Laurel, retrograde

We’ve heard quite a lot about children going through “regression” periods, in which they act like a child younger than they are, but until now we haven’t really seen much of that behavior in Laurel. You know what I’m going to say next, right?

Until now.

She’s generally a pretty independent kid. She wants to do most things by herself, and won’t let us or other adults help unless she gets really stuck. She long ago learned to move chairs/stools around so she can climb up to get to things she want. Recently she has mastered changing her clothes, which has led to multiple wardrobe changes per day (especially at school, where there is a stash of spare clothes in a cabinet she can easily reach). She goes to the bathroom by herself, helps herself to food out of the refrigerator, and sometimes cleans up her own messes. She used to put her own laundry away, but has gotten bored of that lately.

Over the past week or so, she has begun pretending that she can’t do many of the things she normally takes pride in doing alone. For a while, she was pretending she couldn’t walk. She would make her legs collapse, and she would sit on the floor whining. Then it progressed to other things.

The other morning, she said she was cold and wanted some pants. I told her she could go get some in her room. She said it was too dark, so I suggested she get her stool and turn on the light, two things she loves doing. She got the stool out of the bathroom and then dropped it in the wall, fell to the floor, and wailed that she couldn’t move it. She whimpered, cried, and yelled for 10 minutes — and then finally turned her light on, got some pants, and put them on. Before we left the house, she said she wanted socks. She picked some out, but again flailed and insisted that she couldn’t put them on — and worked herself into a state of laying on the floor, screaming and kicking.

We opted just to bring her socks to school. About 6 hours later she put them on without fuss — in fact, she was proudly showing another kid how to put them on, demonstrating by pulling them confidently onto her own feet.

There was nothing to do but laugh.

Otherwise, she’s a happy, busy, playful, creative kid. Lately she loves to sing, to ride tricycles, to paint (okay, that’s a longstanding love), and to be naked — particularly at the park. Her favorite song of the moment is Nicki Minaj’s “Starships,” though I’m glad she’s only heard the clean version (and hasn’t seen the video).

She also loves riding on the bicycle with Devin. But I’m hoping he’ll tell those stories soon. :)

— Beth

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3 Comments

  1. Rosanne said,

    July 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I’m almost glad to hear we’re not the only ones. Ours is combined with an even bigger tantrum if we then try to help. We’re going to try your approach now…

    • thecarrawayseed said,

      July 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      We’re also spending some time talking about how good it feels to be able to do something by yourself.

      Her babysitter came up with another great tactic last night: Laurel was claiming she couldn’t walk, so M. said, “I guess you’re going to have to crawl!” And when that didn’t work, she said, “I guess you’re going to have to walk on your nose!” That got Laurel laughing, and at least then she crawled to whatever it was she needed to do.

  2. Daneen said,

    July 8, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Definitely recognize this! Lily often wants to pretend to be a baby right now, especially if she’s made a mess and I’ve asked her to help clean it up, “But I was pretending I was a baby, and babies make messes!” I always bring to Boba carrier on walks because she often gets so tired that she won’t walk (of course, if a playground was just around the corner, she’d suddenly have energy!” I like your sitter’s approach…going to try that one.


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