Aannnnd we’ve just had our first temper tantrum.
I’m not sure when most kids start testing boundaries to find out what they can get away with doing and can’t. But we are just beginning this fun stage. In the last week or so Abby has started to get brave and venture out past her play area in the living room. She has, of course, shown an unwavering interest in all things designated as “no-no’s,” “Daddy’s toys,” or “things we don’t play with…” so basically everything that is not hers, electronic, dirty, a choking hazard, or remotely dangerous. She is like a magnet drawn to these things. This morning I pulled her away from trying to pull herself up on the rocking chair at least ten times; I would pick her up, sit her down halfway across the room and try to distract her with a toy and off she crawled, right back to the chair. Then she tried to push buttons on the entertainment center over and over and over and over and – you get the picture.
She wants to explore and try new things. I love that she is so inquisitive and curious and eager to learn, but she is also showing the first signs of a temper. After refusing to let me put her down for a morning nap, she was trying her hardest to move and wiggle enough to stay awake. I used my last resort, the swing. Abby is getting too big for the swing. She can still fit in it but is getting too heavy. If she doesn’t sit as she is supposed to her weight will make it off balance and run too slow. So, of course, to her this effect is fun and what she wants to do.
I sat on the floor in front of her saying, “We don’t lean over the side,” “We don’t lean forward,” and “Just sit back and relax.” The little stinker was so tired she could hardly keep her eyes open but insisted on seeing how far she could push and how many times Mom would say no before giving up and taking her out of the swing. She soon figured out that I was sticking to my guns and insistent that she was going to sit back and swing, so the crying commenced, followed by kicking, screaming, arching her back, and trying multiple times to throw the pacifier clipped to her dress. I felt like laughing at her because it really was funny, but after repeating myself so long I also felt like yelling. I felt like giving in and taking her out of the swing, but I didn’t want to set a precedent for future events such as this. I calmly and quietly repeated that she needed to calm down and sit back. When Dad came into the room to see what all the commotion was about she looked at him like, Finally! He’ll let me have my way! but was quickly disappointed when he backed me up and said she needed to sit and quit throwing a fit. After about five more minutes of this and me singing to her loudly over her screeching, it was as though a switch flipped and she fell asleep.
Before having children I always said I was not going to be one of those parents you see in Walmart: you know, the ones with the toddler rolling on the floor, kicking and screaming, drawing everyone’s judgmental glances until they finally give in and let the kid have the candy or relent and buy them the toy. Now that I have a kid, I know I can’t honestly say that. This was only the first tantrum of what I’m sure will be many to come. The next time I see that parent in Walmart I will look at them and give a silent “stay strong” smile in solidarity. After all, soon enough that will probably be me.