to give in. In fact, you can almost guarantee that I’ll do exactly the opposite of whatever it is that you want, just to be sure you don’t get the idea that your temper tantrums are actually working. Just remember, you may have gotten your stubbornness from me, but I’ve got 30 plus years on you in which I’ve been perfecting my stubborn streak. You are far more likely to get your way when you’re being cute than when you’re being miserable.
This past month you had your 18 month check-up. You’re still at the very bottom of the growth chart, but you’re following a steady growth curve of your own so the doctor isn’t worried. She was pleased with your progress and is happy to hear you’re enjoying eating real foods more than toddler foods. It used to be easy to just pop open a Gerber container of toddler food and set that out for your lunch or dinner. Not any more. You now want real food, not mushy food. You’re so opposed to mushy foods that you immediately spit out anything with a mushy texture. Mashed potatoes, applesauce, or anything like that is just not to your liking. Thankfully, you’re a huge fan of most vegetables we’ve given you so at least that’s not a battle. Yet.
I must admit though, the older and more independent you get, the messier mealtime becomes. You are now fully sufficient at feeding yourself, but most of the time it is not a neat and orderly affair. You enjoy having a spoon or fork, but it’s mostly for decoration I think. You’ll hold the spoon in one hand, while feeding yourself with the fingers of the other hand. It won’t be cute as a teenager, but it’s adorable right now.
This technique of yours has prompted me to take some preemptive measures when it comes to mealtime, particularly breakfast. Not only do you hold the spoon in one hand while eating from the other hand, but you also will only take a few bites from the bowl then dump the entire bowl of cereal onto your highchair tray and eat it from there. It only took a couple times of you doing this for me to learn to let your Cheerios soak up a bunch of milk then drain the rest of the milk off before giving you your bowl. It’s still a mess, but at least now it’s not quite as bad.
While technically last winter was your first winter, this winter is by far more interesting because you are now much more aware and interactive. Well before the first flakes of the season fell, your Grandma bought you a cute little snowpants and jacket set. As is much of your wardrobe, it is a soft shade of pink. All bundled up in both pants and jacket, you look like the cutest little Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, only shorter, and pink.
Last week we had a small storm blow through the area that dumped a few inches of snow on us. It was the first significant snow of the season. After the storm passed, I bundled us both up and took you out to introduce you to snow. We went out to the backyard and I put you down in the snow. At first, you were definitely less than impressed. You looked around and frowned and held your arms out to be picked back up. After some prompting you slowly became more comfortable and I was able to get a few smiles out of you.
This last month you’ve been working harder and harder at learning how to communicate. You’ve moved on from the days when Dada was all you said all day long. You now say Mama when talking to me, or trying to get my attention, or when waiting for food, or when you want out of your highchair, or any number of other situations in which you think I can help. Except you don’t just say Mama. You say, quite clearly, “MA!MA!” I can distinctly hear the capital letters and exclamation points in it when you call for me.
You’ve also learned words like “please” and “touch” and even though you don’t know the words, you mimic my inflection at times. I often ask you throughout the day, “What are you doing?” Every time, I use the same inflection. Lately, you’ve been repeating the sound I make when I say that, even though you don’t have the words for it yet. In fact, you’ve become so skilled at speaking just through inflection alone that your father and I are often laughing just at your tone of voice. You may not have the words yet, but we can already tell you have a great sense of humor.
For each temper tantrum you throw, you make me laugh and smile far more each and every day.