One thing that I know for sure: there will be growling this Mother’s Day.

It’s not a gift that I WANT, but it is a phase that my daughter is in – growling at family, friends, and strangers.  Hey, I guess she doesn’t discriminate!

I had mentioned in 3 Milestones you won’t find in a baby book that my daughter has growled at strangers in public.  In one situation, we were at the grocery store, and she growled at a sweet old lady. After dinner at a local burger and custard joint, she sort of made light sabre noises while swinging her umbrella (not ideal, but I’ll let it go). As we walked home, she growled at a man who was walking by and commenting on the cold weather. More growling at her aunt, brother, me, Daddy O. and even some people at church. “Peace be with you” is followed by “GRRRR!”

Lovely, right?!

Reaction to Growling

My first reaction is to ignore her and apologize for her behavior.

“So sorry. My daughter is not a conversationalist.”

Or, “She’s pretending to be an animal.” (This is usually the case since she LOVES animals.)

Or, “Well that’s one way to react to this cold weather.”

My husband’s reaction was a LOT less tolerant, saying to me “You let her get away with this?!”

Umm, yeah I guess I do.

We teach out kids to NOT talk to strangers.  Frequently strangers can try to get too close or engage in conversation, and I can see from a small child’s perspective how this can be intimidating or  uncomfortable.  And frankly, I’m GLAD that she doesn’t get too friendly with strangers when you think about all of the worst case scenarios that COULD happen.

So will I be happy to hear her growls this weekend?  No, but I’ll do my best to ignore it and just go for the hugs & kisses whenever I can.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions to cope with growling issues!  Is ignoring this behavior the best strategy?  We have talked about “appropriate behavior,” how growling is not very nice, why animals growl, etc.  Life with a 3.5 year old is always entertaining!