I thought we’d gotten lucky.
You see, Sasha has been—so far as toddlers go—pretty easy going. And no, not ‘easy’ in the sense that he’s been allowed to do whatever he wants so hasn’t had any reason to rebel. Easy as in, “Okay, Mommy.” Not that he hasn’t had tantrums (he has) or been contrary (he is) but that it’s always easy to get around or avoid.
After all, tantrums have always come from being overtired or overhungry. If we always keep him fed and make sure he keeps his nap and bedtime then there’s about 80% of all tantrums. Other ones are from being over stimulated, like Christmas, or similar event where it’s just all too much so he melts down.
The normal kind of meltdown you expect from a little kid because their systems can’t handle the load.
Lately, its more like the horrorshow we were told to expect.
Rages because we tell him it’s time to stop playing and do something else (take a bath, get your coat on, eat lunch, etc.). We’ve always made it so it wasn’t a sudden shift. We’ve always started with “You know what we’re going to do next? We’re gonna….” Let him know he has limited time left to play. And give him a choice in the next activity (for example, whether he wants a bubble bath or a regular bath). We allow him to take an appropriate toy with him to the next activity. And that’s always worked. Now these reasonable accommodations and inclusion of him in the decisions DOES NOT WORK!
He’s also been pretending more that he can’t hear me when I call him or ask him to do something. Or if I get my “Mom voice” and “Mom look” on he’ll tell me it’s “Too hard to do” and make a pathetic attempt to show incompetence. For example, I asked him last night to take off his shoes and put them in his bag. This is not something outside his capabilities or unusual for me to ask him. He does it every night so I can get his bag packed for his next day at either Grandma’s or Daycare. The same with his other very small, very minor duties. He did this exhibition of lazy and then threw a fit when I was firm.
And then there’s rages for reasons God only knows.
One was at 0345 this morning. He woke up, and woke us up too so that he might let us know how awful we were. He was still in a sour demeanor when I left him with his Grandma this morning.
On the other hand, he has moments of adorable funnyness. I’ve so enjoyed playing with him while his good moods last. While he is enjoying his new, stereotypically boyish toys, he’s had a renewed interest in playing house. His kitchen has become a restaurant where he is head chef, waiter, and maitre’de all at once. He finds receipts which become grocery lists (which is how I found out he actually can spell some words like eggs and milk) and he has to go on a trip to the store and he talks to the imaginary store employees about his list, checksout etc. He had a birthday party for baby Jesus in his nativity set complete with birthday cake, guests, presents, and so on.
Sigh....which one is my son? I hope the cute one.