I will probably be heard muttering this phrase at various intervals for the rest of my life, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen quite so soon. I think every parent and parent-to-be has heard of different stages in a child’s development, and has a healthy fear of said stage, but at the same time a certain complacency as they know they have ‘x’ years until they have to deal with it. I have heard a lot of horror stories about the ‘terrible twos’, toddler tantrums and children wreaking havoc in the home. I smugly thought I had at least another year to go. Sadly, that appears not to be the case.
The other evening DH waved his arm in the general direction of the kitchen worktop, where a motley collection of glass jars and bottles resided. ‘What are they doing there?’ he asked. ‘Well,’ I replied (the ‘well’ being a precursor to a long or crazy explanation) ‘T started emptying the cupboard, and as it kept him happy and let me cook without interruption, I removed everything dangerous and left him to it’. Indeed, he spent a happy 15 minutes smashing tins of tuna into the floor and trying to eat a packet of pasta. I spent a happy 15 minutes preparing a stew. DH accepted the explanation without question, as this appears to be totally normal behaviour with a 9 month old around.
A few hours after the cupboard-emptying, I was in the bathroom pinning my hair up, and T was trying to climb into the bath. He gave up when he spied the bottles lined up at the end of the bath, and shuffled towards them. I heard a splash, and turned to see my conditioner bobbing in the toilet. Thankfully, there was nothing untoward in the toilet, so I rescued it and left it in the sink to deal with later.
The general ‘helping’ with every single household item imaginable is not the only interesting behaviour we are currently dealing with. We have tantrums too. I never imagined that a 9 month old was really capable of knowing exactly what he wanted, and throwing a paddy when he can’t have it. How naive was I? We are attempting some basic discipline, like telling him ‘no’ firmly and removing him from the situation, but he thinks it’s a game, and as soon as you put him down he heads straight for the ripped cover of the book/the tv/the hot oven. If you try to physically hinder his progress he screams. I mentioned this to my dad the other day and he seemed to imply that he was only taking after his mother!
DH and I are both quite independent, stubborn people, and we always joked that we would probably create a very stubborn child. It appears that our child is at times, on the brink of out-stubborning us!