Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whining About Whining

Jillian has hit a phase that cannot pass soon enough. Whining. Oh God does this girl have a talent for it. Plus she is persistent. The whining goes on and on and on, and on the really good days becomes an inconsolable temper tantrum. It increases before nap time and bed time, and a sign of a really horrible day is when it starts first thing in the morning. That was today. I was only too happy to ditch the husband and kids for work today. (But before you go feeling too sorry for Jeramy I should point out that the girls had overlapping naps today for two days in a row which never ever happens on a weekend!)

Now don't get me wrong. I love Jillian. The girl is fun and full of personality. I just hate the whining. I think that I could handle it better if there were some logic to it. Time outs now work well for bad behavior but they do nothing for whining. Jillian's communication skills make it worse too. You know she wants something in the kitchen so so so badly, but who knows what the heck it is. Trying to understand Jillian is like trying to understand Charlie Brown's mom. Jeramy is better at it than I am. I'll be standing with the refrigerator door open showing Jillian food options (and be met with no's and whining) and Jeramy will say she wants an apple.

It is also impossible to figure out what sets her whining off into full blown temper tantrums. For example, on Sunday I decided to wash a blanket from the living room (not on of her blankets but just an ordinary blanket). When she saw me put it in the washer she threw a fit. "Noooo Mama. Please mama noooo!!!". I tried explaining that the blanket was dirty, but rationalizing with a two year old is wasted energy. She screamed and she cried and she begged me to stop washing the blanket for a half hour. The only thing that alleviated the situation was serving macaroni and cheese for lunch.

The only thing we have figured out that does work for whining is tricking her into thinking that we gave her what she wants. For example when she kept dropping macaroni and cheese on the floor after the aforementioned tantrum, she'd cry that she wanted me to pick it up so she could eat it. As I don't trust my floors, I'd pretend to put it in her bowl but then stick it in her napkin. At bedtime she asks for more water than what is in the sippy cup in her bed (bad for potty training I know). Instead of giving her more water, which equals wetting through her diaper, I just go out and pretend to get her more. Dishonest, yes. Effective, yes.

I never said that I was above dishonesty.


BigP's Heather said...

whining makes me stabby

Nicky said...

Wow, this all sounds way too familiar. Our constant refrain is "Stop whining and use big words. I don't understand whining." It works, occasionally. I mean, it usually works with the wanting-an-apple thing. Not so much with they why-the-hell-can't-I-wash-the-blanket thing.

Jamie said...

I'm at the beginning of the tantrum phase - I'm NOT looking forward to the whiny phase.

I'm with you - there just isn't any logic to it!! Not that I expect toddlers to use logic, but the fit throwing seems to be over things that don't make any sense. If I have to endure it, can't I understand it, too?!?!

Kelly said...

Makenna has started the whining phase too. It is SO frustrating! I have absolutely no advice just that I feel your pain:)