Monday, November 1, 2010

Is it a phase??

When Sophia was just born, Anjali was two yeard old. She was throwing several tantrums. Mostly involving Mummie caie anniya baby, and such stuff.

"She is upset", we all said. "She is upset that she has a new baby sister and there is less attention to go around for her". Mind you, this is not entirely true, Sophia used to mostly sleep and eat, and unless she was feeding, husband used to be the one who carried her around while i spent time making new activities for Anjali, messing up the house etc.

I do remember the turning point in Anjali's tantrum times. She was two years and two months old in Romania, and Sophia was ill. Overnight, there was a change in the kind and amount of tantrums she threw. She cries less and asked more whys. And blam, the toddler had changed into a little girl. I thought I had gotten to the crux of the problem - Anjali could talk better when she was two years and two months - she could say full sentences, say stories with two or three sentences, etc

Anjali still throws tantrums - mostly when she is hungry, or when she wants to say something but adults override her and carry her (she doesnt like that very much, people carrying her without permission). I think she is entitled to. I throw tantrums sometimes when things get overwhelming, so i guess she can throw them also.

But here is an example of a flawed hypothesis - Sophia will not throw tantrums because she can talk. We have recently found reason to believe that the terrible twos are terrible twos, regardless of whether the kid can communicate using language or not. Here is an example of what happened.

Husband and I took the girls and Sandhya to Mac Ritchie reservoir. They had had a decent breakfast - but the park air and good walking (in Anjali's case atleast) makes you hungry. I had packed some brioche (thanks to the bread machine), which the girls ate upon entering the park and some mamaliga for lunch. As they had had brioche at eleven, we waited till noon for lunch. Everyone was fairly hungry.

To make life easier for husband, who otherwise had to carry food for five people, and because we wanted to get the children in the habit of carrying their own loads, I packed a backpack for Anjali, with her lunch in a box, cake and water. The same went for Sophia and for each of us. It was from this lunchbox of Sophia's that I took her lunch out.

"No.", she said immediately. "aant plate"

Sandhya, who had a bigger lunchbox than Sophia immediately gave her the cover of her box to use as a plate. Was she satisfied?

Of course not.

"Aant nother plate!"

And so the tantrum began. And it went on and on and on.

"They both have their own styles of thrrowing tantrums", said husband sagely later, much later. "Anjali used to lie down whereever she was - road, home, shopping mall, airport and cry. Sophia's style is to run ten meters away from you when she is annoyed"

So husband went to console her for a bit while I fed Anjali. Nothing doing. She came back to me and was streaming in tears, that wouldnt let off. She was belyond a plate now - she wanted bua. But even that couldnt stop her.

Anjali finished her dinner, ran around a few times and wanted lollipop. Sandhya had given them lollipop that morning, and they had both stowed it in their backpacks. Sophia also wanted lollipop. It was time for a silly choice.

"Do you want to eat mamaliga now or after lollipop?"  
"After lollipop."

I took the lollipop out of her bag and held it in front of her. She tried to reach of it, and I held it out of her reach.

"Will you eat mamaliga after eating lollipop"


"Yes or no?"

A very sulky "yes"

"Do I have your word?"


Well, she kept her word and was almost through her lunch, when we saw the monkeys. So we had to close the box


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