This darling nephew of mine is a psychotic biter demon. I love him desperately, but he's going through a rather unpleasant phase - specifically he bites Ivan ALL. The. Time.
Apparently the biting is perfectly normal; especially for a second child (which is, for all intents and purposes, what Max is). In fact, the Android says his sister was a biter when they were young. Still, it's disturbing.
Max's M.O. goes something like this: 1) creep up behind Ivan with his teeth bared and his fingers in the air like Dracula, 2) Grab Ivan's shoulders, 3) Bite. Hard. It's not just the back biting, Max also has a taste for chubby wrists and the occasional forehead.
Poor Ivan has a bit of a complex now. Anytime Max comes up behind him, even for a hug or a playful pat, Ivan arches his back and whimpers. So sad.
Getting Max to stop is slow going. I'm teaching the Czar to use his words and say "NO!" but I fear the only way this will be resolved is if someone whacks someone else across the head in retaliation.
Not that I would condone this.
My ECFE teacher says he'll grow out of it, and one of the other moms in the class gave me this helpful piece of advice: if he won't let go just pinch his nostrils together so he has to open his mouth to take a breath. She sounded like she had experience in these matters so I think perhaps I've got it easy for the moment.
It's been over three weeks since the boy has had a pacifier.
He was super-addicted. Like, alarmingly so. He would giggle uncontrollably if he saw one across the room. He would scream and beg for one if he knew there was one in my pocket.
He started calling them "Thum". I don't know where he got that since we've never called them anything other than "Nuk", but whatever.
We finally decided it was time. Time to say goodbye to the thing our child loved most in the world because his dentist threatened my life if it wasn't gone by the next appointment. Time to give our kid a shot at straight teeth and no speech impediment.
(On a more selfish note, I didn't want to have a four year old with a pacifier in his mouth. That's just weird.)
After researching the best way to do it I ended up doing what made the most sense to me; I snipped the tip. I cut the tip off of each of his Nuks and let him use them. This angered the Czar, but he quickly lost interest. Then we threw them away. For the next few days he asked for is "thum" but I told him they were broken and that he had thrown them in the garbage.
You know what? It totally worked. He finally got the fact that they were gone - no more.
My kid is getting older now. He's nearly 20 months old and he's becoming a person. Like, a real person with likes and dislikes. He throws tantrums. He whines. I don't know what he needs about 75% of the time.
I don't feel like a good mother anymore. For the first year I thought I had it in the bag. I was balancing motherhood, marriage, and having a grown-up LIFE just fine. I have this amazing husband and a partnership that I'm sure other people are jealous of (in my head). I wasn't always "together" - my house is generally messy and there wasn't a lot of home cooking happening, but everyone was clean and slept fairly well. Then suddenly at about 18 months my baby wasn't a baby anymore.
I have to think about parenting now. I have to watch my mouth. I have to think about things like separation anxiety and time-out and all the crap we learn about in ECFE. I'm starting to realize that this kid isn't just going to magically become a well-adjusted cool kid. And frankly, if we're relying on ME to make him that way it will never happen.
We are both so frustrated so much of the time right now. He doesn't know how to tell me what he wants and I have no idea what he's grunting about. There are some words, but they generally fly out the window when the real frustration strikes. I think he's going through a growth spurt right now and he wants to eat CONSTANTLY. He desperately points to his mouth and I bring him Teddy Grahams or a string cheese or Goldfish, or an apple slice and I'm either rewarded with a grin or punished for the wrong choice by a shriek and a few tears.
He hates his bed. First I just thought he hated his crib. Since he was working on escaping from it we turned it into a toddler bed. He still refused to sleep in it. Finally, one desperate night I dragged the mattress off the bed and set up shop on the floor. This seems to have worked, though now it looks like we have a teeny tiny college student living upstairs. I'm willing to let him sleep on a mattress on the floor if it means he won't be sleeping between Android and me. That was the first mistake we ever made - we had a co-sleeper so I could nurse without having to get up. Big stupid mistake. I loved having a sweet little baby next to me in the middle of the night, but that sweet little baby turned into a thrashing, long-legged beast. I want my bed back. I want him to just SLEEP. Like a normal person. And when he gets up he'll maybe make Mommy a pot of coffee.
I try to tell myself that this too, shall pass; unfortunately the Terrible Twos are just around the corner (if this isn't the beginning of them already). I'm beginning to think I bit off more than I can chew with this whole "raising a child" thing.
The boy likes music a lot. Since I don't have that much experience with little kids I don't know if this is run of the mill or sort of special.
He particularly likes the piano a his Auntie Zosia's house, and Android's drum kit that is set up in our basement. I really need to get video of their little jam sessions. The boy will sit on the stool with his feet hooked under the snare drum to keep him steady. He'll hold a drumstick in each fist and will wave them around gleefully and bang each drum or cymbal in turn.
Android always said he'd never push his kid into playing the drums but he'd be supportive if they wanted to. And as he said the other night "Do you know how convenient it would be if he wanted to be a drummer?"
He also said "All he needs is a little sister on upright bass."
I never really thought of a baby being a bit like a dog until one day I called him by making kissing noises. "C'mere bud! *Smoochsmooch* C'mere!!".
He came, too. What a good boy.
We've started teaching him tricks. He points to his belly and his nose, he plays "fetch" pretty well, and he knows "No" even if he doesn't abide by it.
He's not really talking which doesn't concern me... yet. "Mama" "Noooooononono" and "Ya. Yayaya." are in his repertoire at the moment. Not a huge vocabulary, but he has a good handle on what things are and what to do with them.
I read somewhere that 15-18 months is chock full of milestones - looking forward to that.