Monday, December 6, 2010

My Baby Might be a Lunatic, but I Love Him.

Well, it is decidedly so.  My son is in fact a lunatic.  He is stark raving mad.  According to my wife and a few others as well, he takes after me in that department.  Apparently, I am a lunatic as well or something.  I know that seems highly doubtful doesn’t it.  Anyway, the way I see it, he is a typical nine to ten month old baby.  He likes to play rough.  He likes to giggle and scream a lot.  He likes to drive us crazy with his antics.  It is great!  I more or less let him have at it.  I don’t see any reason to try and calm him down when he is frantically bopping from here to there.  I also see no reason to stop him from playing energetically.  It is good for him.  Most of the time I play right along with him.  There’s no harm in energetic play as long as he is not doing anything dangerous.  Despite how good it is for him, I have decided that limits have to be set nonetheless.  I realize that these limitations aren’t for his wellbeing, but for mine.  We all need time to wind down every once in a while, and I am not ashamed to admit that the little man tires me out.  He just has more energy and spirit than I do.  I keep telling him he’s got to slow down because soon Da will need a nap, but he never listens to me.  Of course he doesn’t.  He’s a nine month old busy body who likes to do crazy things all day long.  

Here is a perfect example of his lunacy.  The other day he was crawling around in the living room with me as usual.  We were playing a game of tag.  His version of course, which means he chases me until he catches me and then he attacks me for a few minutes until I run away again and he chases me again and attacks me again.  This repeats itself endlessly or until he gets bored with it.  Anyway, he soon grew tired of chasing me around the house that day because he spotted the perfectly innocent changing table.  Apparently, he thought that needed attacking too.  He decided to scoot over to the table and climb onto the bottom shelf of it and push everything off onto the floor and bang around on the floor boards.  So, he scattered all the toys as far as he could throw them and then he decided he was going to stand up.  This is where the real lunacy began.  The big problem here was that he is taller than the space between the floor shelf and the drawers on the underside of the table.  As you might have guessed, he hit his head as he tried to come to a standing position.  He hit it hard too because he doesn’t do anything half-assed.  No, not this baby boy.  If he is going to stand he is going to jump while he does it. 

So, after he hit his head, my son started to cry a little and then I see his facial expression turn from sad to determined.  Almost immediately he tried to jump up again.  Of course he hit his head again pretty hard, but this time there was no crying.  Now, he was pissed.  He was going to stand up right then and there in that very spot come hell or high water.  He tried maybe five or six times in quick succession to jump up to a standing position until I grabbed him out from under there.  I couldn’t help but giggle at him.  I couldn’t help it.  His little baby sized determination was too damn cute.  At this point, when he realized that I picked him up and took him away from the changing table is when the tantrum started in earnest.  Can you believe that the little tyke started hitting me and biting me because I tried to save him from giving him-self a headache?  It was too cute.  I was laughing so hard I had to put him down again.  I thought I was going to drop him.  So, I put him down on the floor to play with something else while I settled down.  If you are asking yourself why I didn’t punish him for hitting and biting me, I did kind of.  I said, “No biting da, and please don’t hit your da!”  What else do you do when a 9 month old throws a tantrum?  Hit and bite him back?  That’s ridiculous.  Plus, like I said, I was laughing my ass off.

Anyway, I put him back on the floor because I was afraid that I was laughing too hard to hold him safely while he was kicking my ass.  So, what do you think the squirt did?  Of course, he went straight over to the changing table and tried to stand up in that same spot again and smacked himself on the head again.  So, after that little incident, I have instated the meltdown rule.  My melt down rule is that every time he has a minor or major melt down we have to read a book until he calms down.  This past week it has worked pretty well although I am starting to think that he has mini tantrums now just so I read to him.  It is funny.  He’ll start screaming and hitting things then he’ll go and toss his books around and slide one around so I will read it to him.  Yeah, I know.  It is kind of like rewarding bad behavior, but hey whatever.  As long as he relaxes for a bit I am fine with it.  I just don’t want him to beat the crap out of me anymore.  I am afraid that is going to stop being cute relatively soon.  The best thing about the melt down plan is that it is as flexible as I am.  So, as he gets older I can adapt it as needed.  I’ll have to.  I am well aware of what happens to kids that get rewarded for acting poorly.  The same thing happens to dogs.  They get worse and worse until you finally have to put your foot down, and put it down hard.  I don’t want it to get that far, but for now I think I have it covered.  I’ll improvise when I need to later.


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