Elsa is really starting to get on my nerves. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to stay stuff like that. And most of the time she is, of course, delightful. But it seems like she’s doing a lot more crying and whining lately: to be picked up, to be fed, to be given her cup or bottle, to be taken out of her high chair.
A couple of times over the past few days, she’s even thrown all-out tantrums. This is definitely a new development. Both times, she was in her high chair eating and then suddenly — seemingly out of the blue – started freaking out. We tried giving her different food, holding her, giving her her cup, etc., but she was, for a few minutes, inconsolable. She even kicked and flailed when I tried to hold her. So finally, we just let her walk (more like stomp) around the room crying and screaming until she calmed down.
I have no idea what she was upset about. Her food wasn’t to her liking? Her peas and carrots clashed? She was worried about the economy? I don’t know if it’s normal for 14-almost-15-month-olds to start throwing tantrums, but if it is (please tell me it is….) I would wager it’s due to communication frustration. There’s so much now that she can tell us — she knows the sign language for “drink” and “eat” and “more.” She can lift her arms up when she wants to be held and shove a book at me when she wants to be read to. She even sometimes points at her rear end when she needs to be changed — a new and promising skill. But I’m sure there’s much more going on inside her head that she can’t get across: I’m sick of mac and cheese! This bib is scratchy! I’m tired and bored and my college savings funds are nosediving while you sit there trying to get me to eat chunks of over-microwaved Boca burger! Agggghhghghgh!!
My instincts tell me that at this stage of the game there’s not a whole lot we can do during these outbursts except just give her some space to cool off. As for the other, more low-grade whining and crying, I don’t know. Since day one, Elsa has been a bit of a drama queen (not that I’d ever dress her in a shirt that said so…), and her crying has always seemed somehow very *emotional.* I love the fact that she’s passionate and intense and stubborn. But it’s definitely becoming more of a challenge. Although I am generally able to keep my cool (“Everything’s OK, sweetie, Mommy’s getting your milk right now, please be patient,” or “Mommy can’t pick you up right now because she’s changing Clio’s diaper, but I’ll play with you as soon as I’m done” etc. etc.) – the occasional, “What is up with you, Elsa? Chill, girl!” does slip out. I’m beginning to have dire visions of the future — tantrums in the grocery store, battles over bedtime, notes sent home with the principal, squad cars pulling up to our house with — OK, OK, I’ll stop.
At least this is one time where the twin thing is a comfort. While Clio certainly does her share of crying and whining, too, she’s generally much more mellow. So at least we can be reasonably sure that Elsa’s behavior isn’t a result of our doing something horribly, dreadfully wrong. I don’t think…