Saturday, January 24, 2009

Toddlers are tricky.

Ours seems impossible sometimes. He definitely senses something big is going on. I'm cranky, achy, impatient and overdue. Friday night, the midwife stopped by around 6:30, definitely an odd event for him to have non-family guests over that late. Friday was particularly hard. It was a warm day, but the yard was very muddy, so we didn't go outside and there was no Parents Morning Out. By late afternoon, I suggested we all take a walk down the court across the street from our house. A walk is an opportunity for us to teach Danny about walking on the street, keeping out of the middle, walking on the sidewalks, looking out for cars, etc. Toddlers rarely walk in a straight line. Danny was all over the place, very unhappy that we kept steering him toward the curb. Soon, Danny started running along the road. We told him to slow down. He didn't. He bit the pavement, came up bloody and now has a fat lip. We told him that he got hurt because he didn't listen. Are we horrible parents or what?

Lately, he's having trouble with transitions that once were easy for him and us, like getting out of the tub, going up for a nap, sitting in the cart at the grocery store. The five minute warning system that we thought was mastered is in shreds. He starts fussing as soon as he hears "Five more minutes to play then we have to [fill in the blank]." Oddly enough, he doesn't do any of this for Nana and PopPop or anyone else. Jim commented last night that Danny just doesn't understand why we tell him what to do. I replied, "And he probably won't until he's 18 or maybe even older."

Lately, I just can't figure out why he imitates everything we do but won't do as we say. He sees us doing things around the house, like cleaning up, putting dishes in the dishwasher or sink, taking naps, taking showers, etc., but resists doing these things on his own or at our direction. I have noticed that when we're at playgroup, he'll mimic what other kids are doing, like cleaning up toys. Peer pressure may be working on him already, which makes me wonder anew whether I should put him in some sort of nursery school setting twice a week. He has started saying things like, "Put it back" as he's putting a toy in the basket. But he also likes to break the rules as he's telling me what they are. For example, he screams in the house and then puts his little finger up to his mouth and says "Shhhh."

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