First off, thank you to everyone who provided insight/comfort/commiseration regarding RR’s tantrums. Part of the wonderfulness of blogging is the community of people who are going through, or have gone through, similar experiences. We’re totally going to need you all from now, through her first period, and then until the college application process, so, um, thanks in advance.
Second, I think the tantrums (and nighttime sleep disruptions) were/are, as some of “the books” have warned, the warning sign of a developmental explosion. An explosion of language (no, not dancing). What RR lacks in identifying colors (OK, kid, I know you LIKE saying “yellow” but nothing you point to is, in fact, yell0w), she is making up for in identifying letters, words, body parts, numbers… everything, at an alarming speed. This, in and of itself, is awesome to watch, but it’s also how she’s using her new skills that’s so fascinating to watch develop.
Yesterday morning, around 5:45am, I was desperately hoping she’d consider going back to sleep (wrong), so I came into her room only to find that she had a very full agenda planned for us this morning. “Bah-too-ah,” she says pointing to the ground from her crib, which, we every so recently deciphered is the pacifier. I pick it up. “Up,” she says. I pick her up, and we settle in on the recliner. “Bunny” she points out as she kisses her stuffed sleep bunny as we cuddle. “Milk” she says. “Na night?” I say. “Book!” she says. “Shhhh” I say. “Shhhh” she says back at me. “Eat? Milk?” again. “Na night?” “Milk! Book! DeeDon (Get Down)!” she demands.
I find myself then walking hand in hand with her down the dark hallway to the kitchen, where I pour her a cup of milk, pick her up, and give it to her. “TankYoo” she politely says. We retire back to her room, where she then demands to have the light turned on, and to be read several books, in, apparently, a very particular order.
Sure, no, it’s not complete sentences, but this is a child who is so happy to be able to communicate her, obviously, very particular needs. I felt horrible last night, as we were on a walk around the neighborhood, and she looked up at me and every so clearly, pleadingly, said “crackers?” which we often have stashed somewhere in case of emergency meltdown. Not having any with me (awful parent), it was hard to explain to her that I didn’t, in fact, have any. It’s not so much her knowing words for things, as much as it is watching her language develop in a way that she can actually tell us or ask us for something. With her words. And we understand, and respond accordingly, and there’s less, “OMG she’s screaming! What does she want?!”
Where we started in sign language “all done, more, etc.” we’ve now moved to a place where she’s no longer a very convincing mimic/parrot, she’s someone who (finally) has a vocal opinion about what she wants to do. We’re in trouble, Elmo.