This week, Ayden has made the big connection that things have "homes." The first thing we witnessed was him putting a toy or two back in his toy basket or on a shelf and clapping for himself. Of course, we want to reward his cleaning up so we cheered and clapped right along with him. The next step was him putting his cup in the cup holder on his tray after taking a drink. And again, we all cheered. Over and over, in fact, as he gets pretty delighted at his accomplishment and our cheering. He then took his understanding of this new concept one step further as he purposefully put puzzle pieces where they belong in his farm puzzle.
The professional in me has been fascinated by witnessing this all unfold. Last week he was obsessed with twisting any knob, latch, lid or lock that he could. This week he has enjoyed fitting objects into defined spaces and then, BAM. He is now twisting a puzzle piece until it fits into it's defined place in the puzzle. The natural order of interest and events, even though it is pretty typical, is just amazing to me.
I cannot recall where I read it, but one of the books or Apps that I follow (Baby Center? Wonder Weeks?) talked about how a child goes through cycles of independence and dependence. According to what I read, when they are in the process learning a new skill, they become clingy and exhaust you. When they feel comfortable enough with the new skill and are ready to work on mastering it, they become very independent and easy. Ayden is currently in the dependent stage. That, on top of having some sinus congestion and a cough that he just can't shake, have made for a tiring week for me. And it's only Tuesday! As long as I am 100% focused on him he is fine. The problem is that I do have a few things that I need to accomplish each day, as well as a few others I want to. I will get him engaged in something then slip away but as SOON as I sit down and get started on whatever, he is at my feet whining and crying. He also didn't take a nap until 4 yesterday and even then only slept for 40 minutes. It wears me down after a while and honestly, David could not get home fast enough because I needed a break!
I am so glad that I am taking the time to write this out because, as I am typing it, it is helping me gain perspective. In the moment I forget about the cycles and can't help but let my own weariness or emotions dictate how I feel about our day. As parents, it is so very important that we take the time to reflect on the behavior of our children, and how we are handling it. What could be the cause? Is there anything I can do differently to help or change how he is feeling? It is also important to remember the mantra of, "this too shall pass." Before I know it, he'll be back into that independent stage and I will be writing about how easy and awesome he is all the time.