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:
Kelly @ Carty Party of Three
Jen @ Buried with Children
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.