Thursday, August 22, 2013

houston, we have a toddler

Well, I can officially say with utmost certainty that Elden has transitioned from being an observant baby to an independent and opinionated toddler.

He's been throwing several temper tantrums lately (on this note: any advice on how to deal appropriately?) and we can tell he has started to figure out that a) he has opinions/desires and b) he is fully capable of expressing said opinion/desire. This usually manifests as him sitting on the floor, rotating his body from left to right and flailing his arms about while making a screeching/angry-cry type noise. He will occasionally try and hit you if you interfere (we are working on this and it has not been happening as frequently) with his tantrum.

Then a few nights ago during dinner he did this:
This was 100% intentional. He kept doing it over and over again and after a few seconds in this pose he would giggle knowingly. This falls in line with other behavior where we can tell he is more aware of emotions and humor and how to elicit specific reactions. He has definitely begun understanding cause and effect and how he can take steps to see us react in a certain way (this also includes seeking us out to give hugs and kisses).

And then there was dinner last night. I had put some steamed broccoli on his tray that he was mostly uninterested in. The plate with additional broccoli was sitting on the table in front of his tray. He kept pointing to it so finally I picked up the plate and held it within arm's reach. Elden paused, looked at me with a big smile and an 'are you really letting me choose!?' expression on his face, picked up a piece of broccoli, and ate it without hesitation. This repeated several times and I ultimately had to put the broccoli from his tray back on the plate for him to choose.

Finally (there is an eating theme here), there's the observe-and-mimic response. Elden has much preferred trying to use his fork lately, especially when he sees us using our utensils. He's actually pretty good at it now; the biggest struggle is really using strength to pierce his food. Typically if he won't eat what's on his tray, as soon as we get him a fork he'll eat it all. It's so crazy to see these sudden changes because in my heart he's still my little babe who needs me for everything! Let's just hope this newfound opinionated independence doesn't get too stubborn (loud) like his mama and papa ;)

2 comments:

  1. Oh, toddlerhood, I am terrified of you!!! Wish I had some advice for you on the tantrums, but I'm clueless in this area...and I'm sure we will be having to deal with it soon.

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  2. Leo had a tantrum last night because he wanted Dave to play and Dave and I were still eating dinner. He started hollering and we calmly explained (in totally normal voices) that Dave was still eating dinner. And then we pretty much just ignored him. Every few minutes (like 3-4) we would repeat that Dave was still eating dinner and could play with him later but then would go back to ignoring him, talking to each other (even though it was mostly irrelevant stuff because there was a screaming toddler next to the table). Finally after about 15 minutes I completely switched the subject on Leo and asked him if he wanted to talk about his day - he LOVES to talk about his day - and he completely forgot his crying and calmed down. Leo is older than Elden though. But I would say that 1) don't give it too much attention and then 2) try to divert it after you've let them work it out a bit, but if they continue to scream return to step 1 and repeat the process.

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