Ikaika is in a weird stage of life right now. Hes too small to understand discipline but big enough to throw a tantrum. I find myself wondering when to move on to phase #2.
When he was a tiny little infant and all he needed was to sleep/poop/eat it was easy to decide what to do when he cried. I simply had to meet his needs and snuggle him copiously and all was right with the world. There was very little guess work.
Around the time we came out here Ikaika started throwing fits. When I take something away (usually something dirty or dangerous) he will flap his arms and scream in a way that can only mean "Im totally pissed off".
The other day we were shopping (a store is a place where the self awareness of mothers tends to sky rocket) and my normally normal son pitched a fit after I pried a product out of his tiny hands. I looked at him curiously and weighed my options (it was just me, Ickey and two sales associates), then picked him up and tried to distract him by whispering "look at that" while pointing at stuff I was browsing through anyway. He finished being upset and I finished looking at stuff.
During this whole ordeal, I felt very aware of the expectations (real or imagined) of the other people in the store. Did they expect me to dicipline him? Did they want me to scold him and did they want him to be quiet because he respected me/was a "good boy"? Was I too lenient? I basically ignored it and just continued what I was doing - am I that person who is letting their kids walk all over them? Or am I the zen goddess mom type?
I know for sure that I dont want to be that woman who is screaming at her kids because they are screaming. So I succeeded on that level. But did I end up being that woman whose kids are running wild and theyre doing nothing?
If you asked me to guess based on my life so far, I would say that my general parenting style will fall somewhere between over-protective and hard-ass. But I dont think Ikaika is old enough for all that yet. I dont think 9 months is really old enough for much of anything beyond "no" or distraction.
So the real question is "when does the parenting begin and how will I know?"