Up until about three months ago, Charlie was basically a happy-go-lucky kid. He rarely complained, rarely cried, and almost never screamed.
But as I mentioned before, things are changing and I’m finding myself running to keep up.
Charlie has an opinion about everything these days: nap time, bed time, therapy, music, videos, and toys. At this point Charlie has two ways of expressing himself: delighted shrieks and horrendous, gut-wrenching sobs. I can take the shrieks, but when he cries it feel like someone is ripping out my stomach. I CAN’T TAKE THE SCREAMING.
At first glance you’d think that he was in some kind of pain–he’s that loud and real tears run down his chubby little cheeks. My mind races–is it his shunt? a seizure? reflux? But no. It’s just a run-of-the-mill toddler tantrum. He can’t talk, so I can’t tell him to “use his words,” so I’m working on two major concepts:
- Screaming will get you nowhere.
- Ask nicely.
At this point, for me, tone is everything. I can usually figure out what he wants, but I can’t take the screaming. I can’t. I keep reminding myself that this is normal behavior all the while feeling like the worst mother in the world when I ignore my child’s screams. Gah.
So, when he screams for a video, I tell him to ask nicely. If he changes his tone to something less shriek-y then I put the video on. If he continues to scream, then I put him in his bed and let him scream until he’s finished.
I’m also going to spend this weekend trying to put a communication board within easy reach–I figure it must be frustrating to not be able to talk.
Meanwhile, my MIL has adopted two Manx kittens and they are just about the cutest things ever. I keep going over to her house just to play with them. Charlie finds them intriguing, but then he touches them and find that they are entirely too fluffy–YUCK!