I have been reminded frequently by family members and associates that I have for months loudly proclaimed eagerness toward Jonah’s ever-increasing mobility. Chasing him will make for a great weight-loss program, I think I said. At the point of 22 months, Jonah is quite mobile, kicks and throws balls very forcefully and accurately (when he wants to), and enjoys the physicality of doing everyday things. It’s not been much of a weight-loss program for me, but I stand by my earlier thoughts on the subject: I’m thrilled that he’s as get-up-and-go as he is.
Where I seem to have miscalculated badly is with the notion that when a child acquires some speech and a limited ability to reason that he is easier to handle than when he can’t talk or reason. Even though it sometimes takes several guesses, Jonah communicates pretty effectively nowadays. And he can reason through small problems or issues.
Unfortunately, that does not mean he will do what you want him to do, even if what you’re saying makes perfect sense and what he’s advocating is lunacy. A lot times he will do what you want, and he’s helpful, kind, and eager to please. Other times, the dang little monkey just won’t do what you want. Whether that’s because he doesn’t care or likes pushing our buttons or we’re not attentive enough to his concerns or whatever, I don’t know.
But I do think that we’re seeing the start of the “Terrible Twos,” and Erin and I will be discussing how to best handle these newer behavioral issues. Our early efforts will likely be centered around timeouts, but I’ve got to do some reading. If Jonah were throwing huge tantrums, timeouts seem like a good response. But he’s not really, and I’m not convinced yet that timeouts are the best avenue to correct the behavior Jonah’s exhibiting. But since I’m unalterably opposed to corporal punishment, timeouts seem like a reasonable starting point.
[In case anyone’s curious, I think hitting a child makes no sense whatsoever. Best case scenario you’re teaching a kid that “might makes right” and that violence is an acceptable response to problems. Worst case scenario is that you’ll raise a moose of a kid and when he’s a teen he’ll hit back or hit others since, after all, that’s what you’ve taught him to do.]