My kid and notes from Year 1.10
January 18, 2017
Words, words, words
JuggerBaby is a veritable treasure trove of gibberish. This month’s additions are mangled versions of “Thank you” (tant-too!), “cheers” (dis!), and “Seamus” (deee!). We can just about figure out what the heck ze wants between a combination of signing and listening to the 7th repetition of zir’s “word”.
There are also a lot of signs, like opening and closing a fist over zir head means sing Twinkle twinkle little star, or flapping arms in a certain way means to sing The Wheels on the Bus.
Disciplining a toddler
JuggerBaby isn’t, in any sense of the word, obedient. Not unless ze wants to cooperate which makes it cooperation and not compliance. Staring a not-2 year old down just does not work, not this one anyway. It’s worked on every other kid but of course not the one I’m legally responsible for. I had to find other ways to get zir to do what I wanted. Sometimes bargaining and bribery is useful – ze will do most things with the promise of giving Seamus a treat. Sometimes a more direct approach is necessary.
Ze loves being tickled so much it’s nearly an addiction. When ze is a recalcitrant toddler, it’s time to go on the offensive. Not only does it break the impasse, it puts zir in such a good mood that ze either forgets to be stubborn or chooses not to be anymore. It’s also become useful as a threat. When ze runs away and wants me to chase zir, I cock an eyebrow and ask “Are you coming back?” [NO!] “Ok, I’m gonna come GET you!” [NO!!! *giggles* *runs back*]
Me: Put on your socks.
Me: You sure? Put them on.
Me: Last warning.
Me: *tickles harder* DO YOU STILL HAVE THE COURAGE OF YOUR CONVICTIONS?
Me: *tickles harder* ARE YOU PUTTING ON YOUR SOCKS NOW?
JB: *cackles* YIISSSSS
Me: Ze is FINE. Ze is just learning who the boss is.
Seamus: *snort* *judging*
Parenting skills: not helping
We let JuggerBaby do a lot of things on zir own, and we were pleasantly surprised to see some of that pay off last week. Ze went from trying to put zir socks on through the toe side, to being able to get them on sole-side up, and then on entirely correctly. This happened in one 20 minute car ride, without help.
Then ze put on zir own pants! Then ze tried to put a shirt on zir legs and another pair of shoes on top of zir sneakers, reminding us that we are still quite far from There.
Surprising things about parenting
The dog is a DOG
JuggerBaby really does seem to be oblivious to the fact that Seamus is a dog. Ze has been insisting on offering him a pair of shoes every morning, after zir shoes are on, before his morning walk. I get the feeling that ze is judging us rather harshly for not providing him with his very own shoes, and ze is determined to make up the lack.
Ze is in turns more affectionate than ever, bestowing on him kisses and hugs as bribery for looking the other way when ze gets up to shenanigans. The jury’s out on whether this is acceptable currency because of the meanness, but he benefits nightly from zir insistence on giving him treats when ze gets home so probably he continues to look the other way anyway.
Just after the affection, though, there arose this complicated thing where ze acts territorial or jealous and runs over to push him away even though he’s not in zir space and isn’t doing anything to anything. It’s really frustrating to have zir yelling NO at him for no reason, being a big jerk to him when he’s just a big loving dog. We’ve scolded and disciplined, seemingly to no avail, but after weeks of this, we finally seem to have broken through a little. We have always insisted that ze be gentle with him, and so this is just a repetition of old instructions but it took several adjustments to our approach to get good results. For some things, consequences work just fine. In this case, they never did. So instead of scolding or punishing zir for being mean, I would insist that ze apologize for being rude, and say kinder things like “hi brother” and “how are you?” And when ze did act out, ze was instructed to apologize. We would remind zir that ze wouldn’t like it if he pushed or pinched zir, and that it was quite rude to do that to him.
We finally had a day when ze resisted the urge to pinch him, and he was patient enough to let zir make a mistake, correct it, and pet him gently without getting vindictive. Later that night, ze reached out to pet without trying to hit or pinch or push, and had a whole five minutes of petting him with kindness. *deep sigh of relief* I know we’re not there yet, but I really needed to see that progress was going to be made.
Things we are loving
Dinosaurs. Ze particularly loves re-enacting this book.
Pulelehua and Mamaki: I have my suspicions that ze likes this one because it’s easy to say “mamaki.”
Favorite bath toys
Empty shampoo pump bottles! We’re learning about how water is heavier than air, and so when you submerge an empty bottle, it makes BUBBLES. Because that’s the air being pushed out of the bottle by the water, and the air floats. Something like that. I’m not sure that ze was following the lesson very well but we have time.
Things that are my fault
JuggerBaby refuses to wear costumes.
Things that are PiC’s fault
Ze eats 4 times as much as the normal toddler.