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Toddler - Week #71

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Week 71: Growing Up is Fun!

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           I have noticed a few new things this week. We went to Grandpa's pumpkin patch this week, and Evan was determined to pick up as many pumpkins as his little arms would allow him to hold. Actually, he wanted more than what his arms would hold. As I watched him, I realized how amazing it is that he is able to squat and bend to pick things up, that he is able to walk through a tangle of vines while carrying things, and that he is determined to complete all of this on his own. Only a few months ago, he was learning to walk and needed my hand to steady him. Now he wants nothing to do with my help. In fact, lately, he has taken to giving me a little slap in the face if I treat him too much like a baby. I usually get this tap while cradling him. He sure is getting his point across!


Creating Good Readers:
           Parenting is tricky and we are always looking for ways to encourage our children to behave properly. Often we respond to negative behavior by removing privileges. Reading time is not a privilege to think of as a reward. While it is very rewarding to snuggle with Mommy and read a book, I believe it isn't wise to withdraw from that as a consequence. It may be difficult to avoid this if you get a slap in the face during reading! I've been experiencing this a little bit lately. Evan will give me a little whack as I hold him. It's been hard not to just scold him, put him down, and say reading is done. But I do not want him to associate books and reading with any form of punishment.


Book Of The Week:
           Getting a new book can be a great reward for good behavior, though! Evan loves cars and trucks so this one is quite a treat for him!

        Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains

       A Fisher-Price, Little People Book

       This sturdy board book has over 40 flaps to lift. It is very entertaining for a little one. It is brightly colored. Every page is filled with pictures of vehicles of different colors and sizes. This book will also grow with your child as it explores learning concepts on each page; concepts like colors, shapes, counting, and matching are explored.


           Matching and sorting are concepts Evan is exploring right now. He is getting better at doing this each day. For instance, he loves to play with the blocks that have different shapes and fit in certain holes. Another way to reinforce this is to make a crayon or marker caddy. You can do this with a shoebox by simply punching holes in the box so that the crayon or marker will fit inside. This serves a dual purpose because Evan enjoys putting the markers in and out of the holes and also enjoys using the markers to scribble on paper.       

       The other thing I discovered this week was a fun game on the Fisher Price website. When I am on the computer, Evan often gets upset with me. It is often another instance I find him either pushing me or hitting me. I found a game for him on this website that addresses his hitting and his computer issues. It is a peek-a-boo game on the computer! He can hit the computer keys and little characters pop out from behind shapes with a fun noise.


Rhyme Time:
            The Wheels on the Bus is one of Evan's favorite songs:       

       The wheels on the bus go round and round

       Round and round, round and round

       The wheels on the bus go round and round

       All through the town. (Roll hands over each other)       

       The wipers on the bus go "Swish, swish, swish,

       Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish"

       The wipers on the bus go "Swish, swish, swish"

       All through the town. (Put arms together in front of you and 'swish' like windshield wipers)       

       The door on the bus goes open and shut

       Open and shut, open and shut

       The door on the bus goes open and shut

       All through the town. (Cover eyes with hands on 'shut' and uncover them on 'open')       

       The horn on the bus goes "Beep, beep, beep

       Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep"

       The horn on the bus goes "Beep, beep, beep"

       All through the town. (Pretend to honk horn)       

       The baby on the bus says, "Wah, wah, wah!

       Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah!"

       The baby on the bus says, "Wah, wah, wah!"

       All through the town. (Fisted hands in front of eyes and rub them like baby crying)

       The people on the bus say, "Shh, shh, shh,

       Shh, shh, shh, shh, shh, shh"

       The people on the bus say, "Shh, shh, shh"

       All through the town. (Put pointer finger to mouth to 'shhh')

       The mommy on the bus says, "I love you,

       I love you, I love you"

       The daddy on the bus says, "I love you, too"

       All through the town. (Point to self on 'I', right hand over heart on 'love', and point to other on 'you')



Evan's Opinion:
           If it involves wheels, it's for Evan! He loves this book and he loves this song! He also very much enjoys poking the markers into the box. It keeps our arts and crafts area a little neater and provides him with something to do once he is bored with scribbling. He also likes just to open plastic boxes and take stuff in and out, but poking them into the holes seems a little more fun. He loves the computer game, too. In fact, I introduced it to my one-year-old niece as well, and she loves it just as much. They really get a kick out of the "boing" noises the little characters make when they jump out from behind a shape, and Evan really loves to pound on the keyboard.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           "Is my toddler becoming too aggressive?"       

       I started to wonder this just this past week. I was reading my past entries and saw I had one that talked about hair pulling when Evan was a year old, another which talked about biting, and now I am writing about hitting! Not to mention the piece on tantrums! I thought to myself, this seems like a lot of aggression; yet he is so mild mannered! What is going on?       

       In speaking with friends who have similar aged children, and remembering back to this stage with my other children, I realized it is a normal stage of development. Just like the biting, Evan is expressing some kind of emotion that he doesn't yet have the word for. Whether he is tired and cranky or simply doesn't want to engage in the activity I'm trying out, he lashes out in the quickest way he knows right now. As I mentioned earlier, he usually gives me a good whack when I am snuggling him. When I hold him close and cradle him like I used to when he was a baby, he will slap my face! He must be telling me he no longer wishes to be treated like a baby. He's a big boy now even though most often he has come to me looking for the hug! He seems to not always know what he wants these days-- affection one minute and freedom the next!       

       Responding is the hardest part. Obviously, I don't want to respond to hitting by hitting back. That would give a very confusing message. Even if you believe in spanking, this would seem like a silly time to give a spank! But you must set a limit here and demand this action be stopped. Your child cannot continue believing it is okay. My response has been fairly similar to my response to the biting, which was extinguished in less than a week. I will firmly grasp Evan's hand and say: "No, hitting." I use a pretty stern tone. I also tell him: "We hug with our hands." Evan loves to give hugs. The difficult thing now, though, is he will hit me and then hug me immediately. The other day he did this with a loving "aahh" after the hit-hug, one-two combo.       

       Fortunately, he is only hitting me. (The things mothers feel fortunate for sometimes, ugh!). He is not hitting at daycare or hitting his siblings, though the dog is sometimes susceptible.  It's something to watch to see if any other patterns emerge. If so and I am worried or seeing a lot of aggression that is progressing or troublesome, I would consult my pediatrician. For now, in our house, I'll duck the slaps and cherish the hugs for as long as I can because this baby is growing up way too fast!


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