Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Would you like some more whine?

My kids look remarkably alike. People often comment on it, and I've even had one or two ask if they were twins (though, since Vivian is about half Isaac's size, I'm not sure why anyone would think that). I suppose it's to be expected. It's kind of fun that neither one looks exactly like Lance or I--rather, they are each a combination of the two of us.

The similarities end at the surface, however. As infants, they looked so much alike it gave me a sense of deja vu. But by the second day home, it was apparent that Vivian was not the same baby as Isaac had been. When she was less than a week old, she stayed awake one whole day. As in, never closing her eyes from 7 am to 7pm. There were days in Isaac's infancy when he only opened his eyes for minutes at a time all day. Vivian had horrible baby acne; Isaac had none. Isaac grew so fast I could practically see it; Vivian was in preemie size clothes for weeks. Isaac slept through the night at 10 weeks; Vivian at 11 months. Isaac has always been an average sized kid, consistently hitting at 50 to 75th percentile on the growth chart. Vivian has never hit higher than 20%. Developmentally, they are very different, with Isaac reaching all the major milestones much sooner than Vivian did.

There are other differences, too. To this day, if Isaac falls or hurts himself in some way, I can pick him up and hug him, kiss the scratched body part, and he will feel better. On the other hand, if Vivian is hurt, the last thing she wants is a kiss from me. She screams until the pain goes away on its own, glaring at me with her tear-filled eyes, as if to say: "I am not a fool, woman. There is no way a kiss from you is going to help this pain!" When Isaac is frustrated, he will growl, or scream or fall to the floor and kick his legs. But his are short-lived frustrations. He gets over it fast enough and moves onto the next thing, and the next frustration. Vivian has a much longer attention span. She can happily read books for 30 minutes at a time, or sit in the playroom with the same toys she's played with since she was old enough to sit up on her own. When she is angry or frustrated, she is much more difficult to placate.

The latest difference is whining. Like any kid, Isaac whines. Although most often he whines only when he's just woken from a nap, or when he's sick. In other situations, he's pretty good about changing his tone if I tell him "Well, I can't understand what you're saying when you talk like that, so I don't know how to help you", or some variation thereof.

Vivian, at almost 16 months old, has about 20 words. I don't consider her "talking". She has recently become rather demonstrative, however, about what she wants. She just whines. Incessantly. Whines to be picked up. Whines to be fed. Whines because she's bored, or because she doesn't want a barrette in her hair, or she does want to drink the bath water, or whatever. Yesterday, I think she whined for a good three-quarters of the time that she was awake. It's driving me crazy! I don't always understand what it is she's whining about, and when I do, it's often something she can't have anyway, which just makes her more upset, and the whines escalate to cries. She doesn't understand the words or the concept of "if you stop whining I will help you", so we spend a lot of time at an impasse.

I know this is age-appropriate behavior. When Isaac was 16 months old, Vivian was a newborn, and he and I struggled mightily. But he had more words by then--I guess about 150 or so. Communication was part of the problem but it wasn't the only problem. He was so active, at that age. Running all over the place, getting into things, and not understanding consequences. If I looked away for five minutes, he'd be running down the middle of the nearest freeway, chugging from the bottle of rubbing alcohol I left on too low a shelf. He had major temper tantrums when things didn't go his way--which was often--but he didn't whine. Vivian is not nearly so active--she can't even walk yet, for pete's sake!--but she's got the whining thing down pat.

Writing this post has been really good for me. Now that I'm remembering Isaac at this age, I understand that there actually isn't much I can do about the whining, until she starts understanding more. That I just need to be patient with her, and understand that this is only temporary. In a few months, she'll be talking (and, by the grace of God, walking) and we'll be onto the next challenge.

In the meantime . . . would you suggest duct tape (for her) or earplugs (for me)?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

[url=]gvecJziSOFtnyBnt[/url] , VewPSSNiEBDYhn -