(doodles of sam being sam)
i was recently talking to someone about sam's current mode-of-operation, and i can only think that he is doing a lot of dealing with his personal growth and finding out where he fits into this great, wide world that he wakes into every day. there are moments of sheer independence ("sammy do it 'self.") and then there are moments when you couldn't fit a sheet of airmail stationary (do people still know what airmail stationary is?) between him and i.
there is also a lot of this-not-that—by which i mean that he will ask for something only to say "no [insert food, object, action]" the moment he gets it. for example, at bedtime it's "no mack (his favorite bedtime truck)", so i take mack out of the bed, leave the room, and be called almost immediately to put mack back into his bed. and in general, i will let him fuss for about five minutes before going in to resolve the situation—which seems to give him the appropriate amount of time to decide exactly what it is he wants (or how he wants to assert his control) before he can finally settle down to sleep. it's a pattern that has formed, a little dance we do—"yes elmo!" "no elmo!", "yes blankets!" "no blankets!"
and so around our house there's a lot of push-and-pull, small battles going on (everywhere, all day, and luckily i have started to figure out where the landmines have been placed, where i can tread with confidence, and where i need to tip-toe carefully. there are times when, watching sam make his way down the stairs frontward (no longer backward on his hands and knees), i get the urge to scoop him up and carry him because every step seems a little wobbly, a little tentative (and god-forbid he should take ANOTHER tumble down the stairs and get ANOTHER bonk on his beezer…) it's hard to be the adult, to watch without being the "hovering safety-net", to let my little trooper grow up. but i know it's also hard for sam, because there's a lot that he wants to do that he can't. when he says "no" it's because he's also hearing a lot of "no". that he can't choose to not go to daycare on wednesdays, or not return books to the library when they can no longer be renewed online. so he's staking out his territory one small battle at a time, testing boundaries, scaling a little barbed wire (that parents have been so carefully placing in his path), and finding "sammy robert norstrom" in any place he can.
more power to you, little peanut (unless it means spitting out your cereal all over your clothes—and the table, and the floor—moments before we need to leave the house, that is).