Like, say, the moms at play group. :)
Cub's most recent feats include lifting the lid on the trash can (whilst I avoid screaming, "SWINE FLU POLIO RUNNY CRUMMY GEEEERRRRRMMMSSSSSSS ROTTED BLAAAAHHH!!!!" and instead say, "Yucky.") and tossing his food on the floor (a feat our Boston Terrier greatly appreciates). Thanks to countless rounds of "Don't touch!" involving items such as our dog's dishes, TV remotes, and covered outlets, Cub responds pretty well when I (holding down my gag reflex) politely ask him to please remove his fingers from the trash can. Tossing his food has proven to be a bit more of a challenge, as I originally thought he did this in an attempt to communicate to me that he was "all done". So, being the sharp Mama I think I am, I showed him the sign for "all done", which he immediately interpreted as "SO BIG!" and consequently showed me by flinging his arms in the air throughout the remainder of the meal. Here, have a spoonful of SO BIG! peas and then let's SO BIG! take a sip of milk and your macaroni and SO BIG! cheese is almost done. And yes, you are SO BIG! so big. Good job, honey.
We'll go ahead and deduct a point from Mama for that one.
So, we've started over. Now, when he holds food in his hand over the edge of the table as if to say, "Here it comes ...", I immediately grab it and say, "NO." Then I mimick like I am putting the food in my mouth and I say, "Put it in your mouth! Like this!" If he finds me boring and decides to fling his food anyway, I tap his hand (enough to get his attention and maybe sting for a second, but no it's not a SLAP! BANG! DEATH!) and once again I show him what to do. Usually he gets it by this point. But, if he once again drops food (while looking me straight in the eye, knowing it's wrong), I sternly tell him, "Caleb Scott, NO!" and then cheerily say, "All done!" and I pick him up and set him on the living room floor. If he's still hungry, he'll fuss. And I explain to him why he's on the floor and not at the table. Then after ten minutes we resume. And he gets it by then. He doesn't drop food the second time at the table (not so far, anyway--we've only had to do it once).
I never thought I would be explaining things in full sentences to a one year old, but I'm amazed at how much he picks up. Seriously. It's nuts. Babies are way smarter than I had originally thought (I'm glad I learned this before number two makes his/her arrival).
Today we faced a new challenge. As we sat in his nursery reading books, Cub suddenly stood up, toddled over to his crib, and reached through the bars for his Mr. Lion. He had been perfectly fine up until that point, but as soon as he saw Mr. Lion, he started crying and whining and reaching for him. What? Really? I knelt down next to him and told him Mr. Lion was sleeping ("Night night") and took his hand. He started crying harder, but I calmly led him out of the nursery and shut the door and distracted him with some other toys. In a few moments, he was fine. I know I've said this before, but Mr. Lion is totally Cub's comfort toy. As soon as he gets a hold of him, he starts sucking his thumb. I already pull Cub's thumb out of his mouth when he starts sucking it while he's awake (sleepy time is different ... I know I'll fight that battle when he's older!) so I definitely don't want him sucking his thumb while he drags Mr. Lion around all day. Now, I know all moms are different when it comes to comfort toys. Some think it's fine if you let them take them around with them, and some are stricter about it, like I am. Mr. Lion is for sleepy time and trips (and special circumstances, I'm sure). That's it. Especially if Cub throws a fit to have him. I wouldn't reward a fit for any other reason, so why reward this one? I don't know. I mean, geez, I cry every time I get a hold of The Notebook, but that doesn't mean I drag it around with me all day.
I worried that today would be the beginning of many battles with vying for Mr. Lion, but maybe not. Part of me hopes that a lot of consistency will keep the battle at bay, while the other part of me knows that battles with babies can be, simply, unpredictable.
And, if it at the end of it all, sheer willpower fails me and pregnancy hormones win, you will find us sitting on the couch, Cub holding tightly to Mr. Lion while sucking his thumb, and me wiping tears as The Notebook plays on TV. :)
So, this will be my open-ended question to all the moms out there (or moms-to-be, or anyone who wants to share an opinion). Comfort toys: Should the kiddos be allowed to take them anywhere? Or should they be limited to bedtime only? I doubt I'll change my mind with this one, but I'm curious to hear what other moms have to say!