I was thinking back to Brendan's mood changes over the past year and a half. Before he was a year old, whenever he would get fussy, cranky, or have a noticeable change in behavior, people would tell me "he's probably just teething" and the pain from cutting teeth would explain away any difficult behaviors. When his sleep pattern was off it was usually "he must be going through a growth spurt". My favorite was during his infrequent or picky eating sessions was typically blamed on "teething."
Now my baby is 20 months old, although he still has a few teeth to cut, we usually have the signs of teething down. So the frequent mood changes, resistant attitude, temper tantrums, lack of eating, or pickyness in feedings are no longer able to be explained away by his developing mouth. The excuse I hear now from other parents, day care and others is "it's just a phase he is going through right now."
To be honest I think I preferred the teething. At least you knew with teething the change in behavior would go away after a few days. With the "phase" you never know how long it could last. We could be in this "phase" for a couple days, weeks, months or with my luck, until he is a teenager. I guess then it isn't a phase.
I'm not saying my kid is a bad kid, he actually minds pretty well, and isn't a complete terror. But our daycare says that his actions are starting to emerge that she expected 6 months ago. He finally learned the word "no" at 20 months, has started being more aggressive with the other kids, including hitting and pushing when he doesn't get his way. I do want to clarify that Brendan is not a bully, he has three other toddler boys at daycare with him, and they all seem to be going through this together. Brendan's little temper has started to emerge as well, especially when we tell him no. Nap times are more difficult as he has begin to fight us on these, although it is fairly obvious when one is needed. By the time I get him down for a nap, it is nap time for myself as well. I understand this is a learning time for both me and Scott as parents, but also for Brendan as he learns boundaries and right and wrong, but I much preferred when I knew it would only last a couple days.
I have a feeling the terrible two's are upon us!