You know how I have said at every age that *this* age was my favorite age for Barrett? Yeah, I am not sure I'll be saying that about 19 months. Sigh. It's not that he's not fun - oh, he is. He can laugh and play, hide, giggle and tease. It seems like he comes up with new words every day and he's so proud to use them. He's definitely a lot of fun and makes me laugh constantly with all the funny things he does.
But with that fun has also come a definite rebellious side and a short fuse. He is really into testing boundaries these days and one of his favorite games is called Disobeying. Spend an afternoon with us and he'll show you how much fun this game can be - for one of us anyway!
Here's a snapshot of a few instances from this weekend: me: "Barrett, the chalk needs to stay on the patio." little legs run to the pool - splash! as the chalk goes into the pool. me: "we need to keep our food on our tray." thud! as the sippy cup hits the floor. me: "Sweetie, we need to keep our shoes on in stores" and "we need to stay close to mommy and daddy in stores" then smack, smack smack! as little bare feet run away at the furniture store.
And he knows he's disobeying too, he gets the little mischievous look in his eye and I see the wheels turning as he comes up with the Plan.
And when he's unhappy - woo, he lets you know. It's an instant screech, a tantrum complete with back thrusting, wailing and flailing. All eyes were on us at the furniture store over the weekend as this child had a full-fledged meltdown in his daddy's arms because he wasn't allowed to run around the store with bare feet.
It's a tough age we're in. There's lots of frustration as he can't communicate with us necessarily what he wants. He wants freedom and a chance to explore, but he's not yet gained common sense, so we have to stay after him at all times, which is frustrating for him and exhausting for us. He's still a picky eater, which leads to a lot of mealtime meltdowns, when he doesn't like what he's given and shows this by crying and throwing food. And he definitely wants to exert his will and test limits.
Unfortunately, I think this is new territory that we're entering here and we need to figure out discipline and rule enforcement. It is hard, because we don't see him more than a few hours every weekday and I hate to spend that time being Sergeant Mommy, but I also don't want to raise a little hellion either!
On the plus side, when the angel on his shoulder is winning, he is just the sweetest, funniest little thing. He recently learned to say thank you and please, so whenever I give him something, he says "thank you, momma" with a big smile (which sounds like "tee tee, momma"). So if I'm slicing strawberries, each time I give him a few slices, he says it and is so proud of himself as I keep telling him "you're welcome, baby." It's pretty stinking cute!