Friday, August 28, 2009

The War of Extinction (Plus Giveaway Winners)

There is a war going on in my house. A war that we hope will end in extinction. Nope, I am not talking about the extinction of any endangered plant or fuzzy animals, so you can put away your Save the Pandas t-shirt. I am referring the extinction of behavior. I call this behavior The Wheam.

The wheam starts as a small, irritating whine ("coookieeeeee") and when denied develops into a desperate chant ("COOKIE. MAMA. COOKIE. MAMA."). The ignored chant then follows into the "someone must be stabbing me" scream.

The hills are alive, with the sound of Wheaming...

As you can imagine, I want the Wheam to take a hike. It needs to leave soon, or mama is going to resort to wearing earplugs and communicating only through baby signs (or through the door in my padded cell).

So we have gone to war.

So far the wheam is putting up a good fight. In the wheam's armory are volume, repetition and public Mommy embarrassment. All mama has so far is extinction. In behavioral modification, extinction eliminates the incentive for unwanted behavior by withholding the expected response. In other words, Noah starts to whine "cooookieee," Mama ignores. Noah screams and stomps feet, Mama ignores. I may offer him a snack later, when he can ask me in his "sweet voice," but I don't negotiate with the wheam.

Over time, one can hope that continued extinction of the wheam will lead to is eventual disappearance. It's been about a two week battle now and Mama is feeling a little ragged around the edges.

I have, however, called in reinforcements. We are headed to Grandma's next week. Perhaps a change in players and location will change the tides of this battle. I am little suspicious, though, that Grammy and the wheam may be in cohoots....

Because I will be gone on Sept 1, I am announcing the winners now. They are:

Megan @ Megan Goldie
If you lovely ladies could shoot me an email with an address, I will get those sandals off to you soon.

Now back to the trenches.


Kelly said...

Oh my Gawd!! I won!! Whoo Hoo!!! Sending the email soon!!!!! Thank you.

Ali said...

Go Rachel! You can do it...and if the Wheam doesn't show any signs of change soon, I'll jump in and see if two Wheam-inators can extinguish it. I miss you! We've been out of town, but I'm back for a month at least, so lets get the kids (and the wheam) together for some fun.

Emi said...

"I am little suspicious, though, that Grammy and the wheam may be in cohoots...."

Aren't grandparents usually in cahoots with all things we want to place on extinction?

If you and Ali have a play date, can I come too? I don't have a kiddo, but I can be fun..or at the very least, bring goodies. :)

Jen said...

Stand strong, girl. Stand strong.

And yeah I won. I can't believe it. Sorry but I don't see where your email is. IF you get emailed comments you can reply to this one and then I can email you that way. :)

Sera said...

We are definitely smack dab in the middle of the public embarrassment stage as well. Today Kaylee spotted Elmo slippers at Target and it sounded like I was beating her silly by the desperation in her cries. It started out so simple as, "Elmo? Elmo? Elmo?" and escalated in about 0.3 seconds. I hope this phase passes soon. It is EXHAUSTING.

Bar-b said...

the wheam will strengthen with grams. It is the nature of the beast.

I wish you luck with it though. I have missed you and your fun ;)

Have been absent in bloggy world recently. But I am back in top form, I think.

Mama Kat said...

You know some people never do grow out of this stage. They just become whiny, tantrum throwing, publicly humiliating adults. Take my husband for example...:) just kidding, I love him, but REALLY there are some pretty whacked out adults...maybe they weren't hugged through this stage.