How my 17 month old son's behaviour has changed

We haven’t quite hit toddler tantrum territory but we’re getting there - I can feel it.

I am however desperately hoping for a few months grace before full melt down mode.

Any tantrums we’ve experienced have been mild and end very quickly, but they’ve still been a shock to the system. 

I’ve heard of mums whose toddlers have cried because they want the cut up banana put back together, or they want to eat the entire loaf of bread, not just one piece.

It’s just bizarre and irrational.

They’re developing, expressing emotions or trying to tell us something in a way that’s obviously not very effective but they don’t know any better yet. For me, I’ve seen Levi change and develop over the last few months. He speaks more and understands more. He knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. He’s very good at saying no.

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What he doesn’t know is that you don’t get everything you want and even if it’s not an irrational request, it’s not going to happen 3 seconds after asking for it. Sometimes it takes me a good 30 seconds to understand what he’s even saying. Sometimes I just pretend I understand.

A few examples of Levi’s new behaviour are getting upset when we won’t let him watch Paw Patrol – he points to the couch because he wants to sit and watch. Watching is usually reserved for when he’s sick or an episode or two on weekends.

When I’m in the kitchen making something to eat – whether it’s food for myself or Levi, he comes in, puts his hands up and wants to be picked up. It’s really hard to butter a piece of toast one handed. When I try put him down he tucks his legs up and says no. If I put him down he cries. It’s hard work. 

Just this week, Levi had a cry when the crayons fell out of the container (he tipped them out). I just put them back in and the problem was solved. Maybe I should have left it or told Levi to put the crayons back in but like I’ve said, it’s not rational so you do what you have to, to make it work and make the crying stop. 

Levi gets upset when we won’t let him outside on the deck when it’s 2 degrees, wet and icy. When someone walks through the baby gate and leaves him on the other side, he starts to whinge and wants to be picked up.

At the moment when this happens, Levi can be distracted with another toy or we offer to read a story. Soon these ‘tricks’ won’t be so effective.

It’s definitely not all bad. I’m loving seeing Levi understand the world a little more. Hearing him say new words and string a couple of them together to kind of form a sentence makes me feel proud. He knows what it means to brush his teeth, get dressed, to have breakfast (he likes to help me make his weet-bix), we build towers with blocks – this is just such a fun age for the most part.

I’ll probably read back on this in a few months and remember the good old days when the tantrums have hit fever pitch. Until then, I consider this period of time, being on tantrum training wheels.

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