Some cheese with that whine, perhaps?

June 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood), motherhood | 10 Comments

At some point during my life, my mother*, when I had exasperated her to the point of exhaustion, said to me:

“I hope that when you have kids they’re just like you.

When I was pregnant with Baby O, and wondering what sort of personality he’d have, I often thought to that comment.

Because a kid like me?

I could totally handle. I’m self aware enough to know what would have worked for me, parenting-wise anyway.

Like, for example. Standing in a corner? Was the worst punishment. EVER.

Being “grounded?” Not so much.

But see, now.

Baby O?

Well, let’s just say he’s not even close to the personality I had as a baby and a toddler.

He’s more sensitive. Less likely to stray too far away from J or I. Much more reserved in social situations than I EVER was.


That’s his new thing. He doesn’t have the words yet to TELL me what he wants.

And so instead, he fusses. He whimpers. He cries. And in dire circumstances, he will arch back and very carefully lay down on the floor, so as not to hit his head. And look at me and cry. Fake crying, of course. At least, until he convinces himself that yes, he’s really upset. And then the tears come, and I have to spend time consoling him, when really I want to say “good GRIEF, KID! SUCK IT UP!”

I love my son. I really do. But as soon as he starts in on the whining, I have to mentally count back from 10 and focus on breathing.

But see, now Baby O really IS sensitive, so I have to be VERY careful in how I respond.

The ONE time I yelled?

I made him cry. And cry. And cry. And of course I felt like shit. All day.

So managing my OWN emotions when it comes to this toddlerhood thing is tantamount. Because I do NOT want to be the mom that yells. For many reasons but mostly that I don’t want my kid to be afraid of me. Or my reactions.

But I confess that it takes ALL of my energy these days. Not to react when he spends HOURS whining. Trying to put myself in his shoes to understand what he wants from his perspective.

To get past the whining.

So Mom? Having a kid like me might have actually been EASIER than the parenting the kid I’ve got.


*Speaking of my parents, my father was offered and accepted a job. In Texas. Not New Hampshire. I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed that they’re moving even further away than they live now. But I’m also happy that my dad has a job. It’s been a long nine months for them.



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  1. Ugh! Michael went through that whiney stage from 3-4 years old…when he had the words, he just prefered to use them to a point and then throw a tantrum (I was so proud, he had made it up past the Terrible Twos–but he was a TERRIBLE three!!).

    All I could do to myself is (1) tell myself “its just a phase, its just a phase, its just a phase…” through gritted teeth; and (2) use humor mixed with indifference—“Oh, I see Mr. McWhinney is here to play, well, I think I will just go over and do ____.”

    Good luck!!

  2. I definitely think that dealing with toddler stuff is way harder than newborn infant stuff (as a general rule). With baby stuff, it’s just “keep the kid alive”, but with toddler stuff, it’s “don’t screw the kid up for life!” Like everything else, there are peaks and valleys along the way. The peaks are AWESOME, and the valleys are TOUGH.


  3. Oh, the whining phase.

    Miss O. and I really struggled for months, before she could “use her words”. I remember just being so frustrated.

    The good news? It gets better. Less frequent.

    The bad? Miss O. still whines if she’s really hungry or tired.

    Good luck.

  4. OMG, you are so like me and I’d so deal with that horribly… I’m not whiny or sensitive, so THAT, that would be punishment for me too. Not sayiing anything bad about O but still, I’d struggle with that, feel the same re the SUCK IT UP MAN. hmmm, I wonder if that will be my payback as well…

  5. Yeah, trying to figure out the best way to react and to discipline according to personality is pretty hard. M doesn’t whine too much, but he is pretty strong willed. Sometime when we yell he laughes…I know I’m in trouble. I had the EASIEST infant and I KNEW it wouldn’t last.

  6. I just got off the phone with my mother and she just said she hopes I end up with a baby just like I was. Because I was the child from hell. I think she figures that would be the ideal punishment because I really was that bad!

  7. Not to scare you, but that whining?

    I’m pretty sure it ends once they get married. Actually, then the whining is to their wives, judging by my husband.

  8. First, congrats to your dad! I’m very glad to hear that he got a job, but I’m sorry it is farther away from you. 😦

    Second, can I tell you I yelled at Lemy for the first time today and she made the saddest face and began to bawl. Granted, it only lasted for a minute and I yelled because she was trying to mess with a plug in the electrical outlet, but still. And you would think that would’ve been enough for her to learn not to do that, but she was back at the outlet not 2 minutes later. UGH.

    We get a lot of whining too. A lot of pointing, grunts, some words for things, raspberries generally accompany the pointing. But the whining is rough. I hope it ends soon.

    Sad to say, I’ve seriously considered ear plugs at some points. πŸ™‚

  9. It seems that you a drama king! let me tell you, I have a drama queen at home ,she is not shy at all bur she has mastered the whining , the fake cry, arching of the back, then she gets angry, the real tears come, frustration… Imagine when she decides to do this at 4 am??? Lyla has no much of my personality, she reminds me of my sister . I can see having tantrums at stores when he is older and asks me for a toy and I say no… juts like my sister.

  10. Sensitive and whiny? Sounds like a little cutie I know. Maybe we should fix them up πŸ™‚ Seriously, though, the whining is driving me INSANE. And I’m with A all.the.freaking.time. I’m trying to figure out how to deal with her in a way that keeps us both as happy as possible, but boy is it HARD!

    I have to agree with D (and I’ve had this conversation with other moms as well) that the infant stage is easier in a lot of ways than the toddler stage.

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