Almost 4-year old J has been very obviously showing signs of angst lately, and I’m guessing the changes going on have finally started affecting her. She was actually pretty together during out first few weeks in Costa Rica, in contrast to M, who readily admitted that he wasn’t entirely sure he was happy to be here. But I really thought J was doing well. That is until 2 weeks ago, when she suddenly became the whiniest and most clingy child I can imagine, totally unlike her normal, happy, independent personality.
J has been nursing practically hourly for these last 2 weeks. Any demand she has is phrased in the form of a whine, which is getting to be like nails on a chalkboard to me. She wants mommy, mommy, mommy constantly. And sometimes, all she can whine out is, “I don’t know what I want…..!” My gosh- where did this creature come from?
So for the next week or two, I’m trying my best to do something that Dr. Sears taught me: satisfy the need. Even though I’m not sure the source of the need (stress over the move, the coming baby, my own stress levels generalizing to the family), I’m really trying to answer J’s needs. This is very hard, because my initial reaction is to pull away from her. Her behavior is annoying enough to me that I want to run screaming in the other direction. But if parenting has taught me one important thing, it is this: just when you want to run away screaming, that is the time when it is most important to come together, support each other, and huddle closer.