Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Developmental Explosion, Part II

Continuing where I left off with this post... I didn't want to put you all completely to sleep!

I guess Aidan was a bit of a late bloomer as far as becoming attached to an object for sleep or comfort.  Unless you call that object Mom or Dad!  Finally, though, there is an object of his affection.

Yup, it's an Eeyore snuggle buddy.  And he LOVES it.  It's an absolute must-have for bedtime and naps.  If Eeyore isn't there, there'll be no sleeping.  I went back to where I bought this one to buy a backup one just in case, and they didn't carry them anymore.  So I had to order one online and pay shipping!!  He will sometimes settle for other snuggle buddies in a pinch, but Eeyore is his strong preference.  And I like the fact that this particular one doesn't have a rattle in it.  It's so precious to watch him curl up with Eeyore and play with his ears to fall asleep.

Speaking of going to sleep, I guess I need to confess that he's not totally off bottles yet.  He only has a bottle at bedtime, though, and first thing in the morning.  That is going to change very soon.  We probably could have pulled it already, but I had read (a hundred times) to do that when there aren't any other major changes going on.  He started the transition to his new room at daycare about a month ago, and it's been really hard on him, so we decided to wait until that blows over.  I suspect another week or so and he'll be ready.  Honestly, I don't expect him to throw a fit about it; I guess that's one big reason that I haven't been too stressed about him still having the bottle.  It's been more of a convenience for us than a demand of his, really.  It's just going to be a matter of making a new routine at bedtime.

I read in my trusty What to Expect book that saying 'goodnight' to various objects in the house can be a helpful transition to signal bedtime, so hubby (who typically puts him to bed) has started doing that.  Every night they put his nighttime diaper on, slather on some lotion, don the nice warm jammies, and then they set out to say goodnight to each of the rooms upstairs before bed.  He waves at the doorway of each one, which is pretty cute.

On the food front, this boy is eating his weight in food every day, I swear.  He is a machine right now.  They feed him breakfast, lunch and two snacks at daycare each day, and it's really good food, and he is still starving by dinner.  Perfect example - yesterday, he had cheerios, milk and bananas for breakfast at daycare; crackers and water for morning snack; meatloaf, sweet potatoes, pears and milk for lunch; and a muffin with oranges and water for afternoon snack.  Then, when we came home, he was really demanding food, angry-like, so I started giving him a few snacky things and he didn't stop until after dinner.  He ate: two full-size graham crackers, an entire fairly-large banana, a slice of cheese, about 20 goldfish crackers, some cubed pear, a handful of Crispix (can you tell I'm trying to quell his hunger with snacks while I try to do other things?), a handful of Cheerios, about 3/4 cup of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, and probably 6 ounces of water (he requested water this time, not milk).

And he was still signing 'more' when we cut him off after all that food!

Dude.  Where does it all go?!  I have no idea.  I've noticed his face getting pudgy again and his belly is starting to pop out again too.  I suspect he's bulking up for an upward growth spurt in the very near future.  Geesh, at this rate I'll never be able to keep up with his intake when he's a teenager!  The great news is that he loves his fruits and veggies.  Given the choice he'll eat a veggie over most other foods.  I try to always put veggies on his tray first so he starts nibbling on those before he gets the main course.  His favorite veggies are corn and green beans.  He'll eat peas, but he finds it much more enjoyable to just smush them and finger-paint!  Favorite fruit is - for sure - bananas.  But I haven't found one yet that he doesn't like or won't eat.  We are very fortunate in that he's a good eater and will always try something new.  He's one of the least picky eaters I've ever seen.  Once in a great while he'll turn up his nose at something he normally likes, but it's rare.

But don't let me make you think it's all peaches and cream here, people.

Apparently - and I didn't know this until yesterday - something happens at 15 months that makes a sweet and adorable baby turn into a creature that could land a starring role in an Exorcist movie.  No lie.  He's been a little moody lately, but I chalked that up to the changes at school, teething, the fact that he's getting over a stomach bug, etc.  However, yesterday's brief trip to the grocery store was the last straw.  We were in there maybe twenty minutes; he spent at least nineteen of those minutes screeching, shrieking, screaming, crying, gasping for air, and flinging his head to the side/front/back for extra dramatic flair.  This is not the first time it's happened, but it was certainly the worst.

