The Answer to Your Problems
It makes me insane when someone is acting perceptibly perturbed, but when you ask them “what’s wrong” they answer “nothing” in a obviously sulky way. You know that something is upsetting them, because they are behaving like they do when they are bothered, but you have to pry it out of them like a perverted dentist. It usually begins with “Its just that…blah blah blah something you did, and meow meow meow some more stuff you did.”
I am a firm believer that if you have a problem you have to approach people to deal with it rather then expecting them to come to you. I also am a firm believer in firm tofu because the other stuff is too mushy when you try and cut it. Not every grievance you have needs to necessarily be articulated either. Having an independent ability to deal with annoyances is pivotal to a functioning relationship. If you let someone know every little thing they do that can be irritating, how can they ever be themselves around you? I have issues with people, but most of the time I attempt to be empathetic and infer where they are coming from rather than asking them why the way the floss their teeth makes me want to punch them in the eardrum. Everyone is going to act duplicitous or shady at times, and it is important to differentiate between petty instances and when things need to be actively addressed. It is dangerous to expect other people to solve all your problems.
I may be the first person to notice this about toddlers, but they happen to cry a lot; and not always for a good reason. I know. I am very observant. So I have been trying this strategy with Munch where if she starts crying I will ask her what’s wrong, but I won’t immediately go to her. She will then have to think about why she is crying and figure out how to explain it to me. I know her language is limited and she can’t explain how she feels insecure about not knowing the difference between red and green and the subsequent anxiety this causes about the meaning of mortality… but it is a work in progress. Then I ask if she wants a hug. If she wants one she will come sit on my lap to feel comforted, but sometimes just talking about it is enough to calm her down and move on by herself. I am hoping this will help Munch to learn that sometimes she can figure out problems on her own, and sometimes the love of another person can help her work through them.
I am also too lazy to get up a lot of the times and her coming to me is just easier… but that has nothing to do with anything so forget I just said that.
“Munch…. you are so far away… I can’t reach…”