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E has been a pretty easy going kid since he arrived.  That ended abruptly a few weeks ago when he started to develop very strong opinions about what he wants and when, and he can be pretty dramatic if he does not get his way (note about the photo above: yes that is a tape measure in his hands; no he is not upset because we made him wear that sweater).  These reactions seem disproportionate to us, but no doubt seem completely justified to him as he is asserting his will and taking his first steps toward personhood.  In the past we could quickly distract him or substitute something else for what he wanted.  These tricks no longer work – the point doesn’t seem to be so much the object of desire but the unfulfilled desire itself, which is probably why no amount of reason works in these situations (not that we seriously try this approach at his age).  Nor do reason or incentives work in other situations, such as the recent morning when I offered him $100 if he would just go back to sleep for a while.  No luck.

The sounds that he makes when he is upset can be pretty tough to listen to.  Fortunately, this is more than offset by his laughter, which is one of the best sounds we have ever heard…

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