You know, I guess I can’t say I am surprised to find that my child has a temper, but a temper at 3 and a half months of age? Now that is surprising.
The whole time I was pregnant, I knew I would someday have to discipline and train and teach the child that was growing inside me… I read a few books on parenting and started to form some ideas about what I thought was right. I started to play out scenarios in my mind… If my child does/say this, I will do/say that…etc etc. I thought for awhile my only job would be hold and kiss and feed and diaper…and that was true, its just that “awhile” was a lot shorter than I expected.
I told my Mom a week ago that I thought Cohen was starting to have temper tantrums…I am not sure she believed me until I left her with him one day last week so I could have lunch with a friend. I came back and he was asleep, but Mom recounted how mad he had been, “Kate, he wasn’t crying…he was just screaming! I don’t think I have ever heard a little baby like him actually scream.” Well, there you have it, friends, my kid is already ahead of the pack…unfortunately his area of genius is anger.
Last night, he was asleep and I went upstairs to take a bath. I had no longer slid into the warm, relaxing water when I heard that gut wrenching, ear peircing scream. I layed back, knowing Shawn could pick him up. But after (literally) ten full minutes, I could hear him losing his voice so I got out and went to him. By the time he was settled down enough to nurse, he was almost asleep. Shawn and I were so worn out that we almost joined him.
This morning? Same thing. I layed him on his belly for tummy time and put his favorite book where he could look at the pages and grab it. He was fine for a few minutes and then he broke out into full-on freak out. His little face turned bright red, a vein started to protrude from his forehead, he was shaking and clenching his fists, and bellowing at the top of his lungs. I tried to stay calm and help him learn to calm himself, but the tirade went on for nearly 20 minutes until he fell asleep. Nothing was wrong with him…his pants were dry, his belly full, and the room a comfortable temperature…he was just mad.
As I was holding his tense little body against my own and trying to think of what a good parent would do in a moment like this to help their child learn to soothe himself and trying to ignore the blood-curdling screams (I think dogs everywhere, not just ours, went into hiding to get away from the shrill sound!), I started to laugh a little at the irony of the situation.
Cohen has been alive only 14 weeks…and he already thinks he knows what is best for him and is quite vocal about how unhappy he is when he doesn’t get his way. I mean, teenagers who have been alive 14 years aren’t even allowed to decide what is best for them and here this little tiny person who can’t even crawl yet is already fighting to be able to live in accordance with his own will. He knows nothing about ‘tummy time’ or why its important for him to learn to push himself up onto his elbows…he doesn’t realize that this minor discomfort and inability to see everythign he wants to will eventually lead to more of the independence he craves. HE doesn’t know that to be able to walk, he needs to crawl and that to be able to crawl, he needs to learn to hold up his head and chest…which is why I am laying him on his tummy in the first place.
It made me think about my life….and about God. God must chuckle at my twisting and turning and screaming about wanting my way and think, “really, Kate? Really? You are so sure of you know what you need, aren’t you?”
It was a small epiphany that left me thinking long after the little man had (finally) dozed off, worn out from his vain toiling. I found myself saying..”God, whatever it takes for me to walk…all of the stretching and discomfort…help me to quit fighting the things you have set in motion in my life to help me to grow..”
Have a blessed day, friends