Dd has developed a new habit that is driving dh and I absolutely bonkers. A bit of background:
1) She is 3 (need I say more?)
2) There is a new baby... 3 month old ds
3) She has developed new actual fears since we went to the hospital to have ds and her grandparents stayed with her for 2 nights. I know this is part of being three and normal. Most of her fears revolve around things she imagines (mostly this catch-all bad guy called the "pokey man" who looks like a cactus, and a fear of windows and stairways... all very normal)
Now to get to the part that is driving us bonkers. Pleeeease lend me a hand and give me some suggestions for this. Dh and I are very gentle and quiet people. We have occasional arguments but are usually the silly/goofy types. I am reading "Playful Parenting
" right now and it really fits into my style.
Dd will not let us talk to one another! We will start to try to have a normal, friendly adult conversation , say at dinner (though she does this at other times, including when Dh occasionally has her for a minute or two at work in his studio while trying to video conference with his business partner... or even just take a second to tell his partner he'll get right back to him) She will start covering her ears and screaming "Scaaarrryyy! Mommy and Daddy shush. Don't talk!"
We give her soooo much positive attention, even with the new baby. I am a SAHM and dh works from a studio in our garage. We usually respond to the screams by turning to look at her and asking her firmly but gently to please quiet her voice. Mommy and Daddy are talking. Often, Dh will let her sit in his lap, but it doesn't make any difference, and she won't stop. She genuinely seems upset, but it feels like such a manipulative behavior! She keeps doing it no matter what we do and it wrecks our ability to have a conversation at all. If we keep talking and try to ignore, she keeps yelling and starts to cry... making it impossible to keep a single blasted thought straight. This usually makes the baby start crying, which then makes dinner turn into pandemonium (not that I'm asking for help with that part... just explaining the awful chain reaction that happens every night for dinner). As I said, she's done it to dh too... not even letting him take 2 seconds to tell his partner he'd be with him in a sec. She flips out! Sometimes, if she gets really upset, she pees her pants. (She did that while we were watching a World Cup game together as a family and dh and I were trying to talk about the game, even though she was literally sitting right there with us and we were talking to her too) She doesn't get in trouble for this, but we do calmly maker her clean herself up and put on new pants, with assistance from one of us.
I can't take this behavior, but don't know how to put and end to it. Obviously she is looking for attention, but she can't demand it 100% of the time. Talking to her about it doesn't seem to be working, and upsetting her just ends up in a puddle of pee on the floor. Grrrr!