Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Does this count as a new skill? The Princess has started throwing tantrums. She throws herself backward onto her butt VERY HARD and then kicks and screams and throws her head back. It's definitely a first-rate tantrum. So far, it's kicked off by not getting what she wants... which I guess is stating the obvious in this area. All tantrums are from the kid not getting their way, right?

The biggest trigger is the issue of walking. She loves to walk but doesn't do so independently. She has to have someone holding her hand, and she prefers to have you hold both hands. In fact, she's thrown a couple of tantrums over being given only one hand to hold. Can I blame her? No. She wants to explore her environment and she likes to move around, but she is unable to see, scared, and her balance is bad. Unfortunately for all of us, or perhaps it's fortunate for her, we just don't have the ability to spend all day granting her every wish. If she were an only child, sure. But we've got two other kiddos demanding our attention and basic survival needs so we can't spend all day on a trek of the abode. Not to mention our aching backs and the crushing monotony of walking in circles all day.

When Nick saw her tantrum for the first time (I saw it first while he was picking up the dogs from the boarders) he rushed in to tell me to give her what she wanted. "She's just a baby!" he said to me. "Not exactly," I corrected him. "She's at around the level of a one-year-old and at that age is when I stop caving to every single demand. I want her to be happy, but this has got to be sustainable. Walking her all day is just not." The issue was, of course, not resolved at that moment.

Then, later on, he tried to play with her on the floor and she threw another tantrum and he looked at me and said "You're right. What will you do when I go back to work and you can't just walk her all day? But what do we do?"

Well, I got to thinking. The cause of her tantrums is frustration at being unable to do something, right? Then the only real answer is to empower her. Whether she likes it or not, this girl needs to learn to walk in order to make herself happy - never mind what we think. She wants to be able to move around, and being blind doesn't mean she can't do it. She can. She just has been taught her whole life not to and is scared.

So now we start on a new campaign of pushing her boundaries. We didn't bring her home to maintain her in the same lifestyle and at the same dismal rate of development she was accustomed to. We adopted her to give her hope for a future, and that means she will grow and change and learn. We've started denying her that second hand when walking around, and we started pushing her to let go and cruise on the furniture. I'm hoping she'll figure out how to push the dining room chairs around soon - Baby Girl did that and it was the thing that catapulted her into walking. I know they aren't the same, but it would be nice if that same magic worked twice. If nothing else, I hope she finds the walls and realizes that they can be followed through the whole house, go figure. Every room seems to have them! And they all connect!!

In the meantime, we have a way of handling the tantrums. When she throws herself down, we pick her up and hold her. It stills her almost instantly. And after a few rounds of it, she seems to accept that she isn't getting her way and takes our compromise. It seems like she even ends up enjoying it, believe it or not. If nothing else, walking with one grownup hand means the other hand is free to get into stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment