Sep
04
2010

  Working Out The Details

We still need to work out some of details for our new arrangement where T works on something all day, leaving W and me to ourselves. For example, yesterday W and I were doing just fine, until he caught T peeking in the doorway when I was putting W down for a nap. I couldn't figure out why W was nearly asleep and then suddenly started screaming. Then T walked in, and confessed that W had seen him. Grrr. I made T put the boy down for his nap.

Later, W was playing nicely in the TV room, and I was on the phone, when T opened the door from the kitchen. W didn't even see him that time, he just heard him open the door, and started screaming again. It really upsets him if he perceives that T is nearby, but not available.

So, while W threw just two fits yesterday, it is my goal to get him to throw NO fits. I don't want him heading into his "terrible twos" already in the habit of throwing screaming fits. I want him to be in the habit of living a very pleasant and calm baby existence, so he'll be less likely to use temper tantrums as a way to express himself later. It's not that I don't expect him to throw any temper tantrums, but some kids resort to that less often than others, you know, and I think parenting techniques can probably make some difference.

So we're working on ways to keep T out of the picture during the day. One solution we've already put in place is to give him a canteen of water to take out with him, so he doesn't have to sneak into the kitchen to get drinks. Another is to make sure he takes a phone handset into his office when he goes in there, so he can answer the phone himself if it's for him, and I don't have to call for him (which upsets W, since it reminds him that T is nearby but not with him).

T took W to the market this morning-- he didn't have enough tomatoes to sell, they just went to get some jam. T came home "exhausted" because W "had" to be carried the whole time instead of walking. W has never really insisted that I carry him at any time since he started walking. I do carry him at times, mostly because he starts falling down a lot (like every ten steps) when he gets tired at the end of the day, and I feel bad for the kid, so I carry him. But even then, he doesn't cry to be picked up, he'd soldier on if I didn't pick him up. T complained again to me that W is just "rambunctious" when he's with T (needy and demanding is more like it), and I reminded him that he could change that situation if he really wanted to. But it just boggles my mind how T continues to complain about situation, but doesn't do anything to change it. Which leads me to believe that there is something T finds psychologically compelling about it.

I can't control how T interacts with W, but I can insist that he not interfere with how I interact with W, and as it turns out, that requires that T remains completely away from us to preserve household tranquility. I described the situation to one of my older friends, who thought it was interesting, but would be surprised if the situation persisted longer than one year, since kids change a lot over time.