And, frankly, I don’t know what to do. He’s 14 months old. In many respects he still seems like a baby. In many others he seems like he’s one step away from snatching the keys to the car from my hand and flying out the door before I even have time to shout, “don’t do anything STUPID!” He’s very much into pushing boundaries these days, testing us, and showing off.
For example, I will say, “No, Kendall. Don’t play in the dog water.” He will look me dead in the eyes, put his hand in the dog water with the purpose and precision of a surgeon and then shake his head no, as if to say, “Let me get this straight. THIS is what you don’t want me to do, right? Putting my hand in the dog water just like this? Oh, yes. I know that. See. Noooooo.”
So is he understanding no? Can you punish a 14 month old for deliberately disobeying you when you aren’t even sure if he knows he’s disobeying you? I certainly don’t want to condone the behavior. It’s one thing when he demonstrates with the dog water, but quite another if he is trying to break into the gas fireplace.
I’ve tried the distraction, positive reinforcement method, but I don’t think he’s getting it. It’s such a weird place to be, in limbo between baby and child. I’m not ready for a toddler yet. I’m just now figuring out what to do with the baby. Pause, please.
Kendall will be 14 months in the blink of an eye, and 14 shortly after