A couple of weeks back, I was visiting with some gal friends and acquaintances at a friend’s baby shower. During the course of the conversation, we began talking about our kids and their various behavior quirks. One of the girls mentioned that her little guy, who is around Jacob’s age, just began banging his head on the ground when he doesn’t get his way. I couldn’t help but be a little jealous. A moment later, another one of the girls mentioned Jacob’s “sweet disposition.” I couldn’t help but laugh.
The reason for my simultaneous jealousy and amusement: Jacob started having temper tantrums, complete with head-banging, around 8 months. Now, at 22 months, he has progressed to a much more mature level of anger management: hitting, slapping, and, my personal favorite, biting. (By the way, when I say biting, I’m not talking little love nibbles; I’m talking all-out oral assaults that draw blood and leave bruises for days.)
Ever since Jacob was a newborn and would regularly fight sleep for hours on end (I think his personal record was 12 hours), I knew I had a little fighter on my hands. I imagine that someday when he learns how to manage his emotions that his strong will will be an asset to him, but, for now, it can be a pain.
When it’s just me and him, I don’t mind his feisty personality so much since I am bigger than he is, and I don’t mind, shall we say, high-fiving his backside when he needs it, but his extreme tantrums really worry me for Vivian Jayne. His‘’tude—which seems impervious to discipline in most any shape or form—taken out an adult is frustrating. On a little baby, it could equal disaster.
I can only hope that I’ll have the same outcome as some of my mom friends who have recently had babies. They, too, were worried about how their little guys would adapt to a new sibling. Turns out, their little ones adore the new baby.
But, then again, before the birth, they worried about normal things like bedtime schedules and jealousy during breastfeeding. I’m more worried about Jacob going King Kong on our precious new bundle anytime I tell him “no.” I can just imagine him, overcome with emotion, climbing to the highest point in our house with Vivian tucked under his arm.
While I don’t expect Jacob to meet his demise the way King Kong did in the movies, I can only hope that famous closing line of the 1933 flick will hold figuratively true when our little girl arrives: “No, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty that killed the beast.”
Maybe, just maybe, the gentle presences of a baby girl will kill the beast in our crazy little man. If it doesn’t? Well, at least it will only be a few months before Vivian Jayne has enough teeth to bite back.