Black Market Kidneys: A Post About Whining

Okay, internet, let’s talk about whining.

I hate whining. I hate it more than I hate tomatoes. And I REALLY hate tomatoes. And, while I know that kids have to LEARN to use their words (or learn their words before they can USE them), I am not a fan of this stage that Baby L is going through.

Seriously, you guys. I have seriously considered running away from home.

She whines when I hold Baby O because, OHMYGOD, NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO ME! And she whines when she drops something. You know because OHMYGOD, HOWEVER WILL I RETRIEVE IT!? DAMN GRAVITY! And she whines when she is tired. Because OHMYGOD, SLEEPING IS AWFUL BUT I CAN BARELY KEEP MY EYES OPEN! And she whines when she is hungry. Or someone leaves the room (which is not limited to myself or her father, by the way.) Or when something is on TV that she does not approve of (which includes anything that does not involve a tall, bumpy red guy). Or when I won’t let her stick things in the toilet. Or when the toilet lid is closed, therefore preventing her from putting items in said toilet. She whines about EVERYTHING. And, while she does this for small portions of the day and for the rest of the day is cute and cuddly and so effing hilarious, I am sort of tempted to whine back. Like, “I don’t WAAAAAAANNA make you lunch!” or “I don’t WAAAAAAANNA give you a bath!” but I feel that somehow this would be lost on her. She’d probably think it was the funniest thing I have ever done. Much like the other day when I accidentally inhaled my coffee instead of drinking it (because it is just as essential as air and I got confused) and then choked and almost died while she laughed hysterically because her mommy is hilarious when she is choking to death.

Baby L is a “troubled sleeper”. And by “troubled sleeper”, I mean a tiny monster who does not need to sleep but survives off of the sleep deprivation of her parents. Sometimes I believe she must be overtired. And I can’t imagine how she wouldn’t be. I mean, lately (and I blame molars) she has been taking one nap a day, and this nap lasts less than two hours and then she is a little ball of crazy energy for the rest of the day. And then she fights me at bed time. (Why do kids hate sleeping, you guys? I love sleeping. I love sleeping so much that I am inching closer to selling a kidney on the black market for one blissful day with no kids and nothing but slumber. Craigslist ad would read: Will exchange kidney for 24 hours of babysitting for tiny cyclone and three-month-old meatloaf. Blood type – O positive. Will exchange both kidneys for one week. Dialysis is no joke but I won’t need kidneys if I die of exhaustion, anyway.)

The sleeping thing is all normal. But the whining? That’s new. I am not really sure what to do about it. At about 13 months, she started throwing little temper tantrums (not like, hurling herself onto the ground and flailing like a maniac) but I could tell that she was testing me to see if it was easier for her to get what she wanted if she acted like a little lunatic. Those passed, for the most part, fairly quickly. But now, she is just living up to her title “Princess Cranky Pants” and making me wonder how old she has to be before I can send her to boarding school. In Finland.

So, my question to you, internet? Have you had this problem? Does it go away or have you had to sell your kidneys on Craigslist? How did you deal with it?


16 thoughts on “Black Market Kidneys: A Post About Whining

    • Yeah. I mean, I get the crying. But I feel like if she is genuinely hurt or needs me, that’s one thing. But if she is constantly whining (not crying, just making a bunch of noise) about nothing or everything all at once, there has to be some sort of…reason? Solution? Pill that I can take to drown out any whining unless it is related to something that is a REAL issue?

      • I had three sons and a daughter. They look to you as the be all and end all of their existence. You give them comfort even when they don’t know what is bothering them… Wait till they toddlers… Honey do you want ice cream with a topping. No! No! You’re a bad mommy!

  1. First: I want to tell you I read 98% of your posts on my phone but I don’t often log in to wordpress for one reason or another. I really enjoy reading your blog and I envy that you find time to write!

    Second: I want to give you mad props for doing what you’re doing. It’s not easy. You don’t have a lot of help. I probably would have sold my kidneys long ago and would be moving on to pieces of my liver or something.

    Third: I am no Dr. Spock but I would imagine this whining is probably the way she is asking for your undivided attention like she used to have before O… + maybe a stage… + having issues with transitioning from one activity/thing to another (my C had issues with that and I didn’t even know what to call it before a very experienced babysitter pointed it out).

    Fourth: My husband and I work full time and my daughter has been in daycare since she was 4 months old. I can not truly know what you are going through. When I get home from work after picking C up I play the “get dinner ready in 5 minutes and occupy her” game… which isn’t that bad of a game.

    I will say that I do let my 3.5 year old watch about 2.5 hours of TV a day (30-60 minutes in the morning before school, the rest in the evening). We always watch educational programs or age-appropriate programs on either PBS, Nick Jr, Sprout or Disney Jr.

    My husband and/or I watch with her when we can. I guess I don’t feel as bad about the TV time because I know she is engaged and learning/playing all day.

    When C was younger we would watch Baby Einstein videos with her… would you ever consider getting some of those for L? They are educational… C loved watching them. She is probably too young for some of the TV stations I mentioned…but there is also Elmo/Elmo’s world DVDs. If you don’t have any I’m sure you can either pick some up at a garage sale or the library (cost-effective options).

    I’m not saying “make her a TV zombie” and I think it is awesome you want to try to keep her TV consumption down. At the same time, having the 3 month old doesn’t exactly give you the time to maybe do some of the hands on things you were doing before…then again… have you looked up homeschooling/activities for toddlers on pinterest? (like you have time, I know….) But there’s so much on there. I don’t know what her interests are….

