Sunday, May 3, 2015

Boys will be boys

There are 3 main differences between my days with AJ at 16 months old, and my days when Ella was 16 months old.

1)  Ella has EB and AJ doesn’t.  I know, this is obvious, but the physical limitations of Ella definitely made things different.  She’s more cautious.  AJ has no fear.  To this day Ella refuses to go down the slide at the park.  AJ goes down the slide, climbs up the slide, jumps off the slide, whatever he can get away with.

2)  Ella is a girl.  Despite what a lot of people want to believe, there is a big difference between boys and girls.  And there is a big difference between the first born and the second born.  Ella has always listened and followed the rules.  Even now, if I tell her not to do something, she won’t do it…ever.  In kindergarten her teacher said that Ella never talked in class and she really wanted her to open up.  When I asked Ella why she wouldn’t talk she said, “Because the teacher tells us not to.”  We had a long discussion about how there are times when it’s ok to talk in class, and there are times when it’s not ok to talk in class.  AJ, on the other hand, thinks that the word ‘no’ means to laugh and do it again.  Rules are optional and getting in trouble is no big deal.  With Ella we had 1 baby gate that we rarely used.  With AJ we have 4 baby gates…so far.
      3)  When Ella was 16 months old I was still working full time.  This meant that she spent her days at home with a nanny, and much of that time was spent either in the basement (a confined area) or outside playing.  I am home with AJ all day every day, and while I absolutely love it, I also have stuff to do around the house during the day.  As much as I want to, we can’t spend all day in the basement.  Sometimes I need to wash the dishes, or do the laundry, or take a shower.  This means that AJ can’t be confined to the basement and has much more reign of the house.  This leads to toys…everywhere.

AJ is definitely keeping me on my toes.  The other day he and Ella were in the living room and I had to run upstairs really quickly.  Immediately I hear Ella yelling in a panic for me to come quickly.  I raced downstairs to find AJ in the middle of the dining table and Ella desperately holding on to his ankle to keep him from falling.  He had taken it upon himself to push out one of the chairs, climb up on the chair, then climb up on the table.  He thought it was awesome!  Ella and I…not so much.

He also enjoys throwing his food on the floor.  Several months ago I decided that the best way to stop this behavior was to grab his hand and give it a little smack and firmly say “No!”  I wish I could tell you that it worked.  Soon AJ was going up to everyone (including our sweet Sabrina who wouldn’t hurt a fly) and hitting them and yelling “NO!!!”  Then he would laugh and smile as though it was some sort of game.  I’ve tried *redirecting* and that doesn’t work at all.  I’ve tried changing my wordage and instead saying “Stop!” or “That is not ok!”  I’ve even tried grabbing his hand and using a soft petting motion and saying the word “gentle.”  Apparently that isn’t as fun.  I am open to suggestions on how to curb this hitting behavior.

When Ella was 16 months old she was easily speaking in 2-3 word sentences and could sing numerous songs without a hitch.  AJ…I think he maybe has 10 words in his vocabulary.  He loves to read books and listen to music, but the words aren’t sinking in as much as they did with Ella.  He’s much more focused on his physical development.  Although he does have the word ‘ball’ down pat!

All in all he’s a sweet boy and there’s nothing better than when he stops playing and comes over to wrap his sweet arms around my neck for a hug.  He loves his sister so much and smiles the biggest when she walks in the room.  We are SO thankful to have him in our family.

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