A new era has begun at our house: The Age of Whining.
These days, it feels like every word that comes out of Maddie and Riley’s mouths is said with a whine. A lovely phrase such as “Please can I have more milk?” sounds like nails on a chalkboard when uttered in the plaintive toddler tone. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve said, “Can you say that in a nice voice?” in the past couple of months, but if I had a dollar for each instance, I might just be able to stop worrying about my retirement funds and the fate of the stock market.
It’s the age. It’s a phase. It’s just a whine. What’s surprising to me is just how draining it is. When Maddie and Riley were first born, I knew that there would be times when one of them would have to cry while I tended to the needs of the other; I am one woman, they are two children, and I can’t always meet both of their needs simultaneously. While understanding that intellectually, I was totally blown away by how upsetting and stressful it was to have to listen to the crying. It made me feel like a failure, and it totally jacked up my blood pressure.
I’m finding that the whining has much the same effect. OK, not quite: it doesn’t make me feel like a failure. But it does stress me out and cause me to lose my patience unless I really watch myself. Most of the time, Maddie and Riley are using a whiny tone for no good reason, and if I just remind them that they need to speak nicely, they do. Thank goodness for that. Now if they could just remember to use the nice tone in the first place . . . I think I’ve got a few years on that.
I guess sometimes we all just need to whine, and I right now I needed to have my own moment to whine about the whining. I’ll end with a story about Riley; those of you who read Snickollet have already seen this, but it’s worth repeating:
Riley: [endless series of demands issued in obnoxious tone] I no wanna eat dinner! I no wanna play toys! I no wanna go home! I no wanna wash hands! [and on and on]
Me: Riley, please, I’m begging you just tell me ONE THING that you WANT to do! Anything! One thing! That’s all I ask!
R: I wanna WHINE!
Pretty smart answer for a two year old! Here’s to a whine-free evening for us all. Or some wine to go with the whining? Maybe that’s the answer!