I was talking to my therapist today about some of the more challenging moments I had with DS over the holiday. She has known me since I was pregnant, and saw DS several times as a little baby. She recommended "Raising Your Spirited Child."
I'd love to read this, and have always thought DS was spirited (even in the womb!), but I've had others disagree with me, and say that's just how children are- namely DH who is averse to labels of any kind, esp, as he says, for a child this young.
Is there like a checklist or something somewhere I could look at? Does anyone know? This is my only child and so I have no comparison. But I have certainly felt like I've seen plenty of babies and kids his age (he is 13 months now) that are much more flexible and passive than he is.
Here is the list of behaviours that make me think he is spirited:
1. He kicked often and HARD in the womb. The dog was once sitting on my leg, and DS kicked so hard the dog yelped b/c he got a foot to the face. No lie. He kicked so hard in the last month that I cried out in the night b/c it felt like his foot was coming through my throat.
2. He cried nearly constantly as a baby. He was never one of those children you could sit in a swing or bouncy chair and have him stare or coo or whatever. He was always demanding to be held, and not just held, but shown around. He would get bored of the scenery in one room so quickly and would not settle down unless we went to another room or went outside. If he could've lived in a pup tent in the backyard he probably wouldn't have screamed so often or for so long- he loved being outside and lost it when it was time to come in. Also, he never fussed. He was either silent or blowing the roof off the house. No grey area.
3. He has playmates that are his exact age that will sit on the floor and play quietly with a toy, or flip through a board book- one little girl will even color with chunky crayons. DS will not sit still for more than usually 2 minutes at a time. He is constantly exploring, moving, into this thing and that thing. Nothing escapes his notice. He cannot crawl past anything without looking, touching, tasting, throwing it. I feel like he wakes up, tears apart the house, then sleeps again, and that is his life.
4. He will not be deterred. We try that whole- hey, that double-A battery you managed to pry out of the tv remote is not a good toy, how about this age appropriate toy? And oh. hell. no. He wants that battery he needs that battery and zomg where are you taking the battery?!?! Also in this category is a recent incident in which he wanted the box of cheerios so he could pour it out all over the floor. I tried to compromise and meet his need to practice pouring out and putting in by giving him a small cup of cheerios. He grabbed it and whipped it at my head while he screamed. *sigh.
5. A few weeks ago I cried in front of him after my father got a scary medical diagnosis. He stared at me for a moment then threw himself into my chest and bawled. Saying "no" to him in a firm tone is like throwing gas on a fire- he flops on the floor, puts his forehead on the floor and screams into the linoleum. My point is that he's sensitive, I think.
Is this being a toddler or he is spirited? What do you think?