Picture this. Last night at dinner we were having shrimp and veggies, Boogie was mostly just trying really hard to drop his food from as high up in the air as his arm could go and I was trying, in vain, to keep it together after painting all day… oh and to keep the food on his tray. Hubby was cooking his shrimp into a quesadilla, and that just sounded good so he made me some too (why do I always give into the carbs?!). We finally are all sitting together and Boogie is finally eating some of his food. I decide to give him a piece of my tortilla since the rest of the family is having it, that’s a part of Baby Led Weaning. He scarfs it down and then it happens…
The scrunched nose, the feet kicking under the table as his body rocks back and forth in his high chair, and that grating sound of a child whining to get what they want.
I had given him plenty, I use the signs and words for more every day, and that sound was pushing my tired and sensory overloaded brain to the brink. My husband could see it and he said, “Don’t give into his whining!”. It’s a sentence I’ve said, I said it multiple times even when my son was just 8m old. It’s a concept and a phrase we’ve both grown up with. “No one likes a spoiled child, you give into his whining now, he’ll continue to do it whenever he doesn’t get his way”. “He’s just crying for attention, he’s not actually… hurt/hungry/fill in the blank. Don’t give in to him, he’s just trying to manipulate you.”
But is he?
Is he really just trying to manipulate me? I mean yes, that sound is giving me a headache and is definitely one of my triggers making me want to lose patience and scream “JUST STOP!”, but is there actually something more?
Luckily, something, or things, I read in a group kept popping through my head even before my husband said something.
“He won’t do this at 18, it’s just a stage…”
“Crying is their way of communicating.”
I had this on repeat and in the moment that my husband said that statement. “Don’t give in…” I knew just what I should do, give in…
Yup, as I tore off another piece of my tortilla I looked at my husband and said “Why? This is the only way he knows how to communicate, it’s not like he can look at me and say “More, please!”, he wants more and he ate the other piece instead of playing, so why shouldn’t he have more?”
Neither of us could argue with that simple piece of logic and it really helped me to look at those whines and grunts and jerky movements in a new light, he’s communicating, this won’t be the way he asks forever.
He did it one more time until we were both done. Once he saw it was gone he didn’t even try to whine/ ask again, this just proves to me again that this was just him trying to ask in the only way he knew how.
He loves his food lol! Baby led weaning for the win!
So as I was perusing my Facebook feed this morning on the way to work, I came across this post by Karena Smith: I originally saw it in our “Gentle Christian Parenting: A respectful/non-punitive parenting Read more…
It’s amazing how someone with so little life experience can actually teach us so much. Kids, so unfettered by life’s hard lessons. Unjaded by the fears and failures of past experiences. They are pure. Read more…