A new toddler low

posted by Jeff | Monday, August 15, 2011, 10:46 PM | comments: 0

Simon is at the age where he's definitely in the push-pull zone. He wants his independence, and he's testing boundaries, but there are also times when he absolutely requires us to be at his side. He's also having very intense feelings about stuff, and he's not sure what to do with it.

Frustration is something he's no stranger to, as he was so slow to willingly roll over and crawl (walking came quickly, at least). Frustration, and now instances where he isn't getting his way, are met first with the angry dance. I shouldn't laugh, but it's pretty funny when he does it. He scrunches up his face, whines and stomps his feet.

Today, we had the most epic of meltdowns, and it pretty much went on all evening. When he and Diana came home from a play date, he wanted to go walking around the neighborhood. He protested, and the crying is definitely beyond baby crying. It's a new volume and pitch. At various points, he just tossed himself on the floor, and flailed and kicked. It was kind of awful to watch, because what can you really do except let him work it out?

We know that part of his frustration comes from his inability to talk. He can't really verbalize what makes him angry or upset. It's so weird, but like a lot of things he's going through, I remember what that was like.

Coupled with the tantrums comes some pretty intense separation anxiety. Diana can't even leave the room without him flipping out sometimes. This is particularly frustrating for me, because even though I logically can't take it personally, I feel like Daddy isn't good enough. Bed time isn't a happy time for him lately, and that sucks. I don't want him to associate the two hours I have with him in the evening with something negative.

I guess we saw this coming. Simon's cousin Mason, three months ahead, has had some pretty epic tantrums, and apparently (I haven't witnessed it) went through a phase where he'd bang his head on the floor when he wasn't getting what he wanted. Diana says there are stories of her doing it into the front door as a child. It must be a Mattoni thing.

While today's meltdown wasn't fun to watch, it's not like he's no fun to be around. He actually had some nice laughs at dinner, and he's learning to use his fork. His playground independence is really excellent. He's generally good in restaurants (for now). Most of the time, Simon is a joy to be around, and even at his worst, still a blessing.


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