We’ve noted a spike in Joelle’s tantrums, her stubborn refusals to go along with seemingly normal things.  They appear out of the blue and we have absolutely no idea when they will pop up or why.  She wants a doll in her bedroom to sleep, when we’ve never allowed her to have one.  (Although she swears we did let Nori sleep with her once.  My response back was, “Do you really want to go there?  Do you really want absolutely strict rules all the time?  We can do that.”)

There are many possible reasons for this lovely new pattern:  1.  As my mom likes to say, the things that children “grow out” of always come back for one or two victory laps.  2.  She was exposed to another child throwing a tantrum (this did happen, and it actually did make a big impact on her.)  3.  She’s already experiencing sibling rivalry.

Most folks think of me as crazy for saying this, but I think it’s absolutely #3.  Although the baby isn’t here yet, things have already changed for little chickadee.  Subtle things, like talking about the new baby and not so subtle things, like mommie being sick a lot and not able to play as much.  I think she’s very aware that the baby and mommie being sick are associated together – though I have tried to be careful not to mention the two together. 

My theory is cemented by two comments she’s made in the last week.  First, we were out and about in a store (ironically, babies r us – shopping for someone else’s shower).  She wanted to play hide and seek and I said, “no.”  “We can never play in public because if I can’t see you someone can steal you.”  She said, “It’s ok if you lose me, mommie, you’ll have a new baby soon.”  I really almost started crying when she said that.  I hope my reaction was strong enough for her to realize that that is NOT the case.  Second, today when she was helping me out with getting dinner on the table, she said, “Now do you want to keep me around, I’m being helpful?”  Again, I was quick to say, “I’ll love you no matter what, but, yes, I do like when you’re helpful.”

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