Tuesday, July 27, 2010

They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said...


ok, well the rehab part isn't true.
But the NO NO NO part is as true as they come.

I feel like that's all I say these days. Every time I turn around I'm saying NO to something. Here I though I had my house reasonably well baby-proofed (and maybe I really do) but still, my 14 month old will find something to do that is most certainly off limits.

Take, for example, this morning. Levi has taken a particular liking to grabbing onto his high chair tray (from the floor) and hanging on it like a monkey. Surely, it will eventually break, so this deserves a no.

Similarly, he is determined to climb up onto the "oven door" on his play kitchen. Again, it will eventually break, and I'd rather it not. So, that's another no.

We go into his room so I can put away laundry and he takes all of his books and throws them on the floor. not necessarily a no, but I am SO TIRED OF PICKING THEM ALL BACK UP! I swear, I do it at least 5 times a day. As I was picking them up this morning he took the opportunity to empty his clothes drawers. He's lightening fast, Lightening I tell ya.

I could go on to explain how he's decided that ear-piercing screams are allowable whilst in the high-chair for any amount of time beyond 2.5 minutes. I could also lament about the significant increase in really annoying whining we've seen. But I suspect any of you with children will tell me that every kid in the universe does these things. I'm sure you'll tell me he's testing his boundaries, trying to figure out cause and effect. He's figuring out what kind of responses he gets from his actions.

And believe you me, he's figuring that out right quick. If only it could sink in faster.

I case you didn't know, let me tell you that Jonathan and I are not the types of parents to pat our disobeying child on the head, remind ourselves that boys will be boys, and send him on his merry way. We firmly believe that if he's old enough to pitch a fit (which he does, in full-toddler fashion now, on the floor) he's old enough to receive a punishment. As toddlers have especially short memories, we usually opt for a quick switch to the back of the thigh for blatant disobedience, (like the "I know I'm not supposed to do this, but I'm gonna look right at mom and do it anyway" kind of disobedience) and a separation from the family for tantrums (i.e. if you're going to scream, you'll scream in your crib, not at the dinner table). And I'd have to say, both of those things work really well - in the moment.

The trouble is, neither of them seem to carry over. What I mean is, my son could have been punished for, say, smacking the TV with a toy yesterday, and he'll go right back and do it again today, and tomorrow, and the next day. It's like he never stores it away. It's INFURIATING! I know learning is a process, but JEEZE LOUISE!

All that to say, this little "exploring my boundaries" thing our son has going on is driving me NUTZ. I'm sure you're looking at your screen right now saying things like "oh, you just way, it gets better when they can talk back to you!" and "That's NOTHING, he's not even TWO yet!" and believe me, I'm trying to put this all into perspective, but it's truly exhausting, and I feel like the bad guy ALL-DAY-LONG.

I'm coming to find that the only real solution is to get out of the house. He's so much better behaved when we leave the house. He doesn't try to climb up on tall objects, doesn't topple over chairs, doesn't even really fuss. I spend so much less of my energy fighting him, and so much more playing with him. Oh yeah, and when we're out, he actually plays with toys. Go figure. At our house he usually stares at them as if they aren't even there. Maybe he's just bored.

But then again, maybe it's not boredom at all, maybe it's just the familiarity of home as a "safe" place to test things out. And I get that. I know that's necessary and good. But man, I sure wish I didn't have to say "no" so much.


Learning to Parent said...

I feel the same way with the two year old. We can take him to the bedroom 20 times in one day for throwing tantrums, but you can bet your bottom dollar he is going to do it again. If it's a bad day, he'll probably do it again in the next 5 minutes! Wish I had some advice or encouragement but all I can really say is that you are not alone! :)

Rae said...

Hmmm... I don't know what you're talking about. Teague NEVER disobeys and NEVER gets into things. However will you handle such a naughty little boy?!?

Kim said...

hey, wanna do a toy swap? Like, swap out the ignored toys for a few weeks, then swap back? Sam does the same thing to her toys.

and the screaming.

and the whinning.

and the...everything.

anyway, just an idea!