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November 9, 2002 - Saturday
Cousin Chloe is visiting tonight while Uncle Ben and Aunt Lisa take a night off from the challenges of raising a one-year-old. They're staying at a bed and breakfast nearby, but Aunt Lisa is still worried that Chloe will cry the entire time and keep us awake all night. It didn't happen, but it does remind me that Harry had some of his worst times, especially sleeping or not sleeping, at one and a half and that it's no surprise that Aunt Lisa would be a little concerned for both Chloe and us. The "terrible twos" have the idiom (although, interestingly not worldwide), but at one and a half toddlers are probably experiencing their first real freedom of movement, walking on their own, and taking their first stabs at independence, all without the benefit of language to help explain, coerce, teach, or placate. We saw it from Nicole at the cabin, too, and we're starting to see it with Jeremy. At one and a half, toddlers are, no doubt, still quite used to having and expecting to have every and all of their needs met with if they just scream loud enough. Parents are starting to try to sculpt behavior, but it's just the beginning of that process and there are plenty of rough edges, especially when it comes to schedules. Those couple of nights at the cabin suggested that at two, Harry's more violent stabs at independence are at least tempered by some understand and awareness. There is less that is outright mystery to him now and, with language, he at least has the capacity to accept explanations of events (like some strange other baby crying in the middle of the night in the cabin) that might otherwise lead him down a path of serious discontent. It seems to me that one-and-a-half is the raw, irrational version of "two," but without the words or greater scope and volume of a two-year-old to make them as stereotypically terrible.

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