Monday, July 19, 2010

Make It Stop

Wee One has begun screeching. 

It is a wild, high-pitched sound that she repeats over and over to indicate her need or want for something.  Often it is accompanied by her hand held out in the direction of that-which-she-desires, but sometimes she just looks in a direction and forces Mommie to guess.

In the past few days, it has become more frequent, more shrill, and louder.  It is about to push me clear over the edge.

I have tried everything.  I read in The Happiest Toddler On The Block that you're supposed to talk to them in Toddler-ease (short, emphatic sentences that mirror their feelings back to them so they can feel 'heard') and then ignore the screeching.  Yea, good luck with that.

Since she seems to be using it to try to communicate, I have been trying to figure out what each screech means (the pointing and looking are clues sometimes).  Then I try to use words to show her how to ask for it.  Example: she points to something on the couch she wants that is out of reach and screeches.  I say "you can say 'mommy get that' or 'mommy help me' if you want that toy." as I hand it to her.  I try not to be too wordy, and I realize she won't be able to communicate in this way for a while, but this is one tactic I have tried.

Mom and I have both tried teaching her to say "momma" when she wants my attention instead of screeching.  No go.

In a restaurant Sunday night she screeched at least 50 times.  I thought I was going to go batty by the end of dinner.  She had screeched so much that even an hour after she went to bed, the sound was still rattling around in my head.

Does ignoring really work?  If I'm in the room with her and she wants a toy she can't reach, will ignoring it really make her stop screeching?  And god help the poor people in the restaurant this weekend if I had tried to ignore her. 

Had anyone else successfully made it through the screeching stage and lived to tell about it?  Please tell me how to make it stop.  I'm begging.

She is pretty cute, otherwise!


6 comments:

Funky Mama Bird said...

No suggestions; just sympathy. We have a caveman grunt over here which is driving me batty. Luckily it is alternated with him saying, "this?" (dis) and "that" (dat), which I am hoping will eventually reign.

Good luck!

Serifm said...

Oh God. The little girl screech. Can she do baby-signing at all? A friend of mine had luck teaching her daughter to sign, which cut back on the screeching significantly.

DaMomma said...

SUCH a cutie!!! I think cuteness and screeching are genetically tied.

I keep things to one word. For something she wants, it's "please?"

So if she points to my plate and screeches I don't give it to her. I say, "Please?" And then she nods yes and I give it to her. I'm starting to get little "pease? Peases?" coming out of her, so that's good.

She is gorgeous! Congrats!

MommieV said...

She has some signs (I'm trying to get photos of them all so I can do a post on her signing.) She "gets" the nouns, it's the more abstract concepts she has trouble with. She thinks the sign for "more" means food, so she sometimes signs it when she wants to eat, although she does "eat" more now. I have tried teaching "help" (as in "help me get this") but she doesn't seem to understand the concept of help, so the sign is useless.

Besides, a sign is quiet and shrieking and screeching is loud, so it works better. Unfortunately.

MommieV said...

DM - my father agrees with you. He told me she was so pretty I was in trouble, b/c he says god makes them cute so we won't kill them.

Because I'll tell you, that screeching hits the primitive part of my brain juuuuuuust right ....

Which is what it was designed to do!

Laraf123 said...

My pediatrician heard my toddler screeching and called him a Pterydactl (sp?). My 3 year old thinks thought it was hilarious!

He still screeches months later. Like your daughter, he has some signs but prefers to verbalize. (Even when I had a classroom full of little ones who needed to learn signs, I thought teaching them to sign "help" was useless. By the time they conceptualized that they needed help and then made the complex sign, they had figured out another solution.)