Monday, February 13, 2012

Rationalizing with the Irrational

Toddlers make no sense.

Lily has been great with Gracie.  I would even say wonderful.  She loves her sister and up until Friday night, there have been no issues of jealousy.

Then it happened.  It was post-bath, everyone get on their pjs in Lily’s room, time.  I grabbed a pair for Gracie that was one of my favorites that Lily used to wear.  They had mermaids on them.  I made a comment about how cute the mermaids were and Lily lost it.  Completely lost it.  She wanted to wear the mermaid pjs.  I didn’t even know that she knew what mermaids were. 

Jeff and I switched and he took over dressing Gracie while I calmly tried to rationalize with Lily.  

I started with empathizing: I understand you are upset and that you really want to wear the mermaid pjs but…

I explained in simple terms: those pjs are way too small for you…

I tried to use a visual: here are the same pjs in a different print – try to put them on – see? You can’t even get your arm in there!

It didn’t matter.  She cried and threw a fit.  She refused to put on any other pjs.  Finally she got cold and wore herself out and we got dressed in frogs and went to bed crashed.

Fits are new too.  Up until maybe a few weeks ago, Lily never really threw fits.  She cried like all kids do, but never for very long.  Now she has begun to throw fits.  She cries.  Hard.  And becomes even more irrational to the point where you just have to let her sit by herself and get it out.  When she calms down, we usually move on and do whatever it was she didn’t want to do in the first place with no issue… like eat dinner.  

She has also stopped napping during the days when she isn’t home with us.  She has figured out that Grandma can’t stand to hear her cry, so if she cries enough, she doesn’t have to nap.  Awesome.  I believe the fits are related to the lack of naps.  I’m not a genius, but I feel pretty good about that assumption.

I’m working on letting it go.  On not trying to constantly rationalize with someone who is irrational.  Wish me luck.

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