New Problem: Whining

In the last week or two, my son has picked up a new habit of whining. It’s such a frustrating and grating noise, and nothing seems to appease him–except the iPad, unfortunately. We’ve let him indulge in more screen time since the surgery, as it’s painful for him to play as much as he used to, but want to restrict it more now since it’s really not the best thing to play with. (And who doesn’t know that the pediatricians recommend 2 hours/day max, if any at all, for toddlers?)

“Up.” I pick him up and put him on the counter.

“Down.” I put him back on the floor.

“Sit.” I put him back on the counter.

“No.” Back on the floor.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to maybe fix him a dose of medicine (we’re still alternating Ibuprofen and Tylenol right now from the surgery), fix him some milk, or fix him some food.

But I can’t get anything done for him while he’s whining!

So I was pretty intrigued when this article showed up on my Facebook feed: What’s the Cure for Whining?

I read it today, in fact, during my son’s nap. It wasn’t long after he woke up that the whining started, so I had a chance to implement my new knowledge.

Instead of appeasing his request (iPad–and we’re trying to regulate his screen time), I clearly told him no. I told him no again and again and the whining escalating into crying–I expected crying. There was no tantrum, but quite a few minutes of crying, to me and also to my husband. But I sat on the floor for him the whole time. Eventually he came and laid down beside me, resting his head on me, and soon after that we were enjoying a book together.

Problem solved? I’m not sure, since he whined some more a couple of hours later, for the same thing. We still haven’t given it to him, though as I write this, he’s watching Dora on hubby’s computer.

A Worthwhile Occupation

It was pretty weird, the first time I selected “Homemaker” as my occupation. I had to come to terms with it. I asked myself, really what am I doing with myself? What do I do everyday? Why am I not working? (So I got a job for a little while… but meh.)

Nowadays, I don’t have that struggle in my mind. Now, I think of myself as doing a number of jobs that I would have to pay other people to do for me. For instance, cleaning, cooking, sewing, caring for my son.

Cleaning, from the little tasks like washing dishes, to bigger things like floors and carpets, is a job that many people actually get paid to do. And maybe one day I’ll be a rich lady who can quit cleaning and just hire a cleaning lady to stop by–or at least someone to help. For now, though, it’s one of my jobs. It’s not all-consuming, nor is it glamorous, but it does need to get done, and I’m the one who does it. Meanwhile, I’m not spending money on hiring someone to clean for me.

Cooking is an even more skilled occupation. If I weren’t cooking food at home for my family to eat (and I’ll admit… sometimes I don’t!) then I would be paying for someone else’s culinary skill. I might be paying for meals from fast food huts as well as fine dining… and all that food prepared by someone else costs more than cooking it at home. In many cases, it’s also not as healthy. So I’m saving money and taking care of my family.

Sewing is one of those odd skills–I tried to learn with my mom, and I should have when I had that chance. Right now, I’m just trying to learn the basics on my own, but now even simple things, like shortening a hem, are in my toolbox. So I don’t need to have pants dragging on the floor, I can fix them myself. I could have always taken them to a tailor, but once again there’s a job I don’t have to pay someone else to do.

But many households have a huge expense with their children–and that’s child care. What portion of a second salary goes solely to pay for day care, for parents of young children? If I were employed, then I would also have to pay someone to take care of my son during the day since I don’t have family nearby to help with that. But this is the most consuming task of my day–and it would be the most expensive to hire out. So again saving money, and also getting to have fun with my kiddo.

Taking care of my home is a responsibility, and even though undertaking it didn’t initially imbue me with pride, it’s nice to reflect on the individual tasks of my job, especially since they do overlap with a variety of professions. Now it’s time to sharpen my skills, I guess, so I’m more of a professional homemaker, than an amateur.