Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a great amount of frustration coming from my little toddler. He is so busy, all the time. He loves to play and follow his brothers around all day. He has a few sign language words he knows, and he says bye bye and sometimes cracker and all done. But I can tell, just by the way he jabbers at me, that he wants to say so much more. I know that he knows he can speak, he's just not quite there yet. It's really affecting his attitude. He has been so moody the last few weeks, and some days I just think, "if this kid whines or screams any longer I just can't take it anymore." This problem has become even more evident after the older boys go to school. Gideon is just struggling to discover that he can have fun without his brothers.
I try all sorts of different things to keep him occupied and happy. I let him play with kitchen dishes in a sink full of water, I sit on the floor with him and build and rebuild towers, we do some scribbling with colored pencils because he doesn't try to eat those, and I take him to do errands. Yesterday we went to pick up some milk and drinks that were on sale. When we got home I had him help me bring in the groceries by giving him one thing to carry in to put on the counter. Then we would go back out and get more. He absolutely loved to help. Because he was busy, he didn't try running out into the street to watch for airplanes, nor did he have a tantrum about going inside when the job was done. Today we had him help take stuff inside and he did such a great job. He had the biggest smile on his face! I think giving him simple helping jobs like that makes him feel important.
We tried going to the movies as a family today, something we haven't been able to do since Christmas vacation. We saw the new Disney movie, Brave. I saw about 15 minutes of the show, and I loved it. The rest of the time was spent wandering the halls and foyer. Gideon just would not sit still. He was content for about 5 minutes eating popcorn and that was it. I offered him all sorts of snacks and drinks. He just pushed everything away and wanted to go out and explore. Near the end of the show I was just getting tired of chasing him around and having him screaming in my ear when we sat down. I put him on my shoulders in the back of the theater, and that made him happy for about the last 5 minutes of the movie when he realized he could bounce on my neck and run his hand along the wall as I was walking around. From now on, until he is about 3 or 4, he is not allowed to go to a movie. Not only do I refuse to ever pay for him to roam the halls anymore, but I also refuse to have such wiggly and annoying behavior in a confined space. Ayla and the other boys did wonderful. Ayla even slept on Brady for over half of the movie. But even still, both Brady and I came home extremely irritated and grumpy. Going for family time to the movies just isn't worth the hastle. We'll stick to redbox and our DVD collection for the next several years because when Gideon can finally sit through a movie, Ayla will be a toddler terror. I'll save my sanity and just wait until the littlest children are old enough to enjoy a movie at the theater.