OK so I picked up my children last night after they came home from a two week vacation to Mexico with my Mom and her hubby.
I have to say that as much as I missed them, I think that spending two weeks away from Mommy, and going to another country (which is very different to our own), was a very, very good thing for them both.
They both seemed to grow up a little while they were away. I noticed it as early as the car ride home, when my 5 year old actually patiently waited for a break in the conversation, to say in a normal "un-whiney" voice, "when do I get a turn to speak ? ".
If I had been standing, I might well have fell on the floor.
I have been TRYING for the last year to teach her to learn to wait her turn, to not interrupt, not whine or cry to get attention. And here she was, finally waiting her turn.
I was gobsmacked.
Though I was doing the happy Mom dance on the inside, on the outside, I answered without much fanfare, as if this IS the way it is supposed to be. I just spoke to her like the big girl she was acting like, "Yes dear of course its your turn", then I focused my attention on what she had to say.
Was this really happening, a big girl conversation with my big girl?
Well, she did turn 5 while she was away, and for the last two months I have been using her upcoming birthday as a marker for her, warning that once she turns 5, its time for her to stop the baby behavior. Maybe, once she actually hit that milestone she finally decided to try a bit of grown up communication out for size?
I did ask my Mom to reinforce the ongoing message that the 'whiney-cry' is unacceptable, I asked her to maintain to my daughter that if she wants to be with the group, she will have to learn to use her words and not her tears. I am certain they did so, because my daughters whiney-cry is so fricken unbearable, and the only way I have found to deal with it (short of cutting my ears off), is to suggest that if she really needs to cry, she can certainly choose to do so, but then she is going to have to go and cry in her room where no one else has to hear it.
Perhaps she was finally tired of having to remove herself to have a moan about something. She certainly never got a single reward from me for crying, maybe she finally realized it was a bad investment of energy.
Perhaps, just the whole experience of travelling somewhere new broadened her world enough for her to finally realize that she is not the only one in the room.
Who knows, but I am delighted to see some progress. We talked about it later as we were unpacking her suitcase. I told her that she seemed like she had grown really big while she was away, and I told her that I was very proud of her during the car ride home. She looked up at me with a proud smile and said "I know".
I asked her, "how do you know? What do you think I am I proud of?
She said, "my waiting for talking".
Wow, wow, wow, wow.