Two nights ago I got my first taste of parenting a child with emotions (beyond “I’m crying because I’m hungry or wet”). I had given Jonathan a page of a magazine to play with, because he always wants to “read” what I’m reading. He was happily playing with it, but I realized that he was getting it more successfully in his mouth than I wanted him to, and as it got soggy tiny pieces were in danger of going completely in. So I took it away from him and replaced it with a new toy…only he didn’t want the new toy. He wanted the soggy paper, and he was extremely unhappy about having it taken away. This is the first time he’s registered a frustration complaint in such a way…and I felt like I was dealing with a small child instead of just a baby. The baby doesn’t really notice a replacement – in fact doesn’t really notice that something just got taken away. Jonathan decidedly noticed, and made his feelings on the subject quite well known.
I’m not sure if I’m excited to see him develop and grow, or sad to see my tiny baby disappear, or worried that this is the mini-precursor to toddler temper tantrums. Maybe all three.