My little bubs is becoming quite the adventurer these days, grabbing hold of anything he can get his paws on. While he is having lots of fun satisfying his curiosity, it can be rather nerve wrecking for us as, at times, as he puts himself or the object of his affection, in danger.
It is at these times that we try to get him interested in something else, the so called “re-direct” response. “I know you want to play with Mommy’s books but Mommy’s books are not for playing with. Here, you can play with your book.” I learnt this from the play therapy course I did: Acknowledge the feeling, Communicate the limit and Target an alternative (ACT).
On the surface this seems like a good idea, but there are all sorts of contributing factors to make the scenario more complicated. For instance he did his first unassisted stand trying to get to my books. Now, that is praise worthy.
Also, some of his books are so chewed on now it is getting to the point where he gets cardboard in his mouth (another danger) so we have to re-direct again (to another book that is less chewed). He also loves the tissue box and has chewed a hole in that. But last night we let him play with it because he was straining so insistently and crying. And then the look of joy while he explored it (without chewing) was just priceless.
And what do you do about TV? Nicky is normally quite good at playing with his toys while it is on, but there are times when he just stares. So what’s a mom to do? Re- direct him to another screen, I am ashamed to say. Thank you MomAgain@40 for this app of animals that change shape as you touch them, he squeals with delight! The only problem is that doesn’t last long before he wants to eat my IPad. And so the re-direct begins again.
There are times when re -direct is not going to work and you just have to say a firm quick “No!” before disaster occurs. That’s like this morning when I am trying to make coffee with Nicky on my hip and he is trying to put his hands in the sugar. I used to wait till he was sleeping to do this, but these days I need my caffeine fix earlier.
Nicky still loves bottles but these days his old ones are boring and he prefers our ones that are new with cold liquids in them. This was fine till he figured out how to open them and we had ice tea all over the bed.
In conclusion I think you have to be pretty flexible as a parent, balancing safety and allowing your little one the exploration he needs. It’s all just part of the joys and challenges of watching him grow up.