Well, we're there. I'm not sure we're in "the terribles" per se, but we're definitely in the "I want it my way" stage. Problem with this stage is, besides the fact that his way isn't always my way (and my way is best, obvi), that he can't tell me what he wants. He's not speaking, so he looks for other loud and obnoxious ways to get his point across. He whines, he cries, he kicks, and he pouts - oftentimes simultaneously - and I avoid a black eye while asserting my position as the boss.
Knox displayed a perfect example of this during breakfast today. He has recently let me know, in no uncertain terms, that he will feed himself. He will not be spoon-fed and he will not eat baby food. He will eat grown-up food and he will shovel it in with both hands all by himself. (Keep in mind, he's 14 months old.) Armed with this knowledge and accepting his choice, I do my best to make the work of cleaning up after him as painless as possible.
That was how we met our first meltdown of the day head on. You see, Knox was wearing long sleeves for the first time this fall, so I pushed them back because while he is adept at getting the food into his mouth in at least two tries, he is also quite skilled at rubbing his dirty hands all over his face, hair, and arms. I knew I'd be wiping down these body parts as well as the high chair, his tray, and the floor afterward, so I thought I'd spare myself the chore of washing strawberry stains out of his long sleeves. Silly mommy.
Knox is, apparently, a young man who prefers sleeves to cover the body length for which they were designed. If a sleeve is long, let it hang long. He squirmed and kicked, he reached one little arm over to where the material bunched up over his elbow and hollered like a madman trying to pull that sleeve back down. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes, searching mine for some sort of help, glaring as though I had betrayed him, "E tu, Brute?" How could any self-respecting mother saddle their own son with this sort of torture?
I faltered a tad, I'll admit it. It's hard not to give him just what he wants. But though he tried to glamour me, I looked away and employed my own tactic. I started eating his breakfast. I popped the Cheerios and cut up strawberries on his tray into my mouth while making sounds of delight with each bite. Although he truly hated his sleeves being pushed back, he is really protective of his food. If anybody eats his food, he wants to be the one to feed it to them personally. So with a little distraction, he soon forgot about the sleeves and attacked his food, offering me a morsel here and there while occasionally taking food right out of my hands to feed himself.
Every now and then he absentmindedly fidgeted his elbows, trying to work the shirt down his arms while feeding himself, but overall, Momma came out victorious today. I know that the sleeves war has probably just begun and I know that "the terribles" will only get worse, but I have to admit, it felt good to win The Battle of the Pushed Back Sleeves.