Delaney's under the misguided assumption that she's in charge at the dd household as of late. It's been our job to gently explain to her that this is not the case.
First of all, the biting's back. This time, she's going at me with EIGHT teeth (four on top, four on bottom). The pain I felt when she chomped on me with her gums is nothing compared to the full-on Dracula frightfest I'm currently experiencing. And today when I pryed the little piranha off, told her, "No biting!" and covered up, you'll never believe what she did next. She leaned forward and bit my bra as if to say, "I'll show you who can bite, lady!" Yeah. That didn't go over so well with me. When I didn't produce the goods after this bra-bite, she threw a sobbing fit...for about 10 seconds. Then she popped her thumb in her mouth, put her head on my shoulder and chilled. It was a short-lived power play, but a power play, nonetheless. The biting behavior commenced throughout the day and the only reason I can assume it's returned is because Delaney's experiencing some frustration or another. Now that she's crawling, she can get to where she wants to go, but I think she gets pissed that she can't always tell me what she wants or needs. She's constantly "talking" and pointing and it's obvious that, in her mind, she's communicating with us. She must be frustrated that we aren't responding to her requests. Could that be what's driving her to bite? All I'm doing to handle this is telling her not to bite me and covering up the breast so she gets the point that if she chooses to bite, she can't nurse. I hope that's the best way to handle it and that it works, but I really have no idea. If it doesn't work, I'm not sure what else to do. I don't think my delicate parts can take much more of this torture, yet I hope to continue breastfeeding her for many more months.
Second, she's attempting to exercise her will at mealtimes. She previously made it known that she detests green food by spitting it out and refusing to eat it. I didn't push the issue and instead decided to give her foods I know she likes. I normally offer her vegetables and proteins first and end her meals with fruits. The other day, she determined that isn't good enough. She's started pointing to food she wants to eat first and refuses to eat anything else until she gets her way. Again, I'm not sure if I'm doing the "right" thing, but I've been giving in to her in this instance, mainly because she does eat the veggies and proteins after she eats the fruits. I figure there are some battles she needs to win so she's not feeling oppressed. I want her to know she has choices and that sometimes her decisions are good (what she chooses to eat in which order) and sometimes not so good (choosing to bite me) so that she can learn. But, she's ten months old. Is this too young for her to start learning these lessons? I don't know. I don't think so.
Third, naptime has turned into a battle these last few days. Used to be when I put Delaney down for a nap, she'd roll onto her side, pop her thumb in her mouth and go to sleep. Easy. Super easy. But, now that she can pull up, she won't settle down and nap. As soon as I put her down, she rolls onto her side, sits up and pulls up, all in about a second. So, I put some toys in the crib with her, figuring that she can choose to sleep or play, but either way, it's quiet time. Nope. It's scream time apparently. This morning she cried on and off for about 30 minutes before finally settling down to sleep. Roger would go in every 10 minutes to check on her and he'd either find her standing or sitting, protesting naptime. This afternoon, it took her about 15 minutes to get to sleep, but that was after a HUGE crying jag that got so bad Roger ended up rocking her to sleep. We're hoping that by using a little bit of compassionate CIO, she'll get back into her easy nap routine. Time will tell.
It's definitely a time of transition for her, and for us. She's so smart. She knows when she's pushing my buttons so certainly she could be ready to learn that biting is bad and that naptime is not negotiable. But, I guess I need to ramp up my mothering skills and move on from babying an infant to parenting an almost-toddler. I had no idea these changes would come so soon, but they're here and I don't think things will ever be as simple as they were before.