Our wee silver-tongued minx has quite the attitude to match the verbosity with which she continues to amaze us. Arun at 20 months? He was not much of a talker, but was really, really easy-going. He has not yet shown much of propensity for independence. I am still dressing him from head to toe every day leaving me to wonder if I will have to follow him to college to dress him (which could be awkward should he manage to get himself a girlfriend.) Anjali? If we had a nickel for every time we hear her indignantly declare,"No! I do it!", then our household could personally fund the Bailout.
As you can imagine, she is getting to be quite a bit of work as it seems everything with her is morphing into some sort of negotiation of what She Can Do or Cannot Have. I am finding myself leaving store after store with her trying to work herself up into a tantrum as I desperately try to calm her.
Although, I would be lying if I did not admit that I just adore her ferocity, at times. Well, not when we are at the hardware store and she insists on having her own personal roll of duct tape. But other times, I am totally on board with her independence*. Thus far, hands down, what works with her is to hold her close, whisper in her ear "I know, I know. You want
I have talked about this before, I think. But seriously, I hate, despise, loathe all the child rearing advice that recommends that you ignore a child's tantrum - in particular, a toddler's. A toddler needs help working through what is a complicated set of feelings to them (albeit annoyingly inconvenient to us.) If I see the whole Put Baby In the Corner stance while reading child rearing advice, I am out. Gone. I stop listening. I think it is cruel to leave an 18month old to figure it out on his/her own. Cruel. Does it mean that Anjali gets what she wants? Um, no.
Yes, I do use timeouts now with Arun, he is old enough to understand the consequences of his actions. And I use timeouts for misbehavior, not for disappointment because he did not get his way.
Am I always calm, cool and collected? Um, no. I get angry. I yell. I get impatient** when I am at a store and I just need One More Thing and could you please let it go, I am not buying you that.
But I do know this, when I take a deep breath and take the time to console and acknowledge their disappointment, they usually let it go. And every single time I ignore the kid or yell at the kid, it escalates into something Ugly. Every.....Single......Time.
*Total Sidenote: If I was going to have a stubborn, obnoxious child, I am grateful it is my girl and not my boy. Dude, it is a Hard Knock Life for a girl. I have seen a lot of laid back men get somewhere in life and do okay, but I think girls need to be scrappers or Life will just run right over them. Eh. Sue me.
**Another Total Sidenote: Lest you think that I think I am so great of a mother. Know this, on my blog, I am a great mother. In Real Life, I pass muster. Case in point, all over the Blogosphere, I promised to read to my kids an hour a day for that whole Reading To Your Kids Extravaganza everyone is celebrating. Yeah, like that happened (she types as her daughter is napping in the car in the garage*** and her son is watching yet another episode of Little Bill.)
***Another Total Frocking Sidenote: The garage is heated/air-conditioned. All doors are open so we can hear anyway. Judge me at your own leisure.