another fabulous first

It went like this:

We were out and about for the afternoon, enjoying the warm sunny weather by spending time weaving in and out of little shops whose doors were all propped open. It was a fabulous day.

I was wearing OBaby in the ring sling (and I only received one uneducated comment about how “the government says that those aren’t safe.” Actually, they don’t). We had a particularly good time in the Ten Thousand Villages shop where we patted drums, looked at windmills, and listened to rain sticks.

When we walked a few shops over to one of my favorite book stores ever (which happens to be a children’s book store), I got OBaby down from the sling and let him loose. O, and loose he was, crawling after every leg of every customer and employee that crossed his path. We pulled books off of shelves and squealed with delight when a sweet woman grabbed a doggie puppet and barked for him. Much fun was had at the book store.

So much fun, in fact, that I was going to make a purchase or two. (You can ask DanO, I have a really hard time not buying something when I walk into that store.) I rounded up the board books and my purse, then put the ring sling back on. I walked a few steps over to OBaby who was patting a book about Firetrucks and told him that we were going to go home now.

“Let’s go home and see Daddy, bud! He’ll be home soon. Should we buy these books and then go drive home?” I asked as I bent down to pick him up.

And then it happened. The back arching. The shriek. The I cannot believe you just interrupted me from what I was doing, MOM.

So there we were in the middle of a book store and my child was having his first ever public fit. A laying on the ground, crying fit because I had dared to pick him up before he wanted. I let it play out a few seconds (quite literally) until he cry changed from a ‘HEY! Don’t pick me up!‘ to ‘Mama! Please pick me up now!‘ at which point I did.

(First of all, as he was laying on the ground for all of 3 seconds, I was suddenly aware of his black eye. There something inherent about a public tantrum that makes one feel like a bad mom on display. Secondly, I put the two books I was planning on purchasing back because that is just what you do when your child cries in a store, right?!)

I know, I KNOW that he is only 9 months old, but I also know that I have been there for almost every cry of his nine month life and that cry was nothing more than telling me to knock it off (in not so many words). It has made me realize that we are entering dangerous parenting territory. I don’t want to see every fuss as a battle of the wills, but I also don’t want to deny that my son is presently exploring his independence (which is a euphemism for trying  my patience).

I can see something big on the horizon as we traverse this season of learning about his physical and emotional independence.

(Something big being toddler-hood.)

Hold me.

20 Responses to “another fabulous first”

  1. Tiffany

    Bubbette started this last week when I attempted to take her out of the swing. Serious meltdown, arch-backing fit. Since, we have had one more “episode” of independence when I proceeded to take my car keys away from her before she took her own tonsils out. Right? I know. Hang in there.

  2. Philip

    Oh, I remember that day very well. Actually I remember both of them. The day my wife called me saying our son had done this exact same thing, and the day he did it with me. Yep, I can guarantee you this, it won’t be the first time. :-) (I know, that really doesn’t help)

    On the positive side of things, as he explores the limits of your patience, he will also learn to understand and respect your authority. It isn’t always easy, but how you respond and instruct him now can make live much easier a few years down the road. I won’t say easy as kids are almost never easy, but easier.

    Despite trips like your (we have had many) our kids are an amazing blessing and gift from our God. I would have it any other way. As much as we try to teach them we often learn more about ourselves then expect. Think about it, when was the last time you or I had a fit when God told us it was time to go? Yep, been there and done that!

  3. Kaycee

    Uh oh. I feel for you. My baby is two. And by baby I mean my girl who will do it “me-self” and shriek at me at will. They do learn the boundaries… eventually. I may or may not have carrying a screaming, hitting, kicking toddler straight out of a bookstore the other day myself. How dare I say it was time to be done with the train table after appropriate warnings of being almost done (to which I got an “okay”) and statements about what was coming up next (car to home and see Daddy too actually)?? :) Hang in there!

  4. bekah

    Hey there –

    In my opinion, that IS a fabulous first! Your boy isn’t just exploring his independence, he’s exploring the WORLD! How exciting for him.

    One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned since being a Mom is that kids don’t throw tantrums or act “bad” just to do so. They do it because we are interrupting their learning. Check out this blog post my husband recently wrote, and read anything about the Montessori Method. It will enlighten you as it did me!


    • AllisonO

      I completely agree! I know it wasn’t bad for him to do so AT ALL! The not so fabulous part, in my opinion, was the public thing. Frankly, the first public fit is tricky whether a mom sees it as defiance or expression. Must be handled with care from any perspective!

