The dawning of a new era has begun here at Casa Metro, my friends. Yes, that's right, folks. We are now officially in the Tantrum Stage of childhood development. My heretofore adorable, little 16-month-old daughter has apparently decided that now would be a good time to start exploring the bounds of her independence and pushing the limits of her parents' patience.
I'm not quite sure exactly when it began but, during the past week, the Peanut has been, for lack of a better phrase...a whiny little rugrat.
Several times a day, she becomes so extremely temperamental that BossLady and I are convinced that she's embarked on a secret mission to slowly drive us insane. It's a war of attrition and, right now, we're getting our asses kicked!
If the Peanut could speak in complete sentences, it's safe to say that this would be a close approximation of what she's been saying the past few days..."Pick me up! No, put me down! Grab my hand! Follow me! Read me THIS book! No, read me THAT book! What is this? I'm not eating this crap. Give me something different! Now! What's taking so long? Here, watch me as I take food out of my mouth and throw it at you! Bath? Hell, no! I'm done with baths! Naps? No naps! Naps are for suckers! Diaper change? Good luck! Let's see you wipe my butt and put on a new diaper before I kick you in the face and attempt a double-back flip off my changing table!"
Since the Peanut CAN'T speak right now, it all comes out roughly as "Waaaaaaahhhh!!!"
Sometimes the whine is so high-pitched, the dog fucking freaks out and starts running in circles.
Now, I might be exaggerating a little bit but that's only because the seismic shift in her personality over the past few days has been pretty cataclysmic. She's still the adorable little apple of my eye: the one who loves hugging other infants, kissing her mother in bed, snuggling up on my chest, and laughing at the funny things in the world around her. But when she's not engaging in that kind of adorable behavior? Dude, it's brutal. You just want to stick her in a box marked "Return to Sender."
(FYI...that's the part of the post where some of you humorless playa haters say, "OMG! Put a baby in a box? Can you believe what MetroDad said about his own daughter? Horrendous! Bad Daddy! Bad!")
Anyway, in all seriousness, BossLady thinks that we might be spoiling her and that the Peanut's diva-like behavior is evidence that, due to all the constant love and affection that we've bestowed on the Peanut, we've somehow actually trained and conditioned her to be a brat. I don't entirely disagree but there's another part of me that thinks this is just a phase that she'll quickly outgrow.
When the Peanut gets in one of her "moods," I've tried taking different approaches. Sometimes, I'll just pull her up in my lap, look into her crying eyes, and calmly speak to her. "Peanut. It's ok. It's not that big of a deal. Let's just chill out, ok? Daddy loves you." Other times, I'll try to out-scream her to the point where together we sound like a pack of hyenas. Although it's pretty funny to witness, that tactic doesn't seem to be working out so well either.
So, internets, help a brother out. What's going on with my temperamental little girl? Could it be because her molars are growing in? Or is this just a stage in her social and cognitive development? How long will this last? How can I teach her that this kind of behavior won't be tolerated? What can I do to stop the whining from echoing in my brain?
Because let's face it, folks. There's only room for one high-maintenance prima donna in this apartment...and I was here first!