Nathan has suddenly started talking in sentences. It started a week or so ago – after a two-month-long episode of Nathan being an complete and total pill. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a super sweet, loving little boy. But when he’s about to hit a major milestone, his behavior goes down the crapper. The past couple of months have been hard. Tantrums, fighting, screaming, and constant misbehaving and testing have been the highlight of our days. My normally sweet little boy was doing things he’d never done before- like throwing tantrums in restaurants and blatantly disobeying me at every single opportunity.

Fortunately, he’s calmed down a lot over the past week or so.

We anticipated once that phase was over, he would probably start talking more. But we had no idea it would be like unleashing a dam! It happened so suddenly. I blinked and *POOF!* he started talking more and more like a big boy.

The other day, he found his missing cape. When I heard the triumphant sound of dancing feet, I peeked into his room and saw he had already put it on.

“I found my cape!” he exclaimed. I stared, speechless.

“What?” I asked, not really sure if I had really just heard him correctly use a sentence.

“I found my cape! I found it!” he said.

Wow. Just… wow. A couple of weeks ago, he would have said something like, “Look! Cape!” but this time, he used a whole sentence. And I was super impressed that he used his pronouns correctly. Just like a big boy! And now that he’s transitioning past this epic Misbehaving Phase, he’s becoming so dang sweet. He wraps his little arms around my neck and says, “I love you so much, Mommy” as he plants little kisses on my cheeks.

My favorite sentence he’s said this far was when he was sitting on his potty, reading a book as he tried to go. He opened one of his favorite books, The Little Engine That Could, ran his hands up and down the front page, and said, “I love books soooooooooooo much.”

Another new development… He’s minding me better when I explain things to him.

For example, my mom, Nathan, and I went to eat at Red Lobster the other day. Nathan was sitting beside me in the booth, and he repeatedly attempted to slide under the table, stand in the booth, talk to the people behind us, etc. I finally had enough, and I plopped him back down beside me and told him that was enough. He needed to sit still and stop trying to slide under the table. He did NOT like that one bit, and he threw a hideous temper tantrum which involved banshee-like shrieking and ripping out one of my earrings and hurling it onto the table. I picked his angry butt up out of the booth and marched him outside for a time out and a harsh scolding. After he completed his timeout, I told him his behavior was unacceptable and that if he chooses to continue to behave like a brat, I would take away his books. I told him when we went back inside, I expected him to mind like a big boy and not throw any more tantrums.

Well, he did pretty good when we went back in to finish our lunch.

But then when it was time to leave, he spied the lobster tank they keep out in the lobby.

Uh oh.

He ran towards the tank and stood inches from the glass. “Hi, fish!” he said, waving his hand. “Lots of fish in the fishtank,” he mused as he stood there, watching intently. I dreaded telling him it was time to go. We needed to leave, but when I tried to steer Nathan away from the tank, he resisted. A could feel a tantrum brewing. But I had a plan.

“Nathan,” I said. “We need to leave. If you’re good and don’t throw a temper tantrum, then I will let you look at the lobsters next time we come back. But, if you’re NOT good and you decide to throw a tantrum, then no more lobsters. I will NOT let you look at them the next time we come back. Do you understand?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, let’s go then.”

“Okay.”

Okay? Really? And then he turned around, grabbed my hand, and walked out of the restaurant like a big boy. It’s the little things like this that make me feel like I am doing something right.

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