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“The Walt”

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Norah has a new thing.  It surely has something to do with being a two-year old.  It goes a little something like this:

N:  “I want yogurt.”  (in a scream)

Me:  “Ok”

N:  “NOOOOOOOO.  I want applesauce.” (louder scream)

Me:  “Sure.”

N:  “Aaaaahhhhhh!  I want cereal.”  (high pitched panic scream)

Me:  “Norah, no big deal.  You can have whichever you want.”

She then falls into the floor in a rage.  The crying and hiccoughing just goes on and on.  It is pitiful.  It doesn’t change if I hold her or leave her alone.  She is inconsolable.   

It can be about anything/everything.  Where she wants to sit or stand.  What music she wants.  Whatever.  Scott and I have named it “The Walt” after Walt Whitman’s line:  Do I contradict myself?  Very well then, I contradict myself.  (I am large, I contain multitudes).  I’m having a tough time with “The Walt” and Norah’s largeness.  No matter how I respond (or don’t respond), it seems to make it worse.  It doesn’t seem to be food or sleep related.  I plan to read Your Two Year Old tonight for ideas.   

Meanwhile, take a look at Norah’s latest art.  Does this look a little scarlet letterish to you?  She had an entire palette of colors but only touched red and orange. 


8 responses »

  1. I know this is serious to you, but it is so funny how you named it “the walt!” When Suzi gets to this age, I just hope I can be half as patient as you are. Right now she’s in a leg-climbing stage and if I walk off for a minute she’ll cry, crawl over to me and pull herself to standing so I’ll pick her up. I don’t mind too much though. I’ve never felt so needed!

  2. just a thought *cringing at sounding advice-y* … perhaps limiting her choices would help? having many options can be overwhelming for the wee folk.

  3. inexplicableways

    I wouldn’t have put it in a blog if I wasn’t hoping for advice! Yes, I’ve wondered about that, too. I think she is feeling overwhelmed by the big, big world. This is going hand-in-hand with her “that (insert any noun) scares me” phase. It doesn’t work to give choices once the contradiction madness begins. But maybe if I could get ahead of it…see it coming with my momsense and create the safe boundaries then…might work. Just might work.

  4. ah what fun!! with Caleb we firmly remind him to use words, with a quiet voice, and we also have a time out spot where he gets sent to calm down(only 1 minute per year old when he first started we sat with him, til he clamed ) I also hold him to his first choice. repeating that is what you picked and then the distraction starts as I give him what he asked for the first time. (song and Dance time!) these work most of the time!

    We are in Rollercoaster screaming voice as everthing is driven across anything! we are all going deaf in the process! the joys of parenting!

  5. inexplicableways

    We had a whopper of a Walt last night. She stayed in her Comfort Corner for most of it (her tent) and screamed out all the contradictions through a little hole. I stayed in the room with her until she finally came out and hugged me; collapsing into sleep.

    I do feel better after reading Your Two Year Old last night that this is characteristic behavior. The authors suggest dramatic change of scenary. And prevention, of course. Makes sense. Norah becomes a different child when I take her outside, for a car ride, or put her in the bath.

    Hey Denise, have you noticed that Caleb isn’t named in Willy’s website biography. Needs an update!

  6. Ah, 2. I remember those terrible days with Emma. Sometimes I thought she wanted me to tell her “no” just so she could find a purpose for her rage. Then she could be mad at me for denying her the applesauce instead of mad at herself for not being able to make a decision or articulate her thoughts. I’m kinda hoping that high need kids like ours have a worse time of 2-ness, because I really don’t want to relive those intense screamy tantrum days with Shaw! Hang in there- it really does get better!

  7. While I’m thinking about it… You are still going to send me an invoice for those diapers, right? Or I can mail a check. Just let me know! Thanks!

  8. Ah, sympathizing with the socially outcast at such a young age!


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