Of course, I immediately blamed myself.  I must be spoiling him.  I've ruined this child already.  I thought back to before we had kids, when we'd see a kid this age acting like that, we'd always think 'geez, parent(s), are you really gonna let your kid rule you like that?'  Well, now I am that parent.  Add to all of this that I have just a wee stubborn streak myself (yes, very minor, ahem...) and it's just a bad situation.  He starts acting like that and I decide it's a good time for him to learn something about how to behave in the store, and next thing you know, he's in total hysterics (despite my ignoring him completely) and I feel like a prime candidate for the Susan Smith Mother of the Year Award.

After the raving beast was in bed last night, I did what any desperate mother who isn't allowed to drink (for health reasons, not pregnancy) does: I turned to Google for answers.  I typed "tantrums at" ... and guess what the SECOND suggestion to pop up was?  Yup.  "Tantrums at 15 months."  What?!  Not two years old, or three, or six?  Fifteen months specifically?!  Turns out this is some very special time in a kid's life during which tantrums are new and exciting and likely to get a reaction from Mom and Dad (and everyone in the grocery store... and nearby parking lots).  Who knew.  So I've not ruined my kid!  Sweet!

Everything I read suggested the things we are already doing.  Don't engage the child mid-tantrum.  Ignore the behavior if the child isn't in any physical danger throwing the tantrum where they are.  (If they launch into their tirade whilst standing on the couch, you are to gently move them to the floor or their crib or wherever and then wander off and wait for it to pass.)  Trouble is, my tendency as a parent is to correct bad behavior, not ignore it, so this one is hard for me.  I have to remind myself on a constant basis that while he does pick up on some things around him at this point, he is not yet wise enough to be reasoned with.  I explain to him that Mommy only plays with babies who aren't throwing fits, but to expect him to understand that at this point is unreasonable.

So it appears that he and I both have things to work on.  He needs to quit acting like an honorary member of the Kardashian family, and I need to stifle my own stubbornness long enough to get through the tantrum and return to harmony.  And Daddy needs to work on not coddling during tantrums.  And when he's a little older, there'll be plenty of discussions about good versus bad behavior.  But right now, he just isn't equipped to handle them.  So I suppose I'll save them up.  It's not going to be fun to be him in a couple years when I unleash them all at once!

On a happier note, I'm getting more excited about Christmas.  A friend posted something on her blog today that served as a great reminder that while there may not be a giant pile of presents this year, we already have more gifts than could ever be counted with dollars.  We have each other, we have a warm house and food to eat, and we have the most beautiful baby boy to share it all with.  And two sweet little dogs, too.  Life is good.


Anonymous said...

Aiden is just too cute! We're looking forward to our first Christmas, but of course, Davie has no idea what's going on. I bet it will be so fun to watch Aiden open presents! :) I just wish Davie would stop growing so fast! :)

Jim and April said...

oh girl...the TANTRUM stage happened the past few months for us too. Isaac just turned 18 months today. I have heard compared to others, he is an angel BUT to us, this is so new and i feel JUST LIKE YOU! He did it the other day at Chipotle and I felt like all eyes were on me and like you, I feel I need to parent him and correct him in the right way and teach him every time he throws a tantrum but the books/experts and my common sense remind me he is just 18 months and really doesn't understand most of what I will say to correct him and so for now, I need to just stay calm and ignore his bad behavior but its so hard for me! Loved your post! ;0)

Mama C said...

Awww, I love that he has a lovey! My kids never really have. Well MG has one now, but that didn't come through until after two, if I remember right. And oh the big Ts. Some days you just have to laugh while walking away ;) it seems to be at epic proportions for our kids at about three. Then by four I'm like, who IS this kid? I want 10 of them!!! This version is amazing! haha ;) Right now we're dealing with one not napping well - & I think it's developmentally related as well. All in due time ... thanks for the shout out. We all need those reminders!

A Life Being Lived said...

He has grown so much! Still such a cutie as well. Don't beat yourself up for not charting his development "perfectly". You're trying to keep up with a toddler :) Much more important than Martha-Stewart baby books!

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

Your son is too cute and I bet he knows HOW much you love and adore him. Which is why they test their limits, right??!! :)