For the last 8 months or so, the first thing I’d ask my MIL when I picked PJ up was, “Did he nap well?” But ever since this past weekend, this question as changed to “Was he a good boy?”
Starting a week or so ago, PJ has started being kind of mean. He would at first just whine with annoyance if I took something away, then he would do this thing where he’d just fall straight back and hurt himself if I didn’t catch him on time. This past weekend, he started pulling my hair or slapping my face if he got frustrated. And this past Tuesday, he had a meltdown during dinner.
I picked him up a little late and rang the door bell of my MILs apparently about 20 minutes into a nap and woke him up. He wasn’t in a good mood. I then rushed home because my MIL said he would probably be hungry. I heated up his food and put him in his highchair. HIs food was piping hot and he would scream and whine in annoyance because I wasn’t feeding him fast enough. Then I had this bright idea to crumble up some corn bread on his table so he could feed himself while I cooled down his food. BAD IDEA. When his cornbread started running out he started get REALLY MAD. Throwing all the cornbread crumbs everywhere, screaming, crying big crocodile tears, and jumping up and down in his chair. I tried to offer the finally cooled down meal and he kept swatting my hand away and would splatter all over the floor. At this, I yelled “NO!” And he went ballistic. He’d cry and scream, then eat one small piece of cornbread crumb, then cry and scream and eat another small crumb of cornbread on his table. Ed saw and in a stern voice was telling him “NO, you cannot do that. Do not scream at mommy.” And PJ started sniffling and crying like we spanked the crapola out of him (didn’t lay a hand on him btw). So I sat there, sort of in shock. I kept thinking.. “He’s not even 2 yet… isn’t it called TERRIBLE TWOs?? He literally just turned 1. Why is my sweet baby being such a jerk to me, he’s so mean. I can’t believe he smacked my hand away and is acting so horrible!!!!” Ed proceeded to say, we need to start disciplining him. And I started doing this thing… making excuses for my badly behaving baby. “O I just woke him up from a nap at your moms.. and he was absolutely starving.. and it’s my fault the food was just too hot!” And I realized.. I’m just like those ridiculous moms, making ridiculous excuses for her boy
I went to bed that night.. so…. sad. If you know me personally, I am very to the point and I have no problem with confrontation. I actually don’t even mind a good logically thought out argument. I thought I would easily fall into the role of the disciplinary parent. But I ABSOLUTELY HATE DISCIPLINING my PJ. I hate that he cries and looks so sad. I just couldn’t believe this precious little human, this innocent bundle of joy.. could be such a jerk to his mommy. I think I was genuinely overwhelmed with sadness. It sounds so lame and naive, like why did I think, o no not my baby haha
So what I am learning is, anger and frustration and preferring things are new feelings for him and he doesn’t really know how to deal with it or communicate them to me without crying or whining. With tips from the internet, co-workers and MIL I have put a warm (not hot) bowl on his hand to show him he needs to wait because the food is still too hot to feed to him, he then sees me blow on the food to cool it down and actually has started to copy me. I also show him the bowl periodically while eating so that he can see the food is disappearing. He also doesn’t like being told there’s no more food btw. When he is about to have a fit or is having one, I just sit there and let him calm down and talk to him about why he can’t have what he wants. However, if I’ve learned anything this past year with parenting.. it’s that things will work for awhile.. but they don’t always stick forever. So this is just my method for now..
The scary thought I had though… I don’t want to raise a bad child. I want him to be respectful to others and be well behaved. I want him to be kind and considerate. And I thought.. all those bad people out there.. they didn’t all come from horrible families. Many of them were raised right. So what can I do to raise him right and be nice normal human being for the rest of his life…
Molding a human is tough business and I’m starting to think it’s only going to get harder haha