A Cork In Her Whine

I know that toddlers are supposed to whine and protest frequently—that it's simply a sign of healthy will development and a means for testing independence and parental boundaries. And I realize that in the broad spectrum of toddlerness, Sophia is actually on the easy end. That said, the whining can still get really old, really fast. You know, like when the soundtrack to each and every diaper change is,"AAAEEEEEEHHHHH!!! Noooo...Doooown...Waaaahhhh!!!" Yeah, as I was saying, old...fast.

After much whining and protesting about our whining problem, Stephen and I happened upon a solution, by chance really. The discovery happened on a cranky car ride back to Grandma's house after a lovely day at Pentwater beach. There was much angst in the back seat, and we were fairly certain we could see flames shooting out of Sophia's eyeballs, aimed in our general direction. All of a sudden, Stephen, the genius-father that he is, blurted out: "Sophia, did you see the LAKE today?" And then there was silence. And then there was a little voice saying, "Lake, lake! Lake, lake!" And then more whining. So, we tried another question about our day at the beach. "Sophia, did you play in the SAND?" Immediately the whining turned into, "Sand, saaaaand!" The more questions we asked our little toddler about her exciting beach experience, the more she got into our question game and our of her funk. As we talked about her memories of the day, she seemed to forget about being a bored, tired, grumpy devil-child.

We tested the power of our new extra-strength "whine-be-gone" formula that evening during one of the dreaded diaper changes. To our pleasant surprise, it worked! From the moment we started recalling events from our day, Sophia stopped whining and started talking with us about her memories. We also discovered that it not only worked to talk about special events like going to the beach, but also to chat about seemingly mundane things, like the peas she ate for lunch or the wood chips she put in her bucket at the park. Our little question game even helped during toothbrush time (another particularly whiney event). We could ask Sophia about the foods she'd eaten for dinner and then talk about brushing them out of her teeth. And she'd even open up her mouth for us some of the time, which was much better than the none-of-the-time scenario of the pre-question-game days.

In case you were wondering, yes, we still have our tantrums and cranky moments, but now that Stephen and I have a simple way to lure Sophia back from the dark side, things are a lot nicer all around. And when we do have the occasional inconsolable crank-fest, we try to think on the sweeter moments—like last night when Stephen leaned over to give me a peck after dinner, and Sophia whispered, "Mommy, Daddy, kiss."


I am so going to try that! That is sooooo cute!

Ah, yes.. these are the parenting days when you live by the belief that all of your hard work at helping Sophia become civilized will make her an amazing adult. you on the other hand will be in a padded cell at pine rest.
You two are doing a great job with her and remember one of the greated gifts you can give her is the quest to find solutions to life's difficult situations!

There's a lot more going on in those toddler brains than we know about...I'm glad you stumbled onto something that rings her chime!

You are doing an awesome job with your awesome baby girl!! XO

Amy, thanks for sharing. Stephen, thanks for "inventing." Your Whine-Be-Gone technique works on George, too!

When is the book coming out?



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