E's officially eighteen months as of today. A few months ago at his well check, the doctor suggested picking five rules and sticking to them. He said we wouldn't have the energy to consistently enforce more than five. I thought it was good advice, but couldn't come up with the five. We didn't have any rules yet, other than not going in the street. E didn't seem to understand enough to follow rules or deliberately act out. He was still a baby in many ways. But suddenly, we're in new territory. It's happened gradually, really, but this past week seems to have introduced a new era of intentional boundary pushing. We find ourselves enforcing lots of boundaries, over and over and over and over again. Many of the rules involve throwing, which results in the item being taken away: cups, food, blocks, puzzle pieces. Also: no pulling cds from the shelves and throwing them on the floor (this has been the biggie lately, and it's not like we can take the cd towers away). No standing on the couch downstairs (not safe with the wood floor); couches are for sitting. No standing in the high chair. No opening the dishwasher and climbing in (we haven't found a lock that works on ours). No climbing out of the bathtub during bath. I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out. Every time I look away, he's running for the cds, etc. Of course, this is his job right now, and ours is to be consistent. But wow. I can see why the doc advised a limit of five rules. How to keep it to five, though?
We've also seen the emergence of tantrums--real tantrums that involve collapsing on the ground and kicking and screaming and rolling around. But they're not as crazy as they could be or will be. There's definitely still room to grow there. But the poor guy, he gets so upset over the tiniest things. Sometimes my heart breaks for him and sometimes I have to turn away so he doesn't see me laughing.