When Alexa was 10 months old, I wrote a guest post for Growing Up Geeky. I filed it away as a draft here, maybe so I could remind myself of it on a rainy day and get another chuckle. What’s funny about this is that all of it still applies, maybe even more so as we enter the Terrible Twos. No, seriously. It’s like a switch was flipped a few weeks ago, and the Terrible Twos are here. I would like to fill out a complaint form, though, because she is not 2 yet. The Terrible Twos are not supposed to start until at least next Monday, mmkay?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this blast from the past. I know I did, and I didn’t even cry at all.
No, I’m not clutching a handkerchief and sobbing in the corner. That would be just … silly.
Alexa has always been what I’d call “spirited.” She was vocal as a newborn, labeled “feisty” by the pediatrician and she’s happy to test the limits of her vocal chords for … no special reason, really. Just ’cause.
Normally she does her vocal experiments with a smile, like so.
But lately she has learned a new set of cries that have nothing to do with her basic needs. There are so many of them, all meaning different things, but they all have one thing in common: THEY ARE INSANE.
The “Hey, you’re making me milk!” cry.
I can tell when she’s hungry, and typically it’s around the scheduled times of day that she normally eats. But here’s the thing: she’s happy until she sees me making her bottle or preparing her food. Then she starts the complaining. Meh! she says impatiently. I’m making your bottle, I say. Meh! Meh! Meh! Meh! And then the full-fledged: Waaaaaaaaah! This continues until the bottle is in her mouth, then silence and smiles.
The “Hey, you took something … whatever that was … away from me” cry.
Who knew this piece of lint held such meaning for my child? As soon as I extricate it from her clutches, there’s the sad face. Then the scrunchy face. Then the wail. Weeeeeehhhhh! Insert lint back into fist. Happy face. Take it away, Weeeeeehhhh! Give it back, happy face. Repeat.
The “Hey, don’t you dare lay me on my back” cry.
This cry is accompanied by kicks and spastics. Diaper changes, naptime, even leaning her backward in the tub to rinse the shampoo out of her hair. This cry sounds like she’s being tortured. It’s a full-fledged scream. Upright again? No tears.
The “Hey, if you have time to do that, you have time to hold me” cry.
Dishes need to be done. Photos need to be taken. Pee breaks need to happen. If these things happen when Alexa is bored and wants attention, watch out. The whining commences. At first it is breathy and cute. Then it gets shrill and annoying. But it’s also fake. As soon as I pick her up, she wants back down to play with the toys that just a second ago were not enough to hold her interest. Sigh.
I try to keep my cool with all of these cries, saying soothing things like, “Just a minute.” Or “Mommy’s right here.” Or “No, honey, you can’t eat lint.” Sometimes I’ve almost retorted, “Save the drama for your mama.” Oh. Wait.