It seems as though over the past 11 months, we have created a monster. A 30 inch tall, 20+ pound monster, who drools, craps his pants (regularly!), and enjoys nothing more than tormenting his surroundings.
Now, even with the colic (and thanks in part to his sensory issues and subsequent autistic spectrum diagnosis) and dislike of human interaction, Ben was a remarkably easy toddler. Once he started trundling along and obsessing about either the planets or the pendulum on the grandfather clock, he was a fairly enjoyable guy.
Sure, he still wasn’t the kid you wanted to take out and do stuff with as he’d get overwhelmed in places like Target (the same way, I presume, that I feel about Best Buy) and fall apart, but as far as behavior issues went, Ben was easy-peasy (until aged 3, when all hell broke loose).
When Alex was born, and my glorious doctor was rooting around in my uterus for retained placenta (it sounds as fun as it felt), I swear on The Baby Jesus that had I not immediately thrust him to the boob, he’d have found a way to levitate there on his own (for comparison’s sake only, I will tell you that when I did the same with Ben, about 5 minutes old–although not only was the not-so-glorious doctor rooting around for placenta fragments, he was ALSO stitching up my 4th! degree! tears!– he not only raised his head away from my gigantic nipple, he arched his back and screamed so loudly I looked around to see what had poked him. Little did I know that this was to be The Way It Was for another year).
Alex is the same child who vibrates with pleasure upon being introduced to brand-new foods, like you were handing him the keys to a Lotus Elise, and eats as much (likely more, if I measured) than his 6 year old brother, AND enjoys the occasional snuggle.
Nope, no Aspy-ness there.
On the other hand, whereas Ben is a complete Follower (much to my dismay) and will do whatever it is that someone, anyone around him is doing (lemming much?), Alex wants things his way. Right now. Bitch.
Along with the mischief making of being 11 months old, I swear again on The Baby Jesus that he has started throwing tantrums. If I dare to give him water when he OBVIOUSLY WANTS JUICE (Mom, you ignorant slut!), he shrieks so loudly that my neighbors may actually be assuming that I’m practicing human sacrifice in my family room.
If, in the form of an “Alex, NO” I tell him gently that tearing magazines apart is not such a good way to spend the afternoon (Mom, you ignorant SLUT!), he screams bloody murder WITHOUT ME SO MUCH AS TOUCHING HIM.
(before you think ill of my child-proofing techniques, I promise that I don’t have much around at his level that he can get into–aside from the occasional dime, of course–and therefore be yelled at for touching. I got rid of my Ming Vases at a garage sale along with my sanity many years ago.)
It’s not as though I have issue with telling kids “No”–which, along with no longer using Red Ink on school papers, is the new wave of
brat-making, erm parenting– I just don’t think that he needs to hear it every other word while he’s exploring the house and kicking up dust hyenas.
On the one hand, it’s pretty damn hysterical to see an 11 month old who cannot even walk (yet) get so angry about not getting what he wants AT THE PRECISE MOMENT HE SO DESIRES IT, but on the other, more practical hand, it bodes ill for my future AND my eardrums. Because, primarily, I am the Most Stubborn Human Being On The Face (27 years and counting!) on the planet, and it appears that he is about to try to usurp my title, flailing his chubby wrists at my plight.
It should be an interesting
year decade ahead of us.