Friday, November 4, 2011

Behold, the Power of Words!

Just a few months ago, Nathan and I discussed how wonderful it would be once Eliza could voice her opinions and speak in full sentences. We would play the guessing game with her as she said words we couldn't quite discern. I found myself constantly asking her,  "Did you want this?,"or "Do you need that?"

I hated knowing Eliza was frustrated with her inability to effectively communicate. Thankfully, she learned a few baby signs and could tell us some basic needs (i.e. if she was hungry or thirsty). Eliza is particular about many things, though, so this didn't help us too much.

So, here we are today and Eliza is vocalizing every little thought and desire. Here are a few common phrases heard in our household lately:

"I want Gabba."
"I want more juice."
"I want chocolate milk... in a bottle."
"I want a hot dog."
"I want more ketchup."
"I want twinkle." (sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
"I want a pink marshmellow."
"I want a black cookie." (Oreo)
"I want a pancake." (she actually means a cupcake)
"I want to try again."

Now that she can actually verbalize her various wants, Eliza expects to receive everything she requests. If we ignore a plea for a certain something or tell her "no," she acts as though we didn't hear her the first time. For minutes, she will repeatedly say the same phrase over...and over...and over again. She will then look at us with a face that says: "Can't you hear me?! I know I said this right!"

Yesterday, after Eliza cried "I want more Gabba" for ages and then refused to eat dinner and begged for chocolate milk, Nathan looked at me and said, "I don't understand what is going on here. We've given her boundaries. We have a routine, and she knows she has to eat dinner.  She can't always have chocolate milk and watch television. Where is this coming from!?"

And then, with shame, I silently raised my hand. Nathan and I couldn't help but laugh because it is coming from me! She sees me drinking milk constantly throughout the day and knows I add Carnation Instant Breakfast in the morning and at night (i.e. chocolate milk). She also knows I am in bed the majority of the day, reading or watching television. For right now, I am not the best example.

Over the last few days, Eliza has made it well known that she would like a routine more similar to mine. Additionally, she no longer goes willingly to bed and fights with Nathan over taking naps. Even after she is in bed, we hear her asking for things she "wants." Last night, she woke up several times in the middle of the night.

She had one want: "Da-da." I think she cried his name twice before Nathan ran upstairs. As soon as she saw him, she said, "I want twinkle!" It's so hard to be upset with a cute little toddler.

While Eliza can be very opinionated and stubborn, Nathan is calm and possesses an inordinate amount of patience. I am impressed daily with his ability to negotiate with Eliza. He gives her opportunities to "try again" and "make good choices." I'm grateful for such a wonderful husband. It comes in handy...especially in these kinds of situations :)


  1. Oh gosh! I'm so afraid of the GIRL toddler stage. Let's hope Ty has the same amount of patience for both his daughter and wife when that time comes. Haha. I love that she is vocalizing more and more. It was so fun to interact with her and get her different reactions.

  2. You guys are doing such a great job. You will feel better after the babies are here and then you can make a new routine. She'll forget all about the chocolate milk days. Although it's really not the worst thing ever. We watch TV too. You do what you have to do now just to survive and it will be okay.


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