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What Ari has taught me about himself just recently...

The child finds it much easier to take a firm, "No!" over me trying to figure out what the hell he wants.

It's been a bit of a gradual lesson. Started a few weeks ago when he started on that same little thing the others had done around this age where he wouldn't just feed then pop back off to sleep, oh no, he wanted to graze... And GRAZE is just about the right word for it, too. I certainly was feeling very "grazed". So, despite him being just around the age of one (he was a little before one when this started), I took to telling him, "No more, sorry, that's all there is, shhhh shhh, time for sleep..." Well, I really wasn't expecting it to take, I was just feeling desperately tired and hoping even 10 minutes of dozing might help me cope a bit better.

Lo and behold, he grumbled, turned over and went to sleep.

So, I've been doing it ever since. He feeds through the night, but not at all continuously. He's on for about 10 minutes or so, then I say that's it, no more for now, and he goes to sleep.

Anyway, then this week he's been very tantrum-y. Not something I'm used to in a child this age. I think it is partly a reaction to us going out on Saturday night and leaving him (and the others) with a baby sitter. His first time. "A" (our babysitter) was brilliant. He's a lovely dad! He just walked Ari around in the front yard, and then in the house until he fell asleep, then he held him until we got home - couldn't have asked for more.

Ari was NOT impressed with us on Sunday though. Full on back arching with blood curdling screams of protest each and every time he felt thwarted. Since then he's been wanting to comfort feed a lot, but also not being content with that, still tantruming and carrying on. I've been letting it ride because I understand he has stuff he wants to express and needs to test and see how much he can rely on us now that we've left him with a virtual (for him) stranger.

Tonight though, after a fair bit of off again, on again feeding with some back arching and carry on, I said to him, "Ok, obviously this isn't doing it for you, and it certainly isn't working for me, so the bar is closed for a bit now." For a minute he persisted with the back arching but then he snuggled in for a cuddle and seemed happier than he'd been in a couple of hours.

I guess he's just trying to tell me he prefers to know what's what and not to have me look to him for the answers. He's a lot like Erik in this way - in fact, he's showing quite a few signs of being similar to Erik, but that's a whole other post...


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