Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm Loving It...At Times

My mom and I took McKinley to McDonald's the other day where McKinley partook in his first Happy Meal! Being an enormous fan of McDonald's, I was so excited to place this monumental chicken McNugget meal. He maybe ate one nugget, almost all of his fries and not a single apple slice! And why would he? I would go for the fries too! And, because it's Halloween, the meal came in a Scooby Doo bucket that he wouldn't stop carrying around. I would say he loved his Happy Meal experience and I loved watching it!

Here's what I'm not loving. Tantrums! That's right, I said tantrums! I can't believe that at 18 months, we're dealing with "The Terrible Twos". My sweet baby boy can go from amazingly sweet to screaming and thrashing within a matter of minutes! If we ask, "Want to go upstairs and change that diaper?" We get this scream that sits in the back of his throat and sounds more like an EEECCCKKK versus an actual scream. We get that same scream when we:

1) Come in from outside
2) Tell him "no"
3) Take something dangerous away from him
4) Try to kiss him
5) Take him out of the tub

Or, he will just do it to do it. I've tried, and continue to try, the ignore it method but eventually I have to intervene. And when I say intervene, I mean ask him to stop. I tell him "sweet little boys don't make that ugly sound". Now, if he does it in an unkind way, which is usually numbers 1 and 2, then we have to go sit on the rug. For now, sitting on the rug is our time-out place. He also sits on the rug when he throws his food on the floor in a sign to show he's done eating. Throwing crayons because I've asked him to not color on our furniture also constitutes rug time. He really doesn't "sit", but I keep telling myself that repetition and consistency is key. 

Honestly, I really can't complain too much about the tantrums. He only throws them when he's really tired, but at the same time, I don't want him lashing out because he's tired. This isn't acceptable behavior by anyone, including adults! I try to tell myself that this is his own real way of communicating to us that he's mad. He can't talk sentences yet, so this is how he gets his point across. I don't love it, and truly feel that my ears will bleed at times, but I'm trying to let him express himself within reason.

It's such a fine line. Do I really try disciplining at this age? Does it really work to set a precedence now? How early should we start setting boundaries? Again, we have to allow them to express themselves, but when does that "freedom of speech" become simply unacceptable? And, am I being a good mother in trying to relieve my ears, and those around us in public, by asking him to not scream or EEEECCCKK. Man, sometimes I sure do wish he had come with a manual!

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