I read in the helpful manual to boys, It’s a Boy, that 18-21 months is a common period for boys to declare their independence and separate themselves from their parents. I’d been seeing this independence for a while. But to date, it had been expressed in a friendly, loving way. He wanted a little more freedom, I granted it to him, he was happy, sweet, and kind.
But in the past week or so, since the MMR, a new phase has appeared. Now, he’s distinctly unhappy to hear no. He throws a tantrum a good 2-3 times a day – crying, arching his back, falling to the ground. One day he was so upset when I put him back in the stroller that he writhed until he fell out through the bottom of the stroller, hitting his head on the stroller. I had never strapped him in before because there was no need to. Until he started throwing tantrums.
This stage is even harder on Mark. Since River is currently showing a strong preference for mom (except when I’m not around, then he’s fine with Mark), Mark gets the tantrums without the love.
Parenting is a fascinating journey. Just when it becomes easy, just when you think you’ve got it down, they enter a new stage and everyone has to adjust again. It keeps us on our toes.