Bitmap is just about a year old now! She is celebrating by being a jerk.
Ok, fine, not a jerk, she’s just little. And she has opinions. And she expresses them, constantly. I feel very much in tune with the blog Reasons My Son Is Crying, where such offenses include “we let him play on the grass” and “the juice is not milk.”
I’m trying to keep from letting it stress me out. I have to accept that it is not possible, and probably even not good, to keep her happy 100% of the time. Sometimes, she will have to cope with less-than-ideal situations such as playing with HER toys instead of MY toys. Because I need those keys to drive the car.
I read the book Bringing Up Bebe, which I have mixed feelings about, but it did make me realize I need to stop hovering over her all the time. And that provided she is not bleeding, it is OK to finish what I am doing before tending to her.
So now when she starts throwing a fit because I closed the refrigerator door, I offer her a toy. And if she rejects it I shrug my shoulders, say OK, and go back to what I was doing. I presented her an option, play with a toy or cry, and she chose to cry. That’s her prerogative. It doesn’t mean I have to stop everything and present her with every toy in the house until she finds one she likes. She knows where the toy box is. Dumped out in the middle of the room.
We’re starting to do the same thing with food. You want a snack? Have some veggies. Oh you don’t want veggies? Let me offer you every food item in the kitchen get you down from your high chair because you must not be that hungry after all.
My mother asked me “does it work?” Well, sort of. Has she magically transformed into a broccoli eating, even keeled delight? No. She still throws tantrums, and eats way more white bread that I’d like. But I’m spending less time freaking out because she’s crying. She’s spending more time exploring things on her own, and as a side effect I’m also starting to hone my “mom voice.” Sometimes when I say “no” she even pauses before smiling (it’s more like troll face) and going back to what she was doing – and overall we’re much happier.