Friday, March 30, 2007

The Littlest Whino

Margot has discovered whining. This is annoying, not just because whining is annoying. This is annoying because she won't (maybe can't) say what she's whining about. Most of the time the whining is brief, a couple minutes here and there. Then again, most of the time she hasn't been sick for a week.

Yesterday and today, Margot has been whining so incessantly that when she took a break for about two minutes this morning to eat a banana, I was awash in relief. Once the banana was gone, the whining started again.

Most days, when Margot goes off to play by herself, she is perfectly happy to put things in her little purse and walk around with them, or build towers that fall over when they reach a few inches high, or read quietly to herself. These last few days, if her purse doesn't open exactly right the first time, frustration sets in and whining and yelling commence.

This is all partly my fault. I've always tried the ignore method to deal with her whining, and I can now ignore her for long stretches of whining. I think this method only works when kids can tell you exactly why they're whining. My tolerance for whining is measured in minutes, not days, and today, I begged and pleaded with Margot to stop whining, which she finally did when she started crying.

So then lunch was over. We went and sat on the couch and she grabbed for her binky and blanket and she sat on my lap, quiet and still. I talked to her for a couple of minutes, telling her I was sorry for getting angry and talking about what makes me feel better when I feel like whining.

As her head shakes and nods got smaller and shorter, I realized she was falling asleep. A moment later, she had fallen asleep in my arms for the first time in almost a year. I let her lie there in my arms and I savored the moment until I knew that if I kept her there much longer, she would wake up for good when I finally put her down.

Though having Margot fall asleep on me did my nerves a world of good, I know there's more whining to come. How do you deal with a whino who can't talk?


Lauren said...

Wow Dad, that was beautiful.

I love you

Casey said...

hahaha Lauren.

Ben try it with 4 girls!! I swear it can be overwhelming!