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Understanding my toddler

My toddler (16 months old) is no longer a baby now. I can say this because I'm observing his spirit to stand as an individual these days. The real happiness of motherhood is there when you watch your young one growing up. This growing- up is not a slow process though. I can easily notice an inch up in my child, every day. It seems really a short while when my in-the-lap baby has enabled himself to stand as a distinct person. At his early life, I felt I was just a known face for him. But now, he knows how close I am to him. Of course, I had to put my best feet forward to make him recognize me as his most reliable companion in his playful life. I laugh at his silly acts, play with him, dance with him, cry with him and encourage him when he tries to do what I know he is yet to grow up for. This does promote a mess in my house but it is important to let my tot see the world by his own twinkling eyes and measure the miles by his own baby feet. 
But fact of matter is, he is growing up very quickly and he has started understanding that we both, he and I, are two separate people. He is trying to affirm this thing with fighting with me (or with his father) for control over any issue which comes in front of us. He's able to do things by himself and I know these little achievements please him. The little one, a few months back, used to ask for my office bag to taking things out after I come back from my workplace. To disallow such a play, I used to put my bag on the table he could not catch it from. Then he used to show his restlessness for getting bag. But, that scene has completely changed now. He no longer asks me to give him the bag. He is able to take it himself from the table’s top. He knows how to open the zippers and takes things out. He has learned to operate my cell phone and can now play his favorite videos from the phone gallery. He has started showing reactions when he’s not allowed to do what he wishes to do. This “Let Me” feeling is budding inside him day by day.
However, I also understand that he is not yet a child who is ready to take responsibility for himself and his own actions in relation to me. Sometimes he clings to me, cries when I leave the room, holding up his arms to be carried, demanding with open mouth that I should feed him. In the morning, he pretends like big boys that he can get down from the bed and go to other rooms without my help, and at the night he may wail that he's a small boy who needs to be in lap until he sleeps. His in-between behavior is confusing for me and for my husband. If I try to put myself into the shoes of a soon-to-be one and half year old tod, I find this whole situation stressful. He is trying to set his identity as a self sufficient boy but at the same time he also needs our (his parents) support to hold him before he falls down. At this time, he is unable to know why others can do what is not allowed to him. He is developing his liking and disliking which most of the times conflicts with mine (or with his father's) but after yelling for few minutes he accepts choices in front of him which are not originally his. Now at every second action, he gets scolded. At times he listens and many times he ignores. After getting scolded he comes back to me and melts in my arms. This proves he loves me (and his father) and depends upon me for emotional supports.
I feel he's going through first maze of his life when he tries to do everything by himself but fails most of the times. This failure might be hurting him because I can notice his frustration. I feel he needs more love and approval from my side. Because, his drive to grow up will not allow him to accept other's choices at the price of making him feel inadequate. I don't want him to feel inadequate in any sense. So I let him try things. I cushion his failures. I smile for the mess he creates. This is the only middle way I see, through which my little yet grown-up son can do adventures but insure himself against any bad happening. I'm trying to teach him my firm yet mild replies for his tantrums so that his tiny ego doesn't get bruised. At this early age I cannot expect my little one to understand me. So the only option I have is to understand him. And that’s how I can bring a balance between what he likes and what is right.   
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