Friday, January 21, 2011

Hand in Hand.

What goes hand in hand with Ava's emergence into toddlerhood? Why, her tantrum-throwing and other toddler behavior, of course!

Ava has always been a super sweet baby, and still is. That being said, she's begun some undesirable behaviors, and whether it's due to me running around like a chicken with it's head cut off on a regular basis or not getting enough sleep or what, some of these things are really bothering me.

First and foremost, the hair pulling.

UGH. I HATE this. She's always played with my hair while she nurses to sleep, which - despite the plethora of baby hairs I have on one side - I'm ok with. But now? She thinks that it's funny to grab my ponytail or side swept bangs (on a good day when I do my hair...not often it feels like!) and pull with all her might. The more I protest, the more she does it. If I ignore it, the more she does it to attempt to get a reaction. Not fun. Suggestions?

She does the same with the cats tail, as she's guaranteed to get a meowed protest. Ever since she realized that pulling his tail will make Spencer meow, she does it and then laughs, making kitty noises. He used to tolerate her - like her even, surprisingly - but she's quickly losing favorable status after this gem of a behavior. Again, suggestions?

The other place we seem to be running into issues is the dinner table high chair. Here, she does two things that make me a bit nuts. First...she throws food. Handfuls of food sometimes. It started out as a way for her to communicate that she was done, so I gave her the tools (aka signs) to tell me when she's done in other ways. But then apparently she missed the freeing feeling of food flying out of her hands, and now she just does it for kicks and giggles. BLEH.

Also, and this one really drives me bonkers, she likes to gag herself. I can't imagine she's doing this simply for attention, as she has my undivided attention like 1000% of the time I feel, but she gags herself at mealtime. My sweet little bulimic baby. Kidding. Totally kidding. But in seriousness, what the heck is behind that?? It scares the hell outta me.

Any of these ring true for my fellow toddler moms? Or vets with advice? Anyone else having new, less-than-lovely toddler behaviors emerging?


  1. Mmmm...I SO know what you mean! :) Sera went through the gagging herself at meals phase, too. I really did not like that, but we figured out that she really just liked the sound. The good news is she stopped after a few months. But, ugh, not so much fun while you're waiting it out.

  2. You will probably hate me for this, but I haven't had to deal with any of those behaviors with Anne ... YET! So, I don't have any "it-worked-for-me" suggestions for now.

    Anne really loves to pet the cat. So far, she's been pretty gentle and has tugged at his tail only a couple of times. He swiped her once, which gave her a scare. My fear is that he'll have to swipe her a couple more times before she understands that he's not just a really cool version of a stuffed animal. I just try to stay nearby when she "plays" with him so I can be there when the tears (and blood) inevitably flow.

    This cat lover is jealous that Ava is already meowing! Anne can moo and baa, but she hasn't shown any interest in "meow" yet. Maybe soon!

  3. (This is Jennifer - logged in as JR)
    Oh yes. Riley is doing ALL of that and more! I truly feel your pain, both literally and figuratively.

    1) She not only likes to pull the cat's tail, she loves to crawl all over and now SIT on the dog. Scares me to death cause I'm afraid our dog will finally have enough and snap at her. Thank god it hasn't happened yet.

    2) Riley has loved to make herself gag for the last 6 months, but that seems to be tapering off finally. Only happens once or twice a week now.

    3) She not only loves to pull my hair out, she's taken to slapping her hand down or on whatever she can. Especially me. It's okay if it's my back, arm or leg... it's when she hits me in the face or on the chest repeatedly that it hurts or gets really annoying. I've at least got her to where she mostly "pets" the dog rather than hits her too.

    4) She shakes her head no ALL THE TIME. Even in the evening when she's laying quietly in my arms before sleep... she starts to shake her head back and forth like the exorcist. What is up with that?

    5) And meal time? Don't get me started. LOL. She loves to slam her hands down on her food so it either gets squished or goes flying. She loves to grab a handful and throw it down over the side of her chair cause she thinks it's hilarious that our dog immediately gobbles it up. OR she spits it out into her hand as soon as we put it in her mouth for her. Gets REALLY messy if it's yogurt or something else not solid. Bleh.

    Good luck and let me know if you come up with any solutions!

  4. When Jack throws his food, it means he's done. I think he likes to eat too much to start throwing it before he's done! :) And luckily he's gentle and doesn't pull hair or scratch or bite or anything else. He does throw himself backwards a lot though. Whether he's on the ground or I'm holding him. It's his way of showing frustration. Can you distract her with something else? You said she does it for a reaction. Well maybe instead of reacting to what she's doing, do something else. Start singing a song, for example. For instance, when I'm trying to put Jack's shoes on and he's fighting it, I'll start singing and that sometimes calms him enough for me to finish the job. Or I give him something to hold onto, that he doesn't usually get to play with, like the baby monitor.

    As for the gagging, it is very scary! Jack does this because he is teething and biting his fingers. Maybe Ava is just teething also? You could try giving her something else to bite on, like a cold, wet washcloth.

    This is certainly an interesting stage we're in! I think it'll be better once they can communicate more, but I might not feel that way when we're in that stage and they're talking back! Good luck and let us know if you find something that works.

  5. Graesen makes himself wheeze. It's a horrible sound and makes me cringe every time. It worried me at first,but now I think he just likes the way it sounds. Maybe your daughter is just excited about figuring out something new.

  6. Liara has started pulling her OWN hair and it drives me crazy (she doesn't have a ton of it... let's not pull it out!). She is protesting a lot more when things don't go her way too. She's a huge fan of testing our "no"'s and seeing if we mean it and then screaming/yelling at us if we really do. Frustrating!


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