Sunday, April 10, 2011

Independence Day

I was told in the early goings on, that you can't cross a bulldog and pit bull and get a poodle.  I'm a farm girl (regardless of what my Dad would tell you), so I fully understood this.  However, in the nature/nurture debate, I'm a nuture girl therefore in my world, nothing can't be overcome with love, consistency, and the ability to put yourself in your babies position, hence recitifying the problem.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  Naive?  Well let me just say, I have revised my position on this, and my new position is can't overcome nature, a pit bull is a pit bull.  The end.
Let me explain.  I have the sweetest, happiest baby boy I have ever seen.  He exudes happiness.  He'd rather smile than frown, and he'd rather laugh and giggle than cry.  The waters have been calm and it's been smooth sailing for months now, and it's what I've come to expect. 

The change has been slow, gradual, almost unnoticeable.  It started, with a little fussing about going into his high chair, a mild protest to let me know, that he knew that he had a choice in seating options.  It got a little more pronounced one day when I put him into his car seat and he proceeded to climb out the other side.  Then, just to show me who was boss, he stood up, arched his back, threw his head back and became stiff as a board when I tried to put him in his stroller at the mall, with my mom watching.  Now to be fair, after I wrestled him down, he was fine, and I thought - Ha, ha!  I won. Problem solved.
Apparently he's a mind reader, and like his Mom and Dad, doesn't like to be defeated.  The next night during his bath, Sloan and I had our first fight. 
Let me explain...he's still refusing to crawl, not interested in walking, but he wants to stand all the time.  It's exhausting.  A few times after I have left him sitting, he'll flip onto his belly and move backwards on his tummy - a long ways, but I wouldn't call it crawling. It's pure upper body strength, and determination.  I have encouraged the sliding, and the standing, and haven't worried, because one day I know he'll just take off, and I'll be running.  I've been enjoying "easy street".
Now back to the fight.  He scooted over to the side of the bath tub, hooked his arms over the top, and pulled himself up.  I was so happy!  Not as happy as he was though, he was ecstatic, you have never seen such a show off!  I let him stand there for a minute or two, talking to him and praising him for being so clever, and then tried to sit him down -  for 20 minutes.  I reasoned with him, I withheld bath toys from him, I picked him up and down in the water, I practically laid him flat on his back, and this stiff boarded tiny human being, beat me.  By the end the crying (mine, not his) had me completely worn out, and he was mocking me.  I would make a move to sit him down, and he would smile at me, and at the top of his lungs say "HA HA".  I can only imagine what we looked like, him dancing around singing "HA HA" and me calmly (ok not so calmly) negotiating with him to sit down.  If this is a look into the terrible twos, I am in big, big trouble. 
And being a wee bit stubborn myself I thought fine, no toys for you, and you can just stand here until you sit.  Not a very effective strategy when he's happy standing.  Not at all.  In fact, all I did was prolong my own frustration, and give myself a bruise on my arm from holding him up in there while he danced around and banged my arm along the top of the bath tub.
This went on for a couple of nights, and I was done. He could be a stinky smelly baby, I was never bathing him again, it was OVER.  Enter Reg. More proof that it really does take more than one person to raise a child.  In 1/2 a bath Reg had Sloan laughing and sitting in the tub.  I can't tell you what he did, because I was far, far away, hiding in another room.

For now bath time has been restored to a peaceful, happy time, but now that I have seen the other side,  I think it's time to admit, I'm scared, very, very scared.



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