I am currently engaged in an epic battle with a case of The Whiny's.
I realize that Jellybean does not possess the verbal skills that most children her age do. This is a result of the ear infection that she had for so long, hindering her ability to hear and therefore repeat words. And although she has recently used words like "pup" (up), I don't think she is yet capable of accessing those words on command. When she wants picked up right now and emotions are running high, she doesn't always remember the word she wants to use. Or maybe she can't even remember that there is a word to describe what she wants. So her solution is to toddle around the house, whining nonstop.
Sometimes I understand what it is that she wants. When she is whining at my feet with her arms up in the air, I know that she wants picked up. When she is whining and tugging on her shoe, I know that she wants her shoes off. But understanding is only half the battle. If I give her what she is whining for, isn't that just reinforcing the negative behavior? It's true that there are times when I cannot give in to her whiny wants/needs because I am in the middle of cooking dinner or cleaning up a mess; but there are also times when I simply refuse to give in because I know that giving in to the whining means there will only be more whining in the long run.
Even now, it might be too late...
The whining has become a habit. Now I wonder if I should have been giving her exactly what she wanted before the whine ever grazed her throat. That way, the whine would have never come. And if the whine had never come, then it couldn't be a habit. A daily, hourly, sometimes minute-ly (Yes, the whining has gotten so bad I had to make up a word for it!) habit. I just don't know if I can handle one more "WAH" without flushing my head down the toilet.
I'm all ears for any advice. Please. Oh God, please.