My sister is a Montessori teacher, and one of the things they stress a lot in that style of teaching is choices. When a kid is having a rough day, we used to call it a "fragile" day at the Children's Center. Since Nicole works with older kids, they say that so-and-so is having a hard time making good choices.
Jenn is having a hard time making good choices.
I'm having technical difficulties with work, and so I'm even more frazzled than I usually am in the morning before Charlotte's nap. And she's been really iffy about breakfast these past couple of weeks, but I really needed breakfast. So I sat her in her high chair and tried to feed her yogurt, which is possibly supplanting avocado as her favorite food. She was not having the yogurt, but it gave me a chance to eat a big piece of sourdough bread with butter. Charlotte was whining away in her chair and I was trying to hydrate when I noticed the bread crust on my plate.
You know where this is going, right?
It's a really hard crust, I'm sitting right there, it's not really a choking hazard if I make sure that she doesn't break a piece off. We know she's not allergic to wheat because she's been wolfing Cheerios for a week, getting at least 50% actually in her mouth. So I gave her the crust of bread to gum for a minute while I tried to drink some tea and get some caffeine coursing through my system. Charlotte went to town - clearly this was the most exciting thing I've ever given her. It lasted for about 2 minutes, which is when I realized that the bread was getting really soggy and would soon break off into chokable chunks.
So I took it away.
You would have thought I hit Charlotte instead of just taking away the crust. She got all upset and started WAILING. Now, I'm pretty sure this is some kind of developmentally appropriate behavior, indicating things like object permanence and some such. But it was loud and upsetting. For once, Mumma was the bad guy - and I'm NEVER the bad guy. Charlotte gave me dirty looks and kept crying and reaching even when the bread crust was in the sink and out of sight. Clearly she's beyond the "out-of-sight-out-of-mind" mentality that has stood us in good stead these last 8 1/2 months.
This is super exciting and cool, both in a mommy way and in an intellectual way. But I am feeling nervous. Charlotte's spent a lot of time these last 10 days or so making her opinions known, and I think our "easy" baby luck is starting to fade. Charlotte may look just like Daddy, but I think she's got my, um, feisty-ness. Which is super exciting and the next big adventure and all that, and I just can't wait. I do think, though, that I'm going to need a LOT more caffeine.