We lurch towards toddlerhood, all three of us wide-eyed and stinky. He ponders things: I could reach that. I could eat that. I could throw that. Look! He he. I was right.
Sits on the floor and plays with his toys. Hoards fistfuls of Cheerios, curious and precious. Lunges for anything dangerous, like a magpie to christmas tinsel. It’s finally time to proof the house – a point driven home by his gleeful discovery of a paddling knife (sheathed, thank goodness) that was so easy to find it may have well have been laid out for him in his crib.
As the baby becomes the boy, I figure we have three developmental bullets to dodge, if we can manage it.
Bullying, Bratting and Biting. The trinity of bad behaviour. The kind of pushing, shoving, taunting and chomping that gets you expelled from playgroup. Of course, if your child ends up in this camp, I suppose you’d just put on your brave face and get through it, hoping to convince both yourself and the public at large of your darling diddlekin’s good heart by using words like ‘spirited’, ‘strong-willed’ and ‘orally expressive’.
Until then, I’m trying to figure out what to do when he joyfully attacks me, teeth bared, and clamps down on a finger like a dog with a bone. Do I say NO! and make an issue of it? Or extricate and ignore? At nearly nine months old, this is only the beginning. Imagine a year from now, when he can tell us to stick it.
Parenthood. It’s not just head games. It’s the Head Game Olympics.