Annabel has started talking, and, as I’ve mentioned before, the prospect of having difficult conversations with her one day has me more than a little nervous. What I never imagined, however, was that these difficult conversations would come LONG before I imagined – like, say, yesterday!
Our first difficult conversation was instigated by something I do every morning – take Rigby out to do her business. Normally this happens uneventfully, but yesterday Annabel saw me putting the harness on Rigby and hurriedly waddled over to the baby gate:
“Uppa,” she shouted. “Uppa!”
Annie had recently learned the word “Uppa! (better known as “up” to us adults), and quickly grasped its meaning. As a result she now repeated it over and over when she tired of sitting in her high chair or wanted to be picked up off the ground.
“Uppa!” she repeated. ” Uppa!”
I cringed as I connected Rigby’s leash because I knew why Annie was saying, “Uppa!” A couple days earlier I had taken her with me when I took Rigby outside, and Annie loved every second of it. I, on the other hand, decided that I would never bring her along again because picking up dog poo while juggling a dog AND baby was not fun.
“Uppa!” Annie said with a little more urgency, so I sent her a quick smile. As I opened the front door:
“I can’t take you with me today,” I said as I turned back to Annie. “But I’ll be right back and Mommy’s right there, okay?”
I had only taken one step out the door when I heard a loud thud. I looked back to see Annie on her back in the play area, screaming and kicking her legs in the air, mid tantrum. I hurried over with Rigby.
“Annie! Calm down! This is nothing to -”
“I can’t take you outside with the dog. It’s very hard to hold you and deal with the dog and pick up -”
Tears now rolled down Annie’s little cheeks.
“Annie,” I said as my heart broke. “You’re not -”
“UPPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAHHH!!!!” UPPA!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAHHH!!!!”
“Okay, okay!” I said as I scooped Annie up and kissed the tears from her cheek. “I’ll take you with me.”
A minute later I was outside with a happy, giggling Annie and rambunctious Rigby. As I tried to lean over to pick up doggie doo while dealing with both of them it suddenly occurred to me:
Annie had just won an argument with me by using one word.
What’s going to happen when she can use two words? Or a hundred? Or – gasp – thousands?
Something tells me I am in store for a lot of trouble in the years to come.
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
Oooooh yeah. You’re in deep, deep trouble.
Ms. A says:
And you fell for it, hook, line and sinker. You’re doomed.
katrina @ They All Call Me Mom says:
Yep, you’ve got me worried. She’s going to rule the roost over there, I fear. She threw a FIT and you CAVED.
You CAVED!!! LOL
She is going to get used to winning…
and then you are going to be in trubbbbble!
Say it with me….TRUBBBBBLE!
Okay, I’m only laughing because I’ve been there, done that…
with my first few babies.
Ahhhhh, those fits don’t bother me a bit. I can walk away. I’ve become immune.
I guess that’s what having nine kids does to you. That, and stretch marks that you just wouldn’t believe!
Yep, yep, yep. She’s got you wrapped alright. Listen to Katrina, for she is wise! Don’t give in!
Well, I can’t boast nine kids like Katrina but you do learn to harden your heart and stop your ears. It might take a while though. Good luck.
Oh, it’ll get easier to stand your ground and ignore her pleas (tears and all). Once you’ve seen a kid throw a few a hundred times you build a thick skin and saying no (and sticking to it) becomes a lot easier. If not, well, then you are a whole heap of trouble!
Let me give this little story as a warning. A while ago I said to V, ‘boy you have your daddy wrapped around your little finger!’ And she replied, ‘No, he’s around pointer, you’re on my little finger’
Welcome to the club.
YEP…she played you like a fiddle and you know what?! She’s going to do again tomorrow b/c she now figured out if she throws enough of a tanturm and says “Uppa” really loud, her daddy is going to take her outside.
Word to the wise my friend…just say a quick “No Annie” and don’t look back…take that puppy and run….run as fast as you can! Before she knows it, you’ll be back. She’ll still be pissed she didn’t get her way but as soon as you play with her, she’s forget. No damage done.
GUILT is the absolute BEST weapon the little buggars have and they are not afraid to use it. Not for 1 minute! ha ha
Good Luck My Friend!!!
I’ve got to agree with Jenn.
Turn round and walk away, hard as it seems. she’ll be pissed but get over it. if you give in you wont get over it!
this is definitely one of the biggest and hardest life lessons a parent must learn: don’t give in to the tears & tantrums.
if you want to bring annie along on the puppy walk, make that decision BEFORE you leash up rigby. in fact, make an announcement to annie that the two of you are going to take rigby for her walk together! she’ll be thrilled that she’ll have some daddy time and it’ll let her know that she can have a walk w/out having to resort to tears & tantrums. win/win!
