It seems that right around a year every one of my kids developed the ability to scream.
It’s a bone-chilling Halloween-quality scream that would make any B-Movie actress ashamed of her performance.
I can hear it anywhere in the house, and it pierces my ears, my heart, and my soul….even though I know she’s not in hurt or in pain because that’s a totally DIFFERENT scream. This is the “I want that” scream. From “I want to walk” to “I want that juice box” to “I want you to hear my voice” – everything is scream-worthy.
While the easiest way to stop the scream is to pick her up and snuggle her, making her forget she wanted anything but love from mama, I also realize that rewarding the scream and distraction will only take me so far in parenting-land and that without some boundaries, however minimal, I’ll end up with the kid that screams at the store and makes ALL the moms want to die for just a second.
So I kind of mix it up. Sometimes there’s a snuggle, sometimes I just ignore it, and sometimes I say “Stop!” in my best mommy-is-DONE-with-this-mess voice. Basically, the goal is to confuse her so she doesn’t bother with the screaming anymore. It worked with the other two.
Or they grew out of it and it had nothing to do with my technique.
Either way, it felt good to be doing something about it instead of just suffering in silence while she sounds like she’s trying to break all the wine glasses in my house at once.