Wednesday, March 5, 2008


So I am learning that my son has one. I was beginning to think mine was the only one that mattered. At Jackson's 9 month check up on Monday (that's right, he turned 9 months on SUNDAY!), Dr. McClellan placed Jackson on his back to do a routine examination. Jackson proceeded to throw a hissy fit. I commented to Doc, as small talk, that Jackson had begun throwing crying fits when we laid him down to change his diaper or any time we placed him in his back. I posed that it might be because he thinks he'd being laid down for a nap??? Dr. McClellan responded with, "Maybe, but I'm betting it's a control issue." I interpretted that to mean, "Jackson has increased bodily control and that means he knows what he wants his body to do and what he doesn't want his body to do. Therefore, Jackson will forever until the end of time exercise his control of his surroundings... let the battle begin between his will and yours as his mother...from this day forward you will need to come up with strategies, positive reinforcement methods, negative reinforcement methods, tricks, bribery, and reverse phsychology to get the little tike to do what it is you would like for him to do BECAUSE GONE ARE THE DAYS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO THINK AS A PARENT!!!!"

By the end of Monday, I had begun observing several other examples of Jackson having an increasingly forceful will. Example 1) (this is gross) I have a habit of picking at Jackson's ears. I like them to be clean, and therefore a little wax build-up is sometimes needing removed. Whereas before he'd sit there and just TAKE IT, Monday he spun his neck around with force and pulled back to avoid my efforts (I mean, who REALLY can blame him?). Example 2) I am convinced that telephones are a child's favorite plaything. It used to be that Jackson would observe the phone up to my ear and reach for it. But, acknowledging that it wasn't an easy target to get ahold of, he would find an equally stimulating plaything and "forget" the phone. On Monday, and henceforth, the kid will part the Red Sea to get to my stinkin phone. When I "hide" it, he looks at me in a "Yeah, right Mom... ya think I'm stupid? Didn't you hear the doc today telling you I have wants and desires TOO now?" -way and persists to grab at, snatch, at and fuss until he gets control of it.

I'm screwed.

Motherhood has stopped being a walk in the park. Now it's become a carefully strategized balance of when Jackson wins and when Mommy wins. And the awefulest thing about that is that I HAVE TO MAKE DECISIONS. I liked not making decisions. Before, all I had to do was change his diaper when he stunk, shove food in him when he was hungry, and plop him in the crib when he needed sleep. Now his needs have intensified... beyond the basic ones, there is now the need for discipline and being told "no."

You know I'm intentionally being overly flippant about this whole topic. The reality is that the beauty of parenting is at my doorstep - the part where I, with God's help, begin helping to mold the little guy into the man he will one day become. It's amazing to me that we've already arrived at that place. Daunting, but exciting!!!


devaneygirlstill said...

Oh Tricia, you will do great. I remember I had an AHA! moment with Hannah after going through the myriad of reasons she could be upset and realized she was having a temper tantrum... and it was much later on, she was 15 months! I will have to send you the picture I took of her, standing at the door, SO ANGRY that she was on the side that she did not want, the INside! She has real tears in her eyes and everything.
You will be amazed at how strong a little will can be in such a small person, Charlie started MUCH earlier than Hannah in exerting opinions, and he has just absolute times that he cannot do something he wants and just throws himself on the floor in disgust. I find it so funny.
It is a new and fun chapter in mommyhood and you will continue to be amazed in the new and different ways he learns to "manipulate" you! They are smarter than I had always thought! hee hee!

Tiffany McCallen said...

I don't know where the last nine months went, but suddenly we've arrived at full-blown parenthood. Truly scary! Oh, and Noah would like to send his b-day buddy, Jackson, some belated birthday wishes. :)

Sherri said...

Right there with ya babe! Brody's will is also very strong. At his 9 month check up this past Monday, the pediatrician said, "Now parenting has started." Yeah for us!

MissRebecca said...

I know what you mean.... how dare they get a will of their own!! Hee hee.... I hear you sweetie... Kaiya is always testing her (and my) bounderies. Today while I was feeding Cassie... Kaiya decided to climb on top of her toybox and start "tap dancing" to the theme of the Wiggles.
The more I yelled, and told her she was going to get a timeout the more elborate the dance became...including clapping and some form of singing - needless to say - I had to set Cass aside while I removed her (this was repeated 4 times).

Good times :P I swear the only problem is that the more their attitude they get the harder it is not to laugh while disciplining!!!!

aubregary said...

Happy 9 months Jackson! He is so adorable...especially with the "chef hat" on! I hear you on the will thing...Noah just turned 8months and certainly has a plan of his own most days!