“Nobody Understands Me!”

I thought – perhaps naively – that we’d have until the teenage years before having to face tears and tantrums over feeling like nobody understands her.


I love that SB is more vocal now. She’s so chatty, and her vocabulary is growing bigger by the day. We’ve got some impressive recognisable phrases now, including “What is it?” and “Daddy gone”, accompanied by a forlorn look at the door every time Daf goes out. She’ll point at just about anything and say “mine”, and understands so many instructions that we give her. It makes life so much easier when we can just say “Sit nicely to eat your snack”, and she does as we ask.

The problem arises when we can’t understand her. Take this afternoon, for example. We were sitting together, both wearing our slippers, when she started trying to take hers off. Okay, I thought – her feet are too warm. I took them off for her and put them aside. Immediately, she started whining to have them back. So, I tried putting them back on her feet, but all I got was more whining. We were both starting to get tense – she was getting frustrated, and I was feeling on edge because I could tell she was working her way up to a full on tantrum. I had no way of knowing what she wanted, and she had no way of telling me.

It took a while but eventually, we worked it out. She pulled at my slipper, so I took it off. She grabbed her own slipper – an infants’ size 4 crocodile slipper – and perched it on my toes. Then she stood up, slipped her feet into my adult size 6 slipper boot, and grinned. We got there, but it took at least five minutes of whining to get us there.

It’s easy to feel exasperated by it, but I understand why it upset her. Have you ever had one of those bad dreams where you’re shouting and screaming, but no-one understands a word you say – or worse, no sound comes out at all? I imagine that’s how it must feel for a toddler – trying to convey what you want with such a limited vocabulary can’t be easy.

We had similar issues teaching her ‘ta’. We’d hand her a toy or a snack, but refuse to hand it over until she said ‘ta’. She would burst into tears because she just didn’t understand. As far as she knew, we were just teasing her – handing her something, and taking it away at the last second. Things didn’t really improve until her sign language started taking off. Now, we hand the toy or snack to her, and tell her to ‘say thank you’. She’ll automatically sign “thank you”, with no fuss or fighting required.

Parenting really is a constant learning curve, there’s no denying that. Watching her learn to communicate is teaching us to be more patient, and to find other ways for her to express what she wants and needs.

As for the tantrums? Well, all we can hope for is that we have a few good years of understanding each other perfectly, before the years of screaming and door slamming and “NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME!” really begins.

Who would imagine that such an innocent face is capable of such terrifying tantrums?

Who would imagine that such an innocent face is capable of such terrifying tantrums?


12 thoughts on ““Nobody Understands Me!”

  1. janeb says:

    It can be hard to understand what your kid needs when they just can´t tell you, epecially if it causes a tantrum! As you say, these tantrums are probably nothig compared to the ones we will have later 😉 #fartglitter


  2. frillyprettythings says:

    We’re going through the exact same thing at the moment with Pops, so so hard sometimes but it is getting easier every day as she learns more and more words. But oh my gosh, the tantrums are ridiculous!! Pretty sure they’re more vocal now than they will be when they’re teenagers too 😉 Oh dear. #FartGlitter


  3. jermbarnes says:

    we had pretty good luck teaching our little some simple hand gestures to tell us what she wanted. We’ve had less luck getting the teenager to stop making hand gestures at us

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mama says:

    We’re in the midst of this too. Half the time I have no clue at all what the baby’s after and he doesn’t take it well. Really need to get serious about the sign language. He’s got a few simple ones which he made up himself and we understand but I think with more we’d have less floppy, floor-rolling screaming.

    Thanks so much for linking up to #fartglitter xx


  5. rhymingwithwine says:

    Aw such a cutie. It must be so frustrating though. My youngest is just 13 months and has one word “MMUUHH!” Shouted repeatedly whilst pointing and going a funny shade of red. It means Mummy, More, I want that, I don’t want that, what the hell is that…..? You get the picture. We all jus frantically scramble about passing him things and taking them back away until he gets the desired outcome. Well done for working out the slipper issue. It would have taken me hours! Xx


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