Totally Bananas

Did Anyone Miss Me???

0033.jpg picture by slcuster04I can’t remember the last time I blogged.  Holy moly!  Anyway, the reason I’ve been MIA is because right around Thanksgiving, something happened to my 2 year old.  Something bad.

Oh, what?  You want me to elaborate – seriously??  Are you sure??….. clutch your pearls, this may get ugly.

James got sick a few weeks ago, you already knew that.  We missed that week’s gymnastics class (Mondays) but no biggie, I don’t think he really noticed.  He started feeling better around Saturday and started in with these NASTY temper tantrums.  To the point where we started a log of what he was tantruming about and how often so that we could report to the pediatrician to figure out what happened what seemed like overnight.  For example, one day he refused to get dressed, eat, put shoes on, no jacket, leave the lights on, no dinner, and trouble at bedtime.  And by refuse I don’t mean a simple no, I mean throw himself on the floor or charge at me scratching and kicking at the mere mention of any of the above.  In order to get him dressed and into the car I had to put one leg in his pants and immediately put a tie shoe on so he couldn’t get his leg out and repeat on the other side then wrestle him into his jacket and immediately put him in his car seat so he couldn’t take it off.  Is getting a Christmas tree really worth it??  I was determined that this behaviour was not going to ruin traditions for the rest of the family.

Rather than looking at the whole issue, we started to go day by day, and that was still disasterous and then I started to focus on each task.  It was and still is exhausting.  He would tantrum at the mention of going to gymnastics, which he has loved up until now.  He would only wear one pair of pants and one pair of pajamas or the world came to an end, ugly times.  I had to duct tape his shoes on at one point (a million uses anyone?).  On my end, there were countless bruises, a bloody nose, a couple fat lips and a hugely bruised ego.  Where did I go wrong to cause this??  He was still polite, if you tried to reason with him he’d scream at you but he’d say “no thank you”.  I guess I can see a silver lining in there somewhere.

We are not through this by any means, I still walk on eggshells around him waiting for the next blow up.  Today we had trouble getting dressed.  But it wasn’t as violent on his part as it has been.  My husband has gotten the best results from him recently.  Saturday we had minimal tantrums, yesterday was not as good, but better than it has been in the past few days.  Today is shaping up to be acceptable as well with only the one issue while getting dressed.

I forgot to mention that when all these tantrums started like the flip of a switch, he stopped sleeping through the night, and he doesn’t go to bed very easy either.  We have him back to sleeping all night with the help of a TykeLight and some fabulous Handy Manny sheets, but I still have to “work” with him a bit to get to sleep at night – I sit on his bed and rock him and rub his back for a few minutes…..   I’m not complaining, I don’t mind – but still a huge change from our normal James.

So anyway, I was wondering if anyone out there in all the bloggy land has any clue beyond the horrible 3’s as to what may have happened????  I’m open for suggestions.  We have done the time outs among other things, but during a tantrum he is so tuned out that nothing seems to matter.  I don’t know if I can handle a year of this.  I guess 4 can’t come soon enough.  I can’t tell you how desperately I want my little boy back.

Oh did I mention he’ll be 3 on Friday – AAACKKK!!!!!!!!


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  1. * Tracey says:

    Yikes! It sounds like you have had your hands full. Landon too has been getting worse with tantruming! Like you said, take everyday one day at a time!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  2. * AmyG says:

    Wow, I can’t believe our babies are all starting to turn 3!

    As for his behavior, I want to say that it’s more than likely age related. And a phase that will pass. I’ve noticed a change in Livie lately, as well. Not near as bad as what you’re going through with James, but it’s worse than it was. In fact, she just got done having a melt down.

    She whines a lot. She cries/screams everyday when she wakes up from a nap. And she’s always yelling at everyone. I never dealt with any of this with Em, so it’s all new to me. And honestly, I don’t like it! lol

    Hopefully your pediatrician can shed some light & give you ideas. I hope that if it’s a phase, it passes quickly!

    BTW, I got the tattoos & stickers… I can’t remember if I emailed you or not. Thank you! There are plenty that I can divide them up between the two. I plan to put them in their stockings. Thanks again!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  3. * Dori says:

    Was he on antibiotics for his illness? Mikey does this after a round of a specific antibiotic. He flips out for a couple of weeks.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago
  4. * Judy Colbert says:

    You did absolutely the right thing when you started your tantrum trigger list. You may not have gone far enough, though.

    The obvious tantrum triggers are hunger, exhaustion, and frustration.

    Keep a pad and pen handy and take notes whenever your child explodes (a chart or matrix, perhaps done on an Excel spreadsheet, may help you visualize these events more easily – whatever works). Among the items that should be included are:

    Where was your child?
    What was he or she doing?
    What day of the week was it?
    Was someone visiting?
    Was it the first time?
    If not, did something happen that frightened your child the last time you did this activity?
    Is someone at day care or school (or gymnastics) calling your child by a proper name instead of the nickname used at home (e.g., James instead of Jimmy)?
    Who was with your child?
    What time of day was it?
    What happened right before the tantrum?
    What was your child wearing?
    What was the last thing she or he ate?
    When was the last time he or she had something to drink?
    When was the last meal?

    Then list how long the tantrum lasted and how the issue was resolved. Did you help your child over this rough spot or did he or she calm down independently?

    You have to put a CSI (crime scene investigation unit) to shame with all the details you collect.

    You may discover that tantrums occur most often before nap time or bedtime, or when you are busy making dinner. They may happen when your child returns from a play date with a friend. Changes in the weather, temperature (heat and cold, indoors and outdoors), humidity, and air pressure can affect a person’s physical and mental well-being. Thunderstorms may trigger a tantrum because the winds stir up mold and allergens. If the tantrum starts about four hours after a sugary dessert or something else sweet, ask your doctor if your child is hypoglycemic.

    Allergies can affect children and that includes inhalants (mold, nail polish & remover, chemicals in new carpeting) and ingestibles (wheat, dairy, peanuts). Have you introduced a new food into his diet? Talk with your doctor about running a full allergy test if you think that might be a factor.

    Eventually you should find a pattern of tantrum triggers. Avoiding, as much as possible, that pattern or chain of events can go a long way to avoiding tantrums. That requires another list so you remember what you did last time and what works and does not work.

    Do you see signals that your child is nervous or upset? Perhaps your son twists rubber bands around his fingers or wrist. Do these signs precede a tantrum and can you catch the signals before the tantrum erupts?

    When you discover a tantrum-prevention technique that works, use it. If the tantrums come when your child is hungry, feed your child before you leave your home or bring a snack with you when you run errands. If exhaustion is the cause, plan your outings immediately after a nap, whenever possible. If strange situations are the cause, bring a favorite toy or blanket for comfort. If frustration is the trigger because you will not let your child run into the street, explore that fascinating electric socket, or touch the hot stove, be prepared to divert your child’s attention.

    Good luck! Oh, and happy birthday!

    Judy Colbert

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 6 months ago

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