Thursday, February 28, 2008

What Girl Doesn't Want Diamonds?

I'm not sure who was more frustrated - Girlchild or Mommy.

Just after finishing lunch today, Girlchild asked for something. I'm still not sure what it was.

Her: I want the diamond.
Me: The diamond?
Her: I want the diamond.
Me (scratching head): What's "the diamond," sweetie?
Her: I want the diamond, Mom.
Me (looking around): Yes, I know, but what is the diamond?
Her: Pleeeease, Mom! I want the diamond!
Me: Boychild, do you have any idea what your sister is talking about?

This went on for several minutes. Boychild went around the house, logically picking up shiny things and bringing them to Girlchild. "Is this what you want?" No, it definitely wasn't.

I used every resource I could think of from my journalism interviewing reserves to try to elicit more information from my unruly source about what the heck "the diamond" is. "Is it in the kitchen? Is it in the den? What colour is it? Is it a video? Is it on the TV? Is it on the computer? Is it upstairs? Is it an animal? Tell me more about it, Girlchild. I don't know what you mean." (Note the clever mixture of both open- and closed-ended questions.)

Usually it eventually occurs to me what she is talking about. Often she will ask for something obscure and I can feel the wheels of my rusty, tired brain physically clunk into gear and turn just enough that something clicks and I figure out the mystery. It just wasn't happening this time.

All she would say, over and over again like some kind of demented space alien sent on a mission armed with this one "take me to your leader"-type phrase was, "I want the diamond!"

Any of you who have experienced the scorn of a misunderstood two-year-old will know that pretty soon this situation deteriorated. I couldn't understand her and she couldn't supply more information to help me. She wanted the diamond, dammit, and nothing else would do. Soon, the tears started to flow (hers, not mine) and the voice took on a higher, more-insistent pitch (both of us), while Boychild continued to scout around for shiny things. Along came our friend the tantrum (her, not me, although I was feeling like I wanted to scream, too).

Distraction didn't work, threats - I mean polite requests - didn't work, and soon it became clear that naptime was imminent and it was unlikely either of us was going to get control of the situation. She was not. happy. at. all. about going for a nap. I took her kicking and screaming upstairs and, after a long process, managed to get both of our tempers calmed. After having some milk, brushing teeth and hearing a few lullabies, she fell instantly to sleep, without singing a single song of her own.

I'm going to call my mom later because they spent the morning with her while I worked and I'm wondering if she might know what "the diamond" is. If it's something profound, I'll let you know.

UPDATE:
Well, it wasn't exactly profound, but we figured it out. I was on the phone with Nanny asking her if she had any sweet clue what her granddaughter was talking about. While chatting, I move a video case from the counter (why was it there?) onto the kitchen table. I get off the phone. Girlchild wanders through, spies said video case and says, "Oh! The diamond!" It's the Baby Einstein: Language Nursery video, which we have watched about eleventy thousand times, but apparently it has changed names. Girlchild used to call it "Baby Einstein," not to be confused with "Mozart," "The Bear One" (Baby Bach), "The Turtle One" (Baby Neptune) and Old MacDonald. Clearly we'll have to work on her shapes because "The Diamond" has a star on the front cover. Doesn't matter as long as I know the code!

3 comments:

Heather said...

Boy, I am constantly amazed at the tempers of the girlchildren. I don't remember my BoyChild being this way (though I do have a memory like a sieve). My Girlchild has taken to telling me that she does not like me. She prefers her Daddy these days. I wonder how that will go with Daddy flying off to visit his brother for some male bonding for 6 days).

momma's heart said...

Hi, just popped over here to say hello. Clicked on your name from MOMformation. Enjoyed reading your blog - very witty and beautifully written!

Pam

Steph said...

Heather: Oh, I know. Boychild rarely had tantrums. I remember this because when he had one we didn't know what to do. Girlchild, though? Yeesh.

Pam: I've lurked around your site before because I've seen lots of your comments on MOMformation - good stuff! Please drop by any time!