Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Terrible Just-Over-One-Year-Olds

By the end of each of the past several days, I have felt so exhausted, achy, and drained of energy. Donovan has become a bit, um, difficult to deal with. Everything seems to set him off. He's not throwing tantrums, just gets whiny and cries when things don't seem to go his way, or when he falls one too many times, or when he feels a shift in the time-space continuum. Or something. Zach's had a slight cold for the past week, and D's had a runny nose off and on as well so maybe he's feeling sick. Or maybe he's teething (I thought I saw a molar under his gums but it's hard to tell since he's not too keen on letting me get a good look in his mouth). Or maybe he's just getting a head-start on the Terrible Twos. I prefer to think it's one of the former causes, b/c those are temporary whereas the Terrible Twos option means I'm in for a few years of this unbelievable crankiness.

I think I've found a few tips that help minimize the grumpiness. Sometimes, D just wants to snuggle and that alone will calm him down. Other times he seems to need to go outside and play, or just going somewhere and walking in the stroller will do. I also think I need to get more serious about using sign language with him-- I've used a few signs off and on but haven't been very consistent, and some of his current frustrations seem to come from not being able to express what he wants so hopefully if I get better at signing consistently he'll pick it up and that'll help. I know he's too young to expect much out of him as far as communication goes, but it would be nice to give him an alternative way to express things like "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired" or "I'm finished eating" that don't include tears and high-pitched sounds.

I know this is a phase and that it will pass. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later, but till then we probably should make an effort to goto bed earlier to make up for it.


  1. Funny, we've been trying to get serious about a few signs too--things like "more" and "water" and "book" and "ball"--the items he seems to want to most often and get frustrated when we're not responding quickly enough. I think "wet" would be a good one too, so that maybe he could tell us when he's wet and wants changing, though frankly a wet diaper never seems to bother him much. But we also are thinking about the diaper free thing--I bought that book back when he was 6 months old, thinking we might start the process at around 9 months. Ha! I know some people do it, but honestly I couldn't get up the energy. However, my eco-guru Umbra from Grist has convinced me that neither disposables nor cloth diapers are great for the environment and that diaper-free is the way to go.I had hopes that here in Hong Kong I'd meet plenty of people who do diaper free from the start, but alas, everyone I've met uses diapers and says that the diaper free thing is really only done in rural China these days ... oh well. I guess we'll figure it out as we go along ...

  2. YES YES YES do the signs! We have been signing with our 17 mos old since Xmas and I find it really cuts down on the tantrums regarding needs/wants. (as we both know, there are plenty of tantrums for other reasons). He has about 25 signs and only about 12 words, but the signs is how he communicates the most - more, eat, drink, sleep, want, tubby, etc etc. I checked out books from the library, then I photocopied the dictionary in the back. Good luck.

  3. But how can someone with a face like THAT be whiny and cranky???

    I hope the phase passes sooner rather than later.

    (PS: is there a sign for, "I want to visit Aunt Criss in Texas"? Because I think that's what he's trying to tell you.)

  4. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Couldn't agree more. Signing seems to have put an end to so much of Lilia's frustration and crankiness...hope it's coming along for you!



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