Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Who's that boy?

Danny got his first haircut on Superbowl Sunday. The universal response seems to be "Awww. How did he do? Was it traumatic?"

Today, Jim replied, "It was traumatic for her [pointing to me]."

It's true. Dan didn't seem to mind. We plopped him in his swing on the back porch and Jim went to work. It was a bit traumatizing for me, though, to see my husband go at my little boy's baby-fine hair with an adult-sized electric clipper. I had no idea that high and tight was the order, either. It's a little patchy in places and my first impression was that he looked like a recovering cancer patient. (I know that is a horrible thought. Sue me.)

Now, he looks like a little boy instead of a baby. He moves differently, sounds louder, seems more confident. Over the past two days, I've found it easier to expect more from him. He comes when I call him more often. Dan even seems to follow directions better. Today, I told him it was time for a new diaper - he came over and laid down on the diaper pad. I told him to go find his water and he did. I told him to bring me his pants and he did. I showed him the budding pea plants and told him not to step on them. He's stepped on only one, so far, and has stopped just short of the plants a few times.

Dan doesn't look like a little baby anymore. I guess I'll just have to have another one.

The downside of obedience

Dan understands, but doesn't always like, everything we say to him. Fortunately, he doesn't hear the word "No" regularly. One childhood memory I have is of our preacher's angry toddler. The story was that, every morning, he would stand in the middle of the living room and angrily yell, "No" in every direction - east, west, north, south. For that very reason, I try never to say "No" to him. I redirect him by saying "Not for Dan. Let's go find something for Dan." If he's plotting a frontal attempt on the stairs or eying the knives in the dishwasher, a loud "Step off" suffices. Call us new age whackos if you want, but I don't say "No" all day long and he usually obeys. Plus it feels much more natural to show him what he can do, instead of focusing on what he can't do.

Dan used to just move on after a "Not for Dan" or a "Step off." Now, he looks at us, cries and bangs his head on the wall, the floor, the fridge, the window, the dog (seriously, the dog???), the sofa, our heads. He has a bruise on his forehead right at the hairline. This past weekend, his cousins kept telling him "Not for Dan" so they could see him bang his head on the table. Today, he banged his head on the fridge, looked to me for a reaction, then did it again. I'm trying to keep a straight face, which means no laughing or wincing.

But at least he listens and obeys, right?

No comments: