The most concerning is his determination to pick at his face. He had a small injury on his cheek, which he began picking. We put antibiotic cream and a small bandage over it. He began picking at the edges, creating a new wound and learning how to remove the bandage. Picking at his face is now such a habit that he has created a few new spots on his other cheek! When we remind him not to pick, he responds, "Want to pick you face!" and continues. Bandages are removed within minutes. Using a thicker cream (like petroleum jelly) is occasionally effective, but not always. Right now I'm keeping his nails as short as possible and trying to keep cream on his "bumps". (He told me today, "You bump is hungry. Wants white yogurt." !!)
|Daddy, Scooby-Doo, Peter, and his bumps|
Less concerning but more annoying is his default to whining or all-out crying at the least provocation. Sometimes no provocation. With this one, we're at least making progress. We remind him that we can't help him if he doesn't use words to say what he wants and won't help him if he just cries at us. I'm also doing my best to provide lots of cuddle time and positive attention (as is my husband, but he works full-time). We seem to slowly see improvements, so I'm optimistic about phasing out the whining. You know, at least until the baby arrives.
Finally, the most perplexing. I'm a behaviorist, so I believe every behavior is goal-oriented. He picks his face because it feels good. He cries because it's gotten results in the past. Why does he persist in saying, "Oh my gosh," despite our disapproval? He learned it from some visiting kids. For the first couple weeks, we completely ignored it. No change. Then we started supplying alternatives. (i.e. "Oh my gosh, you shoes are there." "Oh dear! I see your shoes there!") Now we've been explicitly telling him we don't like him to say that. No change in frequency. I have no idea what he is gaining by saying it.