Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Head turning

One of Ellie's latest traits is her need to get our attention often and audibly. It's sort of cute, at times, but the constant "Mommy, Mommy!" can get frustrating when I'm trying to have a phone conversation or even get a complete sentence out during a dinner conversation with Brian. The best is when I stop what I'm doing and ask, "Yes, Ellie?" and she falls silent and quickly tries to think of something to tell me. Other times I have to laugh when the object of urgent interruption is something critical like saying: "Mommy, you're eating peas." Yes, I know. And if Brian and I are carrying her when she comes up with one of these urgent messages, Ellie will physically grab our cheeks to turn our faces toward her and make sure she has full attention.

I was excited to see this article title "Why 2-year-olds interrupt" appear in the emails I get from
But as I read through to the advice on what to do to improve the situation, I found that they were basically telling me to wait until she's 3 and hope it gets better then. Sigh. Good thing she's cute. Here's the article for any other parents who are interested.

You're on the phone with a colleague when your child tugs on your sleeve and bleats, "Mommy...Mommy!...MOMMY!!"

When will he learn not to interrupt? Unfortunately, it will be a while — a 2-year-old thinks that the world and everything in it (including you) exist for his benefit. In addition, his short-term memory isn't well developed, which means that his impulse to say things right now, before he forgets, actually has a physiological basis. As a result, the very concept of interrupting makes no sense to your child. He can't grasp that other people and activities sometimes require your attention or capture your interest. When you focus on something other than him for a moment, he might actually perceive it as a threat.

Tolerating a 2-year-old who cuts in every time you're chatting with a friend or scheduling an appointment is exasperating, but if you keep his worldview in mind, you'll realize that he's not purposefully trying to irritate you. Don't worry, though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. By the time he's 3 or 4, your child's short-term memory will be more developed, and he'll begin to understand what an interruption is and what you mean when you say, "Mommy's busy right now." So look forward to the time when he'll be able to hold that thought (for a couple of minutes, anyway).

No comments:

Post a Comment