S’s mom asked me to write about how I deal with tantrums and pre-tantrum behavior.
Mmm. Not so well.
Actually, what this post is really about is the fact that in T-minus a few days, we will be weaning Trucker from the bottle. This was the hardest thing we had to do with Cakie. Everything else — reading, potty training, weaning from the breast, everything — was easy with him. But the bottle weaning was rough.
Sooooo… we decided, since the daycare ladies have actually stopped giving him bottles, and we have pretended to them that we have stopped giving him bottles, that we actually will once we run out of this last box of evil drop-in bottle liners. Cake we bottle weaned at 15 months. Trucker is just shy of two years old. We’ve just been — uh — busy. Or maybe avoiding it. The doctor said it should be done around 15 months both as a precaution for teeth and as a step away from babyhood. What do you guys think?
I’m mushing two posts together, really. I do expect bottle-incited tantrums. Which is why I’ll now address mer’s question about how we handle tantrums. We consider tantrums to be a point at which the baby has lost all sense of control. So our strategy is to let them work it out. We’ve learned that if we pay the tantrum any mind, we are feeding the beast. This works best at home. The middle of the aisle at Target, for example, is a bit more trying. But basically, we say to the screaming, kicking baby, “Wow. You are really upset. Mommy’s going to go over here and (polish the silver, read this magazine, write a poem, heat up some broccolli) while you work it out. I’ll be right here. Love you.” Then we give the kid some space, we let them know that we care, but pretty much ignore the tantrum until the baby runs out of steam. Even though he may not understand me, I try to explain to the baby that this is not a means to an end. “I understand that you are very upset, but you still have to get in the stroller because mommy’s going to wet her pants if we don’t get home.” I do pick my battles. But I try not to give in to tantrums because I fear that they will happen more often if the baby gets his way as a result of them. But I also understand that the world is huge to the baby. The thing he wants is the most important thing in the universe to him in that moment. So I kind of understand the urge to kick and scream. Sometimes I wish I could do the same. I don’t know if this is helpful or not. I hope so.