March 30, 2010

Who are You, and What Did You Do with My Child?

Sneak has to have been replaced by a pod person. It's like she woke up a completely different child a couple weeks ago.

Experienced parents know what I'm talking about. She's entered...

The Tantrum Phase!

Sneak has always had a temper, but she didn't have many fits before now. She was a relatively laid back child, if insanely independent for a child her age. She's only twenty-months-old.

I knew it was coming soon. This is about the same age where frustration, disappointment, and irritation started catching up with Boo Bear. I'd fooled myself into thinking maybe it would be a bit tamer with Sneak since Boo's main source of frustration was an understanding of language that far outstripped her ability to communicate. Sneak concentrated on speech before she did anything else. She can say a lot more than Boo could at her age, so I thought she wouldn't get as frustrated.

What I didn't count on was her frustration with herself. Here I was thinking perfectionism was a learned trait, but it looks like Sneak has it inborn. She speaks very clearly for a child her age, but apparently this isn't good enough for her. Once that first language bloom slowed, her used vocabulary shrank.

The only reason we know she's still growing in language is we've heard her as she drifts off at night. After her bedtime glass of milk, after the story and kissing her baby doll goodnight, Sneak lays in her crib and practices saying a word over and over until she drifts off. She does this until she's happy with her annunciation of a word before she'll use it outside her crib. So far she's gotten Mama, Daddy, Sissy, eyes, that, ball, diaper, and sit down up to her standards.

Oh, she makes herself understood. Who couldn't understand what a child wants when they hand you their sippy cup and proceed to walk to the refrigerator and pat the door? She knows we want her to say, "Juice please," and she can say it to where we understand her. But it comes out as "Jews peas," and she knows this isn't what the phrase is supposed to sound like. So she refuses to use the words.

The real trouble comes when she can't figure out a way to say what she wants. We've attempted to show her some signs, which worked beautifully with Boo. However, Sneak just looks at us like we're stupid when we do.

It took me a bit, but I realized we've never explained sign language to Sneak. Boo didn't care, she saw a way to express her wants and went for it. We don't spend as much time over at Hubby's parent's house as we used to when Boo was little, and Sneak hasn't seen sign language used much as a result. And she's a girl who needs to know the how and why of things before she'll accept it.

I've started trying to explain its use to her. How speaking with her hands has helped their Aunt K, and even Hubby in noisy places, but she doesn't seem to believe me just yet. Maybe if she sees her Aunt K using it next time we're visiting, she'll know I'm not pulling her leg. Still, I'm also explaining Hubby and I can understand what she's trying to say most of the time, and we don't care if she's saying something perfectly.

Even then, I know it's going to take time to give her the tools she needs to deal with strong emotions. It's going to be a long haul, and it's a necessary one. Just ignoring the tantrums aren't going to make them go away when she doesn't know how to deal with these new emotions she's feeling.

Still, I'm so glad this is our last time through the tantrum phase.

* I don't have any pictures of her in mid-tantrum, of course, but here's a snap shot taken just a few moments before one started up. Can you guess why?

No comments:

Post a Comment