It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Under Seige

“You may be angry but you may not scream.”
Malli. No. Screaming.”
“Malli. Anna needs me. If you are going to keep screaming, you can sit here until you’re finished.”
“Heh-uh,heh-uh,heh-uh, wwwwaaaaaa….”
“What’s up Anna? Hey, sweet baby?”
(Remember the round, happy baby? Well, she’s still round…)
“AAAAAaaaahhh.” Malli, alone in the kitchen, is trailing off a bit.
“I know, honey. You like me to be in the same room, don’t you?”
Quiet whimper from Anna. A cough from the kitchen, where Malli seems to have ceased with the glass-shattering.

Anna likes me in the same room, she likes to be on my lap, she likes my undivided attention while on said lap. This sharing of attention nonsense that’s required at daycare? Completely and unutterably intolerable, in wee Anna’s opinion. An opinion which she states, forcefully. And continually. And continuously. Naptime, of which she also disapproves, also demands vigorous opinion-expressing.

“Mah-wee? Gots poo.”

“Good boy, Nigel, for telling me. Let’s get rid of that stinky old diaper now.”


“Yes, stinky. I’ll just put Anna down first. Anna, lovie, I’m going to set you down so I can–”

“Uh,uh,uh, WWWWWWwaaaaaaahuhuhuhwaaaaa…”

“OW. Anna, let go of my hair. I’m going to change Nigel’s diaper now.”


And so it goes. So, if I’m not posting much for the next few days till we sort this out, you’ll know why…

* She really IS getting the “be-angry-but-don’t-scream” idea. Really. She used to scream for half an hour at a stretch when thwarted. Now it’s a couple of minutes. It’s just that screaming is still her default reaction to anger. One step at a time.

© 2006, Mary P

September 28, 2006 - Posted by | Anna, behavioural stuff, Malli, Nigel, power struggle, tantrums


  1. Sounds like my house, pun intended.

    Comment by Peter | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  2. Oh, man. The screaming. It hurts. Ow. I hope things keep improving…

    Comment by Kristen | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  3. You have endless patience, and I really admire your clear and loving attitude but, by the end of the day you surely feel completely drained sometimes.

    Comment by Z | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  4. under seige is right – sounds like a battle zone around there. and i’m glad malli’s getting the “no screaming” concept. screaming is an understandable response to anger – heck, it’s still sometimes my first instinct – but i have no doubt you’ll help her find alternative ways of expressing her anger.

    and p.s., i think “gots poo” is my favorite quote of the day. 🙂

    Comment by kari | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  5. Sigh. If only I could buy you a pint at the end of the day.

    Comment by MiM | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  6. A noisy lot to sort out!

    Comment by Lady M | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  7. I think I’ve said before that mine find themselves screaming with no one there to listen.

    Usually effective.

    Comment by Granny | September 28, 2006 | Reply

  8. Peter: Surely not? Your lot sound a little more under control than my bunch of newbies. Maybe just some days…

    Kristen: It does, it does. Goes right through the eardrums and bangs around on your brain. Eesh.

    Z: I don’t know if it’s patience so much as a combination of optimism and experience. I know about how long this will last, I know a bunch of strategies to cope, and I can always hope that this one will go more quickly than average. (Though I doubt it – the clingy ones tend to take longer. However, they also tend to turn into delightful, loving, biddable tots.) See? Experience and optimism.

    And yes, some days I am weary to the bone at the end.

    Kari: She is coming round. She’s been allowed the screaming response for two years now, and it’s probably very satisfying! As you say, though, there are other strategies — and she’s about to learn some!

    MiM: Thanks. They say it’s the thought that counts…

    LadyM: I’m a little concerned, because sunshine Timmy is being negatively affected. Late yesterday morning, his happy demeanour was beginning to waver, and this uncertain, “Should I cry, too?” look passed his face at intervals. Poor little guy. For his sake, as well as my own, we need to sort these screaming females out!

    Granny: Indeed. Harder to manage when they crawl after you (at least Malli can be told not to follow), and are in every room. Perhaps I should put all the screamers together in one room? Maybe the noise they put out jointly would startle them to silence!

    Comment by Mary P. | September 29, 2006 | Reply

  9. Oh my Lord.

    So, what do you think is up with Anna?

    We will go out for margaritas in November.

    Comment by Jenorama | October 3, 2006 | Reply

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