Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Shriek

E was such an easy baby, in so many ways, but especially with her quiet personality. She was never a screamer and could be easily calmed once we figured out what she needed. Likewise, N wasn't too noisy or demanding, and was an easy going little guy, described as "cheery" by my mom. I would look at other babies, shrieking in the grocery store and at restaurants and think," Those parents OBVIOUSLY don't know how to control their child!" I contentedly pushed my way down the aisle, secure in my superior parenting skills.

Then along came K. First, she cried for the first two months solid. Then I had the hardest time getting her to sleep through the night, and even now she has back slided (sp?) to waking at 5 am to nurse and go back to sleep until 6:30. But the worst (for now) is the shrieking. When E was a baby she would politely sign (starting at around 9 months) "more", "please" and "all done" to signal to us what she wanted. N took a little longer, but he too eventually did it. K? She knows the signs. I have seen her do them on occasion, but this is how mealtime goes.

I place K in her high chair and she lets out a "EEEEE!" to signal that she is ready to eat NOW.
I rush to get her the first bite, and she is content to eat for a few minutes. Then she decides she doesn't want anymore, so she goes,"Phth" and spits out a mouthful of whatever she is eating. Sometimes she decides to be a little more dramatic and does a gigantic raspberry, spraying herself and me with food.
Then she shrieks,"AAIIII!" and I ask her if she wants a drink. "EEEE!" This could mean yes, or no, so I offer her the cup and she takes a few sips before deciding she has had enough and "Phhthhhh" sprays water everywhere, immediately followed by another "AAAAAHH!"
I sign,"More?" and hold up a spoonful of food. She looks at me, gets red in the face, and shrieks,"AAAIII!" I take her hands and push them together for "more" and then feed her another bite.
Once she finishes, I ask her if she is "all done". Half the time she will oblige with a one hand sign of "all done", other times she resorts to The Shriek. I then sign "thank you" while saying,"Say, 'All done! Thank-you' ". She just looks at me and lets out another "EEEEE!" I force her hand to her chin, and then prompt, "Now say "please" to get up!" She usually will give her tummy a quick brush before letting out one final shriek. I put her on the floor, and as I wipe up the splattered remains of her dinner she lets lose with one parting "AAAAA!" before crawling away.

Of course, it doesn't help matters much that her brother thinks it's fun to encourage her, and the two of them will start a shrieking match in the car, each one outdoing the other in length of yell and volume. It's enough to make me want to scream!


Rachel said...

She sounds a lot like Asher. And, I hate to say it, it may not get better when she can sign or talk. Asher talks in sentences these days, but still has the loudest shriek when he's mad about something. His tantrums are really remarkable. I'm hoping my third will be more like your first!

Heather said...

This made me laugh. I suffer through the screaming matches in the car on a daily basis. I figure it's better than both of them asking me 10 million questions over the course of a fifteen minute car ride.

EEEEMommy said...

Ah yes, the inevitable humility that comes from additional children. I have to tell you, I was so cocky when Ethan was a baby. He never took a pacifier, never sucked his thumb, for two whole years. When I had nursery duty, I'd smugly remove all the pacifiers from the other babies' mouths and tell them matter of factly that they didn't need them, and that I'd much rather see their happy faces than that thing. Shortly after Ethan's 2nd birthday, Chris went out of town for a business trip. It was the first time that they'd been separated ever. Ethan began to suck his thumb, and there wasn't a thing I could do to stop it. He didn't stop until he was 8 1/2. While all of my pacifier friends calmly tossed them in the trash, it was not so easy for me to remove E's thumb from him. Yep, God has a sense of humor.

It was so great to talk to you yesterday, and laugh with you, and hear the screeching in the background! :) I can't wait to see you!

Daisy said...

I have to laugh at the image of you removing the pacifiers from those poor babies' mouths! I am currently trying to break N of the thumb sucking habit and it is SO HARD! I loved having a thumb-sucking baby, but it sure would be a lot easier to "lose" the pacifier!

Becky said...

It sounds like K is a little drama queen! Aubrey also has a bit of the drama queen going on too, not so much at mealtime (yet) but oh, my the over-reactions to anything she doesn't like. I hope we can see you at Easter and get our little drama queens together. :)

Virginia said...

It is amazing how each additional child changes your perspective on parenting. They can be so different! Even if you do exactly the same thing with each child, there is no telling if it will work with that child. Car shrieking matches - brings back memories :-)

Suburban Turmoil Blog Hopping Weekend...Virginia

Mehera said...

Hi Daisy,

It was good to talk to you today. I'm glad that you're holding up okay. As I said earlier, if there's any way I can help, please, please, please let me know!

Love, Mehera

Soo Jin said...

Makes me wonder how this one will be. q