A short while ago I wrote about some…ahem…frustrations with my beloved 3 year old. Shortly after Thanksgiving, these frustrations reared their head again, but in a much uglier way. The little Chicken was throwing tantrums left, right, and center with no provocation. She had no fuse, no patience, no ability to hear anything close to “no”.
There was yelling. Lots of yelling. Bedtimes were a nightmare. Naptimes were a nightmare. The time in between was a nightmare.
After a few days of this, I emailed a few other moms I know who have been through this stage. The email may or may not have contained a threat to walk away from said 3 year old and never come back. Just sayin’. Times were tough around here.
Can I just say that every mom needs other moms to help them every once in a while? I was in a tunnel of despair and could see no light… no way out… just day after day of the yelling and the “no!” and the fits of anger. And I am describing myself here- but Chicken was just as bad.
Here’s some of the feedback that I got:
1. You poor mom. We’ve been there. It stinks. It won’t last forever. (Thank the Lord. I needed to hear that.)
2. Focus on her sleep. Is she getting enough? Is the naptime thing messing up her bedtime? It may be time to drop it so bedtimes are easier.
3. Is the post-Thanksgiving/family time/travel still affecting her? Are you in the post-travel adjustment period that usually takes a few days to recover from?
4. Is she eating frequently enough? Is her bloodsugar staying stable to ward off hunger-crazies? (Wait a second… I get totally illogical and angry when my bloodsugar is low… Is is possible that she…?)
5. Take care of yourself. Read a good book. Do something that marks your day that does not revolve around your time with Chicken. Don’t let that be the only barometer of how the day was.
6. Are there any changes at home that might be affecting her? (Well…maybe just one…)
I mean… isn’t that smart? None of it is rocket science. But I took all the advice to heart, applied it and…wow.
Here’s what I think it boiled down to, by and large: sleeping and eating. We nixed her naps, with the exception of maybe a 20 minute power nap. Bedtimes went from 2 hour ordeals to 5 minutes of halfhearted singing to herself before she falls asleep. I have been offering her cheese, peanut butter, and milk for snacks to keep her stomach full. And- would you believe it- a more leveled child has emerged. She has a fuse again. She can cope with some amount of “no” and disappointment.
We’re back to the normal tantruming here and there, but less of the dear-lord-when-did-the-devil-take-over-my-child sort of episodes. What a relief. And to think! If only I had thought to feed her more! And make sure she was sleeping more at night! So simple.
Motherhood: Showing me my ignorance and tendency toward oblivion, since 2008.
Reminds me of when she was a baby and we finally figured out why she kept waking up at night, after sleeping through the night for months. SHE WAS COLD.
Bless her poor, tired, hungry, cold little heart. I hope she survives, in spite of me.