As Alli closes in on the day when she can walk completely on her own, Mommy B and I have noticed a bit of a personality change as well. And frankly, it's contrary to what I thought it would be at this age. We've noted in the last few blog posts that she's standing on her own and cruising around anything she can hold herself up on - which means we have to hold her less and less. This is fine by us, as we're trying to ween her off holding onto things so she'll learn to take steps on her own.
Being so close to walking out the door without our assistance, you would think that she'd want to be left to her own devices more. However, it seems now more than ever she keeps wanting to be picked up and held. And when I say "held", I don't mean cuddled. I mean she wants us to pick her up so she can look around and see things from our height. It's like she can't wait long enough to walk around on her own, so she just wants us to do it for her. But then as soon as we walk her around for a minute, she wants back down again to go exploring.
The issue with this is that Mommy B and I don't always have an arm immediately available when the little princess wants to be picked up. So, we sometimes have to walk past her or around her to put something down... or we just ignore her requests all together. This, in turn, has led to her whining a lot lately. Sometimes she'll whine even when we're down on the ground playing with her. At first, we thought she might have been teething because it was more of a cry than a whine... but since no teeth have appeared and she's turned it into more of a whine sound, we've caught on to her methods.
Mommy B and I have decided that she's just plain being a brat most times. She's been spoiled for the last eleven months getting everything she wants, so we've been trying to be more disciplined with her so she can start learning about boundaries. Case in point, Mommy and Daddy aren't going to pick you up every 15 seconds. So just deal with it, k?
We've been able to decipher her whining over the last week or so, and have been able to pick out when she's whining for what. This past weekend, she was whining for no good reason. We would pick her up, nothing. We would try to feed her, nothing. We tried playing around with her, nothing. Nothing seemed to work... until we saw our neighbors (and their kids) playing out in the cul-de-sac. We were out the door so fast I don't think Scarlett even realized we left. The neighbors' kids were pulling around a wagon with seats in it, so in Alli went. Their two-year-old boy began pulling around his 13-month-old sister and Alli... and guess who was having a blast? Yeah, our little whiner. Not sure if she enjoyed the attention from an older boy or the wagon riding more, but she was having a ball. That's when Mommy B and I realized that she was whining because she's bored. Bored with her same old toys, same old house and most of all, same old parents.
Another funny example... Sunday night Mommy B and I had a wedding to go to and we didn't feel like carting the kiddo along. So, one of my coworkers came over to babysit for the evening while her husband was at work. The second Mommy B and I tried to head out the door, the flood gates opened. Alli started bawling the second I handed her over and we started walking away. And of course, five minutes later we got a text message stating that she cried one more tear then was ready to play. That allowed Mommy B and I to relax the rest of the evening, knowing that she was perfectly entertained with a total stranger (to her).
Same thing happened again this morning when I dropped her off at daycare. She whined almost the whole car ride to school because she was bored and wanted to play. We get to school and she's great... playing with the toys, saying hi to an infant in the jumperoo, standing up on the cabinet, etc. Even though I was still there, she could have cared less about me. But the second I go to leave, the flood gates opened. It's like she's thinking "Yeah, you and Mom are boring most of the time. I'm going to go play on my own. Wait... you're leaving? No, don't go!" So her teacher stepped in and distracted her so I could make my escape. And I'm sure just like Sunday night, she forgot all about me and was playing with toys by the time I made it out the front door. It still doesn't make it any easier for me to leave, but I know this is just another step in the parenting process.