Sam D. says:
All I can say is ….. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! and, at least you can admit defeat.
I have a phrase for you: “Okay, tantrum there, I’ll be right back, I promise.” And then follow through.
Other than that, you might want to get a backpack with a leash for her – we have one for the Poptart from the Vancouver Aquarium (proceeds went to the otter habitat). It’s an otter and she LOVES it. That way, you’re leashing your kid, but not really. I will even get one and send it to you if you like.
if you do have a ‘kid leash’ please keep it away from escalators.. I still have panic attacks when I get close to one. I have the story on my blog
Yup Mike, you think this is bad, wait until the tantrum she throws at 15 when you won’t let her go out with a scruffy looking 18 year old loser who can’t bring himself to look you in the eye! Being a parent is wonderful but it’s also a tough job and as my mother-in-law says, “you have to love them enough to let them hate you!” I think you’re getting to that transitional stage – when Annie was a baby I’m sure you always responded to her when she cried and did what you could to comfort her. I know I did when my kids were babies – I always tried to keep them comforted and happy. But once they get to be toddlers, the game changes. They’re born manipulators. Sometimes you have to say “no” and stick to it. Wait until she pulls a flat-out tantrum in a public place – something to look forward to! My friend used to say, “you know when they’re flat on the ground screaming and their body is so stiff with anger that you can pick them up by the belt and carry them like a suitcase…” Good memories! Enjoy her, she’s a cutie. But she WILL give you a run for your money, it comes with the territory.
I don’t think it was the word. It was probably the tears. That’s what you REALLY have to watch for. They’ll get you every time.
Well in your defense, she also used some adorable chubby cheeks, and one really, really cute word. Those probably won’t work so much when she’s 16.
Yep there is something about a girl and her daddy. All she has to do is ask and he obeys. Reminds me of the time my daughter wanted to eat at Bob Evans and my husband and I thought it sounded good too but as soon as we pulled in the parking lot she said “Not This Bob Evans!!” and he put the keys back in the car and started it up and said “Which one do you want to go to” We went to one that was about 30 minutes away…………….she was only THREE YEARS old at the time!
Oh yea, you are so in trouble!!!
Trisha Vargas says:
It was the tears! They’ll get you every time. Mine are almost 17 & 15 and they can still get sometimes and don’t even get me started with my 2 year old. She really gets me good.
who could resist little face? I see her in pics and she’s scrumptious, I can’t imagine hearing her little voice and then the tears…..
Oh snap – Daddy gave in!!! Guess what…. bbwwwwaaaaahahaha!
You’re in deep doo-doo (and not Rigby’s).
oh yea… you are doomed. i have a daughter and it’s always been her way w/ her daddy… fun!!!!
Oh, Mike, Mike, Mike….you rewarded her tantrum behavior, so now she’s going to do it again and again because IT WORKED! Now, if you want to stop the behavior, you have to ignore it ALL the time, because the behavior that’s hardest to extinguish (stop) is that which is rewarded some of the time (intermittently)–not all the time or none of the time. It’s classical conditioning (think BF Skinner), and the principle is pretty much the same for people as for animals. So that’s my Psych 101 lecture…bottom line: decide how you want to deal with it, and be totally consistent. Having said that–I feel for you. That face, and the tears, are totally hard to resist!
and so it begins
Oh, Mike! When she throws a tantrum, you have to just WALK AWAY!
I see her winning so many more arguments int he future!
Dawn @ What's Around the Next Bend? says:
Hey… that’s where a daddy is supposed to be… wrapped
Ysaan Proks says:
Heather I dont have children yet but even I know your totally screwed! wait until she becomes a teenager!
You are totally in for it. My two big rules “I will not engage” and “don’t give in if you don’t want to be doing it over and over”. Also, you have just shown her that the way to get what she wants is to scream, and all she has to do is keep at it till you give in. Oh, poor Heather.
On another note…why not put Annie in a ring sling on your hip or on your back in a mei tai so you don’t have to ‘hold her’? Why make it hard on yourself?
(Sorry, Mike, I didn’t notice it wasn’t Heather writing this time)
Awww, Mike, you lost this one. PsychMajor is spot on. The best advice I’ve heard about tantrums is that as a parent, you’re allowed to change your mind, UNTIL the tantrum starts. Once the tantrum starts, if you give in, you’re teaching her that tantrums work. Be strong, daddy! It’s for her own good!
Karen Wangensteen says:
I say good for you! Let her win the little fights, save your energy for the big ones to come. What’s that old saying? “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
you are in for it now!!
Yeah….that’s pretty much Em & me on most days.
Absolutely loved this post. Made me smile.