Musings, Thoughts and Creations

written down

Losing it

on April 29, 2012

We are having a problem with whining and demanding crying.

She only whines when she is hungry, tired, bored, not being payed attention to, frustrated, or when something is taken away or I say no and stop her from an activity. Did I say only? Yeah, she whines/cries a lot right now. If I could anticipate her every need, feed her the second she is hungry, and never let the plate get empty, let her do whatever she wants, and play with her all the time, I don’t think she would whine. I think I could even tell her no, if I cheerfully and patiently redirected the activity. Problem is, the dishes need to get done, food needs to be prepared, and I don’t want to sit on the floor playing all day.

Yesterday it sort of reached a crescendo and I lost it. It was a morning of almost constant whining. Maybe she was out of sorts, or maybe I was busy and not paying enough attention to her, but every diaper was a crying wrestling match, all she wanted to do were things I had to tell her no and take away, and any time I tried to do something in the kitchen, crying and whining. At one point I’m doing dishes on the verge of tears of frustration, Lily is crying and I’m yelling at her, “Stop crying!” Cause that works well. Nothing calms a sad, frustrated preverbal toddler like yelling at them. All it succeeded in doing was making me feel like the worst person in the world and that I was sucking at being a mom.

In retrospect I could have done many things. I could have attempted to set her up with an activity. I could have put her on my back in the carrier while I did the dishes and cleaned up. I could have left the mess and just sat with her. I could have called Rob in for some help and a break. I was clearly not on my A game, as none of these occurred to me. I just thought if I could get the kitchen done, I wouldn’t be looking at a mess, which is calming. Then we would go outside and everyone would be happier and more relaxed. Rob came down, probably alerted by the noise that I was at the breaking point, and helped me take Lily outside on the blanket. I was all ready to be calm and try to relax and enjoy my Lily, and the first thing she does is try to take all the wipes out of the wipe bag. It was then that I told Rob I needed 15 minutes and went upstairs and read Jason Good’s 365 blog. And after 15 minutes, I was better. I could hug her without resentment, and be relaxed and everyone was happier. Then it was nap time and I got a big break and after that everyone was much, much happier.

This morning I read the section on whining in the What to Expect: The Toddler Years book and it was all pretty common sense. But I need a good reminder of common sense so that when I get to that crazy point again, I will have something that is immediately available to try, instead of futilely yelling at a baby which is horrible and pointless.

Goals for today.  Pay more attention to Lily, and then if she is occupied sneak away to do computer stuff.  When it is getting close to nap/meal times and the whining ratchets up – put her in the carrier and soldier on. And she’s awake from her nap.  So here we go.  : )


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