Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome to the world, baby girl

From the day she was born, Josie has been The Good Child.  The one who's mellow and easy and only fusses as a way of communicating hunger or tiredness.  She hasn't had tantrums or screaming fits.

Until now.

I know it's the age.  A combination of starting to assert independence and separation from others, and frustration with an inability to communicate as well as she wants to and feels she should be able to.  She is so, so close to truly functional, conversational speech.  But she's not there yet.  And it's pissing her off.

Over the past month or so, she has occasionally put herself into a strop over something she wanted but couldn't have.  I accommodate her wishes to the extent that is reasonable, but I'm not going to raise an asshole, so she doesn't get everything she wants.  And when that happens, she'll run and flop herself on the ground in front of me very dramatically, crying as if I had just run over her puppy.  I'll say something like, "I'm sorry you're upset, honey," and walk away.  So she'll get up, run over to me and flop herself on the ground in front of me again.

It's hard not to laugh.

Yesterday she had her first full-on tantrum at school.  Screaming, running around in circles and then throwing herself on the floor, throwing things, arching her back when people tried to console her or pick her up.  No one could figure out what was wrong and because it is so out of character for her, the teachers were very alarmed. 

I told them that once they had discerned that she wasn't hurt or in some kind of danger, to walk away and ignore her.

The time from birth to about 18 months, as hard as it is, is lovely in that you don't have to make any real efforts at discipline.  You establish schedules and limits and say "no" when you have to, but it's way too early for scoldings or time outs or any of that kind of thing -- the kids just don't have the cognitive or emotional capacity to understand or benefit from it.  Discipline is a pain in the ass -- it's no fun to fight with your kid or watch them be miserable while they're being punished.

But I fear the time has come for Miss Josephine.


  1. I cannot believe how she's growing! Oh, I don't miss that age. Okay, maybe I do a little.

    She's adorable, Wendy.

  2. She is ridiculously cute. But she's starting to use the cute a little too manipulatively.

  3. This reminds me of my mom and dad's favorite story: when I went off the bottle, I apparently went apeshit one night, screaming and going nuts for one. When they refused to give it to me, I got under the coffee table, and lifted it with my two little legs, that I guess were strong with rage, ha! They didn't give in though, and I was off the bottle before you knew it. Well you know, until 21 that is.

  4. Anonymous4:50 AM

    It's amazing how we seem to be living parallel lives on each side of the globe... My little girl Lexi is doing exactly the same thing. But having a brother that is a bit older than Zeke means she has also picked up a bit more aggression too - some days are not pretty. But both our girls are loved and nurtured and we know it'll just be a phase - let's just hope it's a short one :)