Friday, August 3, 2012

R 'Expressing Herself" (By Misbehaving)

What can I get into?
Yesterday was not one of my favorites. R and I were supposed to go to music class at 10:30. But then she slept in to 9:30, meaning that I did too, and then felt all rushed (it's sad but true that getting a toddler ready in the morning does in fact take almost an hour). I nursed her, changed her, gave her breakfast, cleaned up the breakfast mess, cleaned her, dressed her for the day, dressed myself and got everything packed: right on time! Then R pooped (again). It was a messy and large one, meaning that I had to concentrate to clean her thoroughly.

While I was doing this, R reached her hand out into the basket attached to the changing table (where I keep various supplies), removed the sunscreen, unscrewed the top, and began gulping down the contents. I literally had my attention averted for about 30 seconds, and when I looked up from my scrubbing, there she was with sunscreen all over her mouth.I looked at the bottle and it said very clearly "Call Poison Control IMMEDIATELY if child ingests contents". Not what you want to see in this situation. So I put R down on the floor to play with her toys and called Poison Control (long distance in the United States, I don't know what the system is here). Luckily it seemed I did not need to take R to the hospital or do anything special. But now we were running very late, too late in fact to attend class after all.

I felt very discouraged: I had put in a lot of effort getting everything done for nothing, I had poisoned my child, and the money I'd spent on the class was wasted. But I told myself, "Don't get upset. We will just go to the baby play gym instead, and still have a fun time."

Off R and I went to the baby play gym. Usually I let her run around and burn off energy, while I sip coffee. I was hoping for the same yesterday, but it was not to be. R did not want to play by herself, but insisted on doing all the activities she can't do independently (meaning I had to help her constantly) and leading me around to "show" me things (an activity she greatly enjoys, but I find very dull indeed). Also, I discovered I had forgotten her water bottle at home.

When R started trying to take the other children's water bottles, I realized she was thirsty. So I bought her a juice (packaged for children in a stupid branded bottle). R almost never gets juice, so I thought it would be a nice treat for her. She drank about half right away. Then she wasn't thirsty any more, but she also didn't want to be separated from her beloved bottle (she has bad taste and was very excited by the branding, something else she usually doesn't have) and kept trying to take it into the play area. I wouldn't let her as 1. it's against the rules and 2. the bottle leaked, so she had a tantrum (her first in public!).

Eventually she got over it, I put the bottle away, and then I took her to the coloring corner. At first R behaved herself, but then she thought it would be fun to throw the crayons all over. I told her no, she did it again (on purpose, while looking at me: I hate this), so I took the crayons away. Then she had another tantrum. I took her out of the room, she calmed down, and then she played for maybe 20 minutes with the toy kitchen. But then she remembered the bottle again, fetched it out, drank about two sips, and then had another tantrum (over wanting to bring the bottle into the play area, again).

At that point I was done (and it was approaching naptime anyway), so we went home, where R refused to go to bed peaceably (running away and trying to hide in the curtains, even though she was obviously very tired). Once she was stowed, I sat in the living room and wondered what happened to my well-behaved, cooperative, even tempered baby (and contemplated the fact that I have 5 or 6 more months of the same to look forward to).

Just to mess with me, upon awakening it was as if the morning had never happened. We had a playdate, during which she shared her toys unprompted, gave the other baby a pat on the head when he fell down, and fetched numerous objects for me when requested (like our swimsuits). I started to wonder if I was just making it all up. (She reverted back to naughtiness with the approach of dinnertime, so the answer is no.)

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