Who are you and what have you done with my baby?

My second-born was an easy-going type of baby.  Really, you could pretty much put him anywhere, with any toy, and he would be, generally, content.  He ate anything, took beautiful naps, and was blissfully, wonderfully easy.

He’s not really a baby anymore, since he’s starting walking and communicating and all.  Well, this child now has opinions.  Or, should I say, Opinions.  And he is not timid about expressing them.  Unfortunately, his opinions, or rather, desires, are not always, or even usually, easy or possible to fulfill.  And this leads to a very frustrated baby and mommy.

I know this is just a phase, and that it will eventually pass, but right now, it’s exhausting.  It’s like everything I do is unacceptable to him, and consequently, DISASTROUS.  Even though I know it’s irrational, I feel like a total failure.  It’s getting old.  Fast.

Example one:

Sitting in his high chair, he rejects all my options of food choices with a giant sweep of the arm and a vigorous shaking of the head.  I offer him a sippy cup.  Rejected.  Apple slices.  Rejected.  Noodles.  Rejected.  Animal crackers.  Rejected.  He wants the glass on the table.  He gestures toward it, pointing, saying “dat! Dat! DAT!!!!!!!!!!!!”  I try to give him cheese puffs.  Hahahahaha.  As if.  He swoons in frustration and throws all the cheese puffs on the ground.  My carpet is filthy.

Example two:

He wants to go outside.  I try to put on socks and shoes.  Unacceptable.  He vigorously protests.  We go outside.  I pick him up and carry him since his brother has already zoomed up the stairs.  Unacceptable.  He lays down on the ground and sobs.  He wanted to do it himself.

Example three:

It’s bathtime.  I turn on the water, he’s excited.  I take off his sweater.  Still good.  I put him in the bathtub.  Disaster!!  I don’t even know what I did there.  I whip out the bubbles, blow a few.  Success!  Giggles!  Except now he wants to blow the bubbles.  I try to retain the wand.  Unacceptable!!  Tears!  Anguish! I give him the wand, and we blow bubbles “together.”  Success.  Smiles again.  Now he wants the bottle, too.  I try to help him put it on the edge of the bathtub.  Disaster!  He wants to do it himself!!!  Tears!  Anguish!  I let him put in on the edge.  Now he wants to put it IN the tub.  I don’t let him.  Oh, the horror!!  So I pour out the solution into the sink and give him the empty bottle.  SUPER Unacceptable.  He is inconsolable for the rest of the bath.

This goes on all day.  All day.  And this is in addition to whatever drama my dramatic first-born is up to (though, thankfully, he’s less dramatic than this).  Or that I am up to.  It’s seriously exhausting.  I can’t wait for this phase to be over.

8 thoughts on “Who are you and what have you done with my baby?

  1. Oh boy. This too shall pass. Hopefully quickly.

    I can relate, though. Joey has been that way since birth. Since he had a speech delay, we went through a very frustrating year or more of him not being able to communicate his desires, or him trying and me not getting it right. Now he speaks beautifully, but doesn’t get it when he uses his words and still doesn’t get what he wants. He has the patience of a gnat, and, although he can talk, sometimes he’d rather yell and shout. Now that he’s almost 4, there have been huge improvements, (for which I am SO grateful!) I’m also hip to his game by this time, and I have developed all kinds of distractions and redirections when he starts getting wound up.

    Although DE is a little young, I would definitely start explaining to him about his feelings. Sad, mad, happy. This has helped tremendously with Joey. He’ll say, “Joey sad.” Or if something happened at school, he’ll say, “Joey sad to school.” Just having me understand that he is sad about something seems to make him feel better. His frustration or sadness has been communicated.

    And bathtub crayons are awesome.

    1. distraction is the best tool ever. I need to remember to use it. And I really like the idea of explaining DE’s emotions to him. His older brother is already good about telling me how he’s feeling (nothing is more delicious than him saying to me “Mommy – I happy!”), and why not start DE? Thanks!

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