  5. Twenty Little Toes

    Oh dear, I mean O dear. It’s like you plan and think that you will never be one of those parents who’s kids are going to throw tantrums in public, and woosh all your dreams are shattered in one second. I hated to admit it at first, but I guess these things just happen and yes they will happen more often they grow older.

  6. Mama23Bears

    my son is just 6 months today and i just about cried when he learned to sit up! i don’t know what i’ll do when he gets mad at me for ruining his fun.
    i would have done the same thing. forget the purchase and run!

  7. Kelly @ Love Well

    And thus begins a new chapter. Big virtual hugs, friend. Toddlerhood is full of challenges — but also new joys. I think every phase is like that. Richer in both potential for bad and good.

  8. The Mom Venture Blog

    Ohhh, I am LMRO(laughing my rear off) . You did do the right thing, so don’t feel bad. It is quite embarrassing when they start the public fits. It’s hard to know exactly what to do when they start trying to assert their will, but it is also a wonderfully exciting time too because they are gaining their own little personality of what they like and don’t, what they want and don’t want, and that’s ok, as long as they learn to respect mommy and daddy in the process. The best thing to be ready for the next time is to have a good distraction on hand(which may or may not work.LOL). You’ll learn what works for Obaby in those times. It gets a bit easier with the next child when you kind of figure out what works and what doesn’t.

    Hang in there and enjoy the joys and trials of Toddlerhood! (-:

    P.S. I totally agree with Phiip: “On the positive side of things, as he explores the limits of your patience, he will also learn to understand and respect your authority. It isn’t always easy, but how you respond and instruct him now can make live much easier a few years down the road. I won’t say easy as kids are almost never easy, but easier.”

    Start early with setting boundaries and discipline and things will get easier as they get older. At around 3-4 years old, my oldest boy started really settling down and our middle child is starting to do the same at 3.5. But we’ve had to really keep on top of them to get to that point!

  9. Casey

    I swear, except I know it isn’t possible, that our sons are related!! Almost every single blog is an entry I could write (except that I don’t keep up with my blog :( ) My 10 month old has just started the back arching when I try to do something he isn’t too keen about. I love reading your stories and seeing how very similar they are! And maybe I am biased but I think they are both pretty darned cute too :)

  10. Gillian Mulligan

    I think you handled the situation appropriately! My little boy is just four months, but I’m anticipating the tantrums! I find wisdom reading how other mothers deal with such situations! Keep smiling… you’ll get through it!

  11. maidentinuviel

    Hi Allison,
    I just re-read all your posts about the gdiapers and I am thinking about using them for our little boy due in August. Can you suggest how many little gpants and cloth liners I should invest in? I will be staying at home, so I can do laundry as often as needed (although I’d prefer to only wash the insert 3 times a week or so).
    Has Obaby moved into mediums yet?

  12. Terri

    i think i know which book store you are referring to, and i love it too!

    i haven’t experienced a public hissy fit from william yet (emphasis on ‘yet’), but i don’t look forward to those days. it is hard to believe that our adorable little babies that have done nothing but adore their mommies are now exerting their own ideas and opinions! it’s definitely a much sadder change for mommy than for baby. but it has it’s fun times too.

    you handled it well! now you will be prepared for the next one.

  13. kim

    I think you did exactly the right thing :) I was always amazed at how fast my kids caught on to how their behavior could manipulate me. I believe we have a video of our first at around 5 months, screaming her head off and as I’d place my hands on her sides to pick her up she’d giggle. I’d remove my hands and she’d scream. Place them back and giggle. BIG lesson for this mom right then and there. So good for you :) And those uneducated people? Don’t ya love them? They’re the same ones who complain about breastfeeding, I’m sure.

  14. Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife

    You seem to have handled it well! I was thrown for a loop when Dmitri threw his first fit in public. I quickly handed him what he wanted. lol. I was SO embarrassed! I had become THAT mom with the screaming toddler. And I really didn’t want to be that mom. LOL.

  15. emily bilbrey

    haha! shooooot lady – i feel you on this one! poppy made it to 11 months before the first time she displayed er, pissy emotions over not getting her way! until that point she was THE most mellow little lady – you could take objects away, drag her around anywhere – she didn’t care one bit. now she definitely makes it clear when she isn’t pleased with something. not bratty yet, and a quick recovery, but still VERY different than before. indeed, our babies are entering a whole new stage… and that much closer to toddlerhood. yikes!

    very cute post! luv reading about that obaby, he’s just a doll.



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