Tiny-Small has always been vocal about her wants and needs. She’s been that way pretty much since the moment of birth. She is always crying, talking, screaming or singing unless we plug her mouth with her beloved Binky. It’s a good thing though, because I can leave the room and still know she is alive merely by the sound of her voice bouncing off the walls of the house. She has never been one to just sit back and let things happen, so you can imagine the kind of temper tantrums we have been experiencing ever since she figured out the proper way to have one. She’s been screaming and doing the stop drop and roll for a while now so I know when she visits the firehouse, in the future, she will be familiar with how to put a fire out. At least, if she happens to be the one on fire. She has that part down like a real pro. Luckily, over the last couple of weeks she has started to change…a little.
She is still throwing tantrums, but not as often. The only problem now is they are seriously intense. She screams so loud and so long that I sometimes think her head might just pop right off and blow away with all of the steam she is letting off. Her little fists ball up, she turns red and she shakes all over. We just back away slowly and giver her some space. It’s kind of stunning to watch and you can’t tear your eyes away (kind of like in a suspenseful movie when the bad guy or creepy ghost is about to pop out of nowhere). I always want to shout, “Back up people, we’ve got a live one here!” The worst part is she looks like some type of comedy theater and so when she screams like that some of us (I won’t name names, but you know who you are, daddy) can’t help but laugh out loud. Her screams have so much force that it kind of blows us away. If she ever goes into the theater business she will not be needing a microphone.
Those screams probably blow everyone away. I am actually surprised the neighbors haven’t called 911 to report a murder in progress. The only explanation I can come up with for why the police have not arrived at my doorstep (yet) is that all of my elderly neighbors are most likely hard of hearing (probably from raising their own kids). Tiny-Small is very powerful and I keep imagining her career as an opera singer or maybe a professional window shatter-er and how much success she is going to have. I have to admit, I am privately proud of her energy and in awe of her strength and capability. Also, I might be a little scared of her too. When she is throwing a tantrum she seriously looks like a child who has been raised by wolves or maybe an axe-murderer. That probably isn’t nice to say about your own child, but I want it on record (in case there are any future investigations into the screaming coming from my house) that my child is an expert in the field of temper tantrum throwing. I’m certainly going to experience hearing loss in my old age. That will be my only revenge, at least that is what I cling to while she melts down in the cereal aisle at the grocery store because I won’t let her talk on my phone, walk instead of ride, or eat the food we have not yet purchased.
Her communication skills have started improving dramatically over the past two weeks. She can verbally leap tall buildings in a single bound and often uses full sentences. For example, just the other day I heard her say, “I washing Lucy. I washing the dog.” Now when she says “washing” it sounds more like “washy” but I get what she is saying. I was reading a book, “This Little Mommy Stayed Home” by Samantha Wilde because my mom said I HAD to read it because the main character sounded just like me (I hate to admit my mom was right. The character is a bit of a neurotic new mommy who gets involved with some crazy antics). I wasn’t exactly paying complete attention to what Tiny-Small was doing until she came up to me and said, “I washing you leg.” Then, she poured a glob of generic Cetaphil facial cleaner all down my leg and started rubbing it in with the towel she likely borrowed from the bathroom sink. The same towel she had just washed Lucy’s with. I looked up in time to stop Lucy from licking the generic cleanser out of her fur. I’m starting to realize that I have to actually listen to what Tiny-Small is saying now because she is usually warning me that she is about to get into some serious trouble. For instance, when I hear, “I right. I OK. I do it.” coming from the other room something really naughty is probably about to go down. That is my cue to run as fast as possible (as if I own tights and cape) and stop the mischief making in progress. Or, when I hear, “Oops. I careful.” preceding a loud crash I know I am in for a doozy when I poke my head around the corner.
So, Tiny-Small can tell us what she wants: “Drink.” “Hold.” “I watch Elmo. T.” “I hungy.” “I walk outside DaDa.” This reduces the tantrums, but then when we don’t understand what she is saying it’s really, really bad. She gets ANGRY! She mumbles nonsense syllables and then waits for 5 seconds exactly. If I don’t respond she acts like I just chopped her Binky into a million pieces or threw Elmo out the window of a three story building. We’ve started reading the book, “When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry” by Molly Bang to Tiny-Small in the hopes that she will absorb some of Sophie’s coping skills and not feel so alone in her frustration. Tiny-Small likes to say, “Sophie Angy,” while she nods in a solemn, all knowing way.
Tiny-Small is about to turn two in just a few more weeks. I don’t know if I can still call myself a new mother. I still feel like one, but I do have some experience under my belt. At least, I have enough experience to know that this phase will pass just like all of the others have. It won’t be long before Tiny-Small is verbally running circles around us and will, no doubt, be assaulting us with her expert grasp of the English language. I have a feeling someday, in the not so distant future, I will be longing for the days when all she did was scream at me.