Blog Archive

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eddie's Phases

Phases are good and they are bad.  The good part of them is that they pass.  But the bad--or maybe just annoying--part is that you don't know what the next phase will be.  In my experience with Eddie, I've learned to go with the flow (when my sanity permits) because I can be sure that the next phase will be worse.  Harder to deal with, more annoying, more complicated, more dangerous, always worse.

Some of his noteworthy phases of the past included:

  • Pulling things out of the dishwasher at about 10 months old.  I dealt with this by not opening the dishwasher during his waking hours.
  • Putting his hand into the ice maker bucket at about 10 months-1 year old.  We have a bottom drawer freezer in the house and it was the perfect height for a crawling and standing baby to get into.  I dealt with this by not opening the freezer when he was around if at all possible.
  • Insisting on having several spoons to eat with during all meals, even meals that didn't require any utensils during his third year.  I dealt with this by letting him have the damn spoons because it was easiest.
  • Running down the driveway, down the path, and into the park at about 14 months old. I dealt with this by not letting him into the front of the house at all unless he was in my arms or we were walking to the park anyway.  
  • Collecting sticks, rocks, and other "treasures" (i.e., usually garbage) everywhere we go from about age 2 to the present.  I deal with this by letting him do it and throwing the piles of crap away once he loses interest in them.  He often insists on washing the rocks with soap and water so at that point they are allowed inside the house and we put them into a special "treasure" jar (and then after a while I chuck them outside).
  • Taking off his shoes and socks to run around barefoot from whatever age it was when he learned he could do this until about two months ago when he got excited about picking out his own shoes.  I dealt with this by insisting on shoes only when we went into stores (the alternative was that he'd have to ride in the cart, which he hates).
  • Demanding that we use a big orange flat cart at Costco for the last few months.  I think his father allowed this phase to happen and dangit, it sucks. Those carts are harder to push around and the won't sit still on them, rather he stands and holds onto the handle.  The only good thing about it is that he helps me load the cart with stuff--and the kid is strong enough to grab a 2 gallon pack of milk from inside the walk-in fridge and load it himself.  Pretty impressive...but it doesn't completely outweigh the annoyance factor.
  • Sleeping with zillions of book on his bed from about 2.5 years until just a few months ago. I dealt with this by allowing it because heck, it's better than having books on the floor.
  • Filling vessels with water from about 3.5 years to the present. If there's ANY container in any sink where he's supposed to be washing his hand, he'll first fill everything up and dump out the water a few times before he's satisfied and will then wash his hands. I deal with this by allowing it.
  • Screaming bloody murder when I try to brush his teeth from about 1.5 years until age 3.  I dealt with this by doing whatever was possible to get his teeth brushed.  I've heard from dentist friends and relatives that you should pick your battles and teeth brushing is one of them that you must choose to fight and WIN.  Sometimes that required a headlock maneuver or pinning down his flailing arms with my knees.  Eventually he realized that those toofies were going to be brushed no matter what and he stopped fighting. I'm glad I dealt with it this way because now brushing is expected, something my folks didn't do and I hated brushing.
  • Dumping out ALL THE THINGS in his room before he falls asleep for the last couple of months.  All the books, all the toys, all the stuffed animals, all the clothing.  Everywhere.  I deal with this by making him clean it up about once a week and not consoling him too much when he steps on a toy and breaks it or hurts himself (he's gotta learn to take care of his stuff!).
I'm sure I've missed some but those were the ones that have stuck in my mind.

And here's the latest and worst of the bunch.  They really do always get worse.  (Phases, not the actual kid.)
  • Hiding when he hears us calling out for him for about the last month. This has only happened a few times.  Initially, he'd hide in a moving box and it'd jiggle with muffled giggles escaping from his excitement--a dead giveaway to his hiding spot.  But now he's gotten so good that he can actually stay completely quiet and still so I absolutely cannot find him.  This morning he hid for twenty five minutes while I walked around the neighborhood, the park, went to the neighbors' houses, etc. calling his name.  I know that statistically, he probably wasn't kidnapped. So I while looking for him I was much more frustrated than scared.    I finally noticed that the chickens weren't following me around the cul-de-sac as usual, but they were instead sitting down by "their" bush in the front yard.  That was odd, so I hunched down and spied my mischievous child under there, grinning up at me.  It was clear that he was able to see me walking around the entire neighborhood from that vantage point.  I was so mad.  There were strong words, there was crying, there was screaming when his toy cars were taken away as punishment.  I explained that I was mad, frustrated, scared, and disappointed in him.  And then he cried and begged for his cars the entire 15 minute bike ride to school.  He was still very, very upset when I dropped him off to Miss Amanda at school.  
The good news with this hiding business is that I know that he's fully capable of sitting still and being quiet for an extended period.  Hanging out with him during meals, quiet/nap time, while playing you'd otherwise think he could only wriggle, squirm, run, bounce, talk non-stop, yell, and sing during every activity.

Lord help me if the next phase after hiding his even worse--cause I'm not sure I'll be able to handle it.

(Anyone have advice on how to handle his hiding?)

1 comment:

Ms. said...

OH geez. Andrew hides and it freaks me out sometimes because he goes' missing' where I look everywhere and can't find him.
I use sammy as bait like doing something fun with her but I have just figured out his hiding spots for the most part.
so I guess I'm no help