toddlerhood: the first adolescence
My kid is seriously adorable, with a wide cheesy grin complete with snorting, an infectious laugh, and a rockin’ sense of adventure. She loves to sing and dance, run and climb, jump and roll. She sleeps well at night, with maybe one short wake up these days. She takes naps well in her crib with no fuss. She gives the most heart-melting hugs, kisses, and snuggles. She waves hello and goodbye to everyone like it’s her job.
But you know what? She’s also a little brat, and I mean that in the most loving of ways! I sometimes jokingly call her “the dictator”. It’s an affectionate term, just like I affectionately called my bio-daughter my “cancerous tumor” in my first trimester when I was sicker than I’d ever been in my life. So don’t get me wrong, here. But toddlerhood has suddenly transformed my easy baby into a complete tyrant. This is a natural, normal stage of development, I’m assured. I’m not alarmed, just remarking on the fact that we have, indeed, reached this all-important time period.
This girl just wants what she wants, when she wants it. If you can’t figure out what she’s after, she will babble at you not in English words, but you will definitely understand her meaning, which is something like, not that you idiot, are you just trying to make me mad? No! Not that either! I need the thing I need right now this instance as in yesterday!
Then there is eating. Like sleep with infants, toddlers and their eating habits can totally monopolize your thoughts. Is she going to eat what I give her today? Or anything at all? Is she going to let me put a bite in her mouth? Is she going to throw it all on the floor? There are days when she eats so nicely, a whole serving and a half of everything I give her. And then there are days when we go through a line-up of options. I offer an entree with vegetables first, maybe a pasta or rice or quinoa. If that’s a no, I offer fruit. She often takes me up on mandarin oranges, maybe even blueberries. My last offer will be either yogurt, or something plain like toast or waffle. If she doesn’t even want that, then we’re done, and she waits until snack time a couple hours later.
Her newest, most lovely trick is chewing up a big mouthful and then letting it all fall out of her mouth. I get all excited that she’s eating something, and then… bleeeehhhh.
I continue to yell at my mom for giving her snacks all day long cause she won’t eat meals. It’s not helping, especially if the snacks are salty crackers or sweets like cookies or pudding. No wonder she doesn’t want to eat anything else!