Thursday, January 23, 2014

Love is Attention

The last few days Bug (3y) and I have been having a tough time with each other. He's usually quite capable of expressing himself verbally, but lately has reverted to pointing and grunting at the slightest bit of emotion. Speaking of being emotional, the slightest things seem to set him off. I've been trying to stay patient with him, but it's been really difficult and I've not been completely successful.

Then yesterday I realized something. He's been waking up the last few days during a time when I am in the middle of something. So our first conversation of the day has been going something like-

Me- Good morning!
Bug- Mom, I needa hold you.
Me- Hold on, let me finish this row (knitting).


Me- Good morning!
Bug- Mom, I needa go potty.
Me- Okay, let me put the puppies in their crate. (because I can't yet leave them for even that short amount of time without an accident)

Our first interaction of the day was one of me denying his completely reasonable request. That's enough to put anyone in a cranky mood, especially Bug who is not a morning person to begin with. To add to things, I've noticed now that he's bigger, more capable, and more communicative I make myself a little less available to him. I think he can play in his room without me while I get something done, that sort of thing. More and more often lately.

As all the little "no's" add up throughout the day, certainly he becomes really frustrated with me. Maybe he's even thinking something like, "I've been using my words to try to communicate with Mama, but it's not working! Perhaps going back to how I used to do things (crying, pointing, and grunting) will be more effective."
And it is more effective! I stop what I'm doing and give him my full attention then, which only proves his point.

As soon as I noticed all this yesterday I made a point to say "yes" more, to be more attentive. He's definitely going through some developmental changes, but who isn't, really? It was still a challenging day for us, but much better than the days prior.

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