Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Defiance at 8 months

Defiance is becoming more apparent and frequent in my little 8 month old. He's always hated the carseat, but now he arches his back and straightens out his legs when we try to put him in, so he's basically just standing there. Sometimes he screams bloody murder, and sometimes that happens in the parking lot of Kroger or Target, right after the cashier or another customer inside commented on what a good baby I have. "Well gees, maybe you would like to put him in the carseat for me?" He has toys in the car, and I recently found these carseat buddies to cover the straps. I say "don't you want to sit with your monkey buddies?", at which point he slowly unlocks his knees and slides into the seat. So they help! Other times he just cries, but stops as soon as I get one buckle in place. He really hates being "buckled in" to anything. But he loves being in new places, he just can't stand the ride.

He's also scoot-crawling, so he heads for everything that is not a primary colored plastic cute thing, aka the dvr, outlets, doors, daddy's pile of video games or damn game controllers. Some days I feel like all I do is say "no," and I don't want to feel like such a bad guy! I know I have to be because it literally is for his safety. I'm setting up a baby-safe playroom for him with lots of padding and pillows. We spend most of our day in there. He still heads for the door and outlets. Lately, when I pick him up to relocate him, he will reach his hands up and squeeze and pull whatever he can get in his hands, meaning my face, neck, and/or hair. It really hurts. Twice now he has done that then leaned forward to try to bite my hands that are around his waist. Really?? Biting already?? He has both maxillary and mandibular central incisors, so he could cause some damage. I have been using the word "no" so that he will start to learn it. I have a sneaking suspicion he already knows it. Sometimes when I get tired of saying that mean little word, I instead try to redirect him away from whatever forbidden zone he's headed to and toward a hopefully more enticing activity. It works sometimes.

The other time he likes to defy me is during feedings of solids. He tries to grab the spoon and when he gets a hold of it, he will actually grab with both hands, scrunch up his little face, and pull until his face turns red. And he's kinda strong. If his food is almost gone, I just let him have the spoon to make a giant mess with because I get tired of struggling with him. He did manage to scoop up a little applesauce and get some to his mouth yesterday, all while his left hand was digging around in the bowl. He wants to feed himself, but he's not ready yet. I discovered that pouring a little water on the tray helps distract him, but only for so long.

Oh my highly dependent yet defiant little boy! It's so funny to watch him try to assert himself and stand up to me and then other times be so clingy. How am I supposed to handle all this? I feel like this is a crucial period in his development, learning to assert himself and break from mommy a bit, and I don't want to screw it up! I want to find a good balance. It's only human nature to want to do something after you're told not to. Right now, most of the times I say no are to keep Michael from getting hurt, but he doesn't know that. I try to explain it, but I'm sure it's too early for him to understand that. Maybe if I keep saying that I'm only protecting him, he'll get it sooner rather than later.

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