Okay so we're all used to the pretty much "perfect" little Jaden. Well... he's still perfect. Perfectly cute, perfectly cuddly, perfectly fun, perfectly giggly, perfectly chatty, perfectly sounding little voice...
Perfectly BOY, perfectly equipped with ATTITUDE, perfectly a TODDLER!!
It has happened. Jaden grew up... again. He's almost 16 months old - but I wasn't quite ready for this for a few months yet. I think the "terrible two's" really means the two years between age one and age three. Now I really should be careful how I describe this because I have seen much much worse coming from toddlers ------- but ------ Jaden's attitude has arrived.
The laid back, easy-going little boy has vanished, and in his place we have the... well, not so laid back easy-going little boy. He still laughs and smiles, still talks up a storm with his sweet little voice, still cuddles when he wants to and gives hugs and kisses. Still melts everybody's heart the minute they see him. But now he also whines whines and whines when he doesn't get his way. You know - the "eh eh eh eh" sound that just can begin to remind a person of nails on a chalkboard after they've heard it enough. And we've had actual TEARS coming out of his eyes a couple times during the last week. Now Jaden has not cried TEARS (unless it came from injuring himself) since he was a tiny little baby. He cried tears on Sunday because I took his snack away because we had to get in the car. Yesterday, I walked into daycare to pick him up and for the first time EVER, I walked in the door and heard MY SON... crying??! Usually the only kids I walk in and hear crying are the other people's children. Why was he crying?? Because baby Carter's daddy was there to take Carter home, and Jaden had lost his playmate. Seriously. Getting dressed in the morning ---??? Awful. He kicks kicks and kicks me until all of his clothes are on. And every once in a while, he arches his back because he gets so angry. And we did a terrible thing this week. Ever since he turned one, we have been slowly weaning him from his "before bed" bottle. For weeks now he's only gotten two ounces before we've put him down for the night. So I thought this week was time to take it away comletely... two ounces really is not a lot, and it's not like he's HUNGRY for it -- he just likes it. I thought it would be a piece of cake. OOOPS -- bad assumption. The last couple of nights he's whined in his crib for 45 minutes before finally putting himself to sleep. For months now, it has been so easy to put him in his crib at night and just walk away. Sure, sometimes he talked for a while but never cried. Now -- we're reversing back to his little baby days when we had to bounce him around to get him to fall asleep before putting him down.
I know the reason for all of this. I know it's completely normal. I know that toddlers do this because they are old enough now to get incredibly frustrated when they don't know how to verbally communicate what it is they want or need. I know he is testing things out. I know he wants to form words and tell us things that he just can't do yet. I understand. I also know that I have been incredibly spoiled by such an EASY little baby for over a year now so it is going to be a little bit more difficult to adjust to the change. I also realize that the only times I get to see him are in the early morning and then at night -- when he's tired, over stimulated and beginning to get cranky after a busy day of playing outside. I know that weekends will be better when I can enjoy him all day long -- see him right after his naps when he's fully rested and happy. I also know that this too shall pass. And I am also bracing myself for it to get even worse. Because really... it's not that bad. We have started doing "time outs." When his whininess gets to the rediculous point -- just a few times now -- I have placed him in his crib for a minute. (Which by the way -- is really hard to do -- because during that moment when I put him in the crib he turns back into that sweet little innocent baby that could do no wrong -- his eyes know exactly how to play on Mommy's emotions).
On a good note - we close on our house a week from today. And no... I'm not done packing. Not by a long shot. Guess what my Memorial Day weekend will consist of???