    I just did a search on “toddler activities” and came up with this…

    maybe there would be something that would pique her interest? a craft? Sometimes I feel like thinking of these things/gathering the supplies/setting her up for the craft takes 5x the amount of time that she would be engaged with them…but maybe there is something there you can do with her while you are baby-wearing O or something?

    Just trying to be helpful. I want you to keep your kidneys.

  2. It’ll pass. I promise. While I can’t 100% relate to what you are going through, I can relate. My kids are currently 32 months, 18 months and 4 months. It’s a party around here. My 32 month old contradicts himself like nobody’s business, my 18 month old whines worse then anyone or anything I have every experienced (yes, he knows his words, but I guess he thinks I hear whine more effectively then words) My now 32 month old used to whine like a mad man, but he has gotten over it and realized that his words are more effective. If it helps at all, I read somewhere that whining is developmentally necessary and it’s because they don’t know the words for what they are trying to say. I tried to tell myself that fact whenever the kids would whine. It didn’t work well, but I do still have both my kidneys 🙂

  3. I absolutely love this post. I have a whiner too but I think your situation sounds worse, at least mine sleeps!! Hope you find some solutions short of losing an internal organ, but you can survive on one so at least there is that!!

  4. As the wise, seasoned parent of a child who is a whopping two months older than yours, all I can say is that it sucks. But it passes. C used to be more of a whiner than she is now, but as she’s acquired more words, things have gotten, ahem, less horrible.

  5. lol I threatened to puncture my eardrums when the first three went through their whining stage. The fourth one is going to be three in a little over three months and I am thinking of dropping something heavy on my skull, because getting rid of the sound wouldn’t be enough. To borrow a line from Space Balls ‘Princess, you are ugly when you’re angry.’ I can say it does end (timing depends on the child) and you forget. I still look at the youngest and think ‘Your brothers and sister were never this bad.’ I’m pretty sure they were though.

  6. Oooooooh yessssssss it’s worse than crying…especially if all you have to do is finish writing that all important text message or e-mail and all you hear is nnnngggg huuuuu naaaaaa waaaaaa and it just bores deeper and deeper into your brain just destroying your capacity of putting normal words together….oh yes…. *cries*

  7. Oh my god woman. I read this and was like saying to hubby that you wrote a post I would have written if I weren’t currently trying to hog tie my kid. Like seriously WORD FOR WORD we are going through the same shit AND I CAN’T FUCKING TAKE IT EITHER. I’m sorry. I never EVER said I was a baby person and this is why!! Jonah is whining about everything!!! EVERYTHING. Over not getting my iPhone. Over not sleeping enough, over not being able to CLIMB DOWN FROM SOMETHING HE CLIMBED UP. From going shopping. From not getting HIS FUCKING TOAST TOASTED JUST RIGHT! I seriously have to remind myself this will pass too. I agree and HOPE that when he learns more words and can communicate with me more directly this period of his whining like a PMSing psycho will pass. Because, kid. I am with you. Like thank freaking god you blog about this stuff – you with two babies – because I’m too goddamn frustrated to write any of it. I wish I could be of more help. I’m just as frustrated…

  8. Yes, L. sounds just like my son over here. He whines for almost everything at the moment, his favourites being when we have to go get groceries, he whines because we enter shop instead of cruising the mall or the street, whines when he can’t get down from where he climbed, whines when food is not in the temperature which he exactly wants that day and a lot of other things AND he does not sleep as well. Hang in there, it will pass (soon,I hope!)

  9. It passes. Then it comes back. Then it goes away again. Then it comes back. Then it passes. I feel terrible to inform you of this, but at least if your expectations are low it helps.

    What got us through the whining:

    Speech therapy – I had the boys evaluated for speech and figured out where they were behind, and did all the speech trickery to encourage them to talk. They completely ignored me and learned to talk in their own time, but it helped me to know that their frustrations were coming from what they couldn’t say.

    Breaks – for you! Schedule them like it’s your freaking job. When dad gets home DISAPPEAR. Pretend like you are hiding from the CIA with a Picasso in your trunk. DO NOT ENGAGE.

    Sleep training – this one is more controversial, but I found that the whining and crabbiness reduced a lot when my boys got more sleep. So we became very strict about sleep times and good sleep habits. It didn’t always work, but it helped a lot.

    Explaining everything a thousand times – I felt like preparing my kids for what to expect in the day, what’s coming next, keeping a running commentary (which is exhausting, but less exhausting than having your soul vacuumed out by little he-devils) of everything going on helped them understand what to expect so there were less surprises in a day.

    Acknowledge – this is the one that KILLED me. But if you acknowledge their frustration and talk them through what to do next to solve their problems, they eventually start looking for solutions themselves. I think. I am pretty sure that’s going to happen. (just kidding, it totally does).

    And if all else fails, I will take those kidneys. I don’t really need them right now though, so do you mind keeping them fresh for me until I do? I will give you 24 hour notice.

  10. I put a baby gate in front of the bathroom so the toddler cannot enter the bathroom. She resorts to tossing her toys over the baby gate at me when I’m in there, so there’s usually a massive pile of toys on that side of the gate (not that I’m hiding in there for hours, it’s just that she’s gotten really quick at grabbing toys to toss at me). Also, my toddler does the “teapot.” It’s where her scream rises so loud and so quickly that it truly sounds like a tea kettle on boil. I. Go. Crazy. when I hear it. And by crazy I mean I laugh at her cuz she’s super serious about it. And that’s funny to me.

  11. My 18 month old twins are whiny-whinnersons. One of them was seriously whining because he couldn’t push their laundry basket over the bump the rug creates. Sometimes, I really wonder how I haven’t scratched my ears off the side of my head yet.

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