I’m all out, try again tomorrow

Of patience, that is.  I ran out today.

It started fine.  They’re starting to sleep slightly later (knock on everything), we had a fine morning.  They took a short AM nap, but that’s also fine.  We went to our Tuesday drop-in play space, and the parachute was a huge hit.  They ran back and forth underneath, tons of fun.

It started to go south at lunchtime.  I suppose they were hungry, since they had largely refused their snacks.  So there were hunger-related meltdowns.  Then, naptime, there was some unusual serious screaming.  Finally they went down, slept for a respectable amount of time.

Rebecca woke up crying.  Not a good thing. We came down, more picky snack stuff, Daniel didn’t want his milk or his graham cracker. An errand was nixed, as were my plans to play in the yard when I realized it was raining.  So we were inside.  And there was screaming.  And toy stealing.  And head-butting. And oh-my-god-more-screaming.

As much fun as this age is, and it really is, we’re also going through some annoying stuff.  Sudden toy posessiveness, quick to get frustrated, and the introduction of purposeful aggression (mostly Rebecca pushing or head-butting Daniel if he dares come within a three-foot radius of whatever she’s playing with).  I even put on the Sprout channel this afternoon, but that only held their attention for a short period of time.  Since they don’t generally watch much TV, it doesn’t seem all that interesting to them, I guess.  By about 4:30, I was just plain out of patience. Daniel was following me around, screaming.  Or sitting, and screaming.  Rebecca was bringing me book after book, but leaving after one page to get a new one, and going ape-shit if I didn’t immediately switch stories. Ugh.

On the one hand, I know this is a phase.  Kids go through cranky phases.  But it also suggested two needs for surviving this winter.  For one, we are going to need some real snowsuits and boots or something, because I cannot let a little thing like snow keep us inside.  Being cooped up for a single afternoon was enough to demonstrate that leaving the playroom is key for all of our sanity.

For another, it reminds me that I’m about to enter the age where I actually have to think about things like behavior and discipline.  They’re a little young, yet, but it’s coming.  Anyone have suggestions for techniques and/or books regarding the young toddler set?  I don’t know that they’re quite ready for time-outs and everything, but I feel as though it’s time to start reading up…

Perhaps tomorrow I will wake up with a new store of patience for the day.  And maybe it’ll even last through dinner.  I can hope.

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6 Comments

Filed under Child Development, Toddlers

6 responses to “I’m all out, try again tomorrow

  1. welcome to pre-verbal toddler hood. oh, the screaming. might check to see if those pesky fist year molars are working their way out (shudder).

    we had a big aggression problem at one and that is when i started time outs. i used a pack and play and told them why they needed to go there and that is was their time to ‘chill out’. now they know the words time out and listen when i tell them their actions might warrant one. it also seems to help them get their self together in time out, a little break from the action, so to speak.

    i will be checking back for other suggestions, i need all the help i can get here. want to cross post this at HDYDI?

  2. oh girl, i am right there with you. right there. it sounds like a lot like the way our bad days go around here too. and like you, i am also at a loss as to what to do about discipline…they are too young yet, but clearly need something in place! i just picked up a book and will let you know what i think when i find the time to get through it!

  3. We used a LOT of redirection and distraction when they were that age. We also did a modified time out, where we would sit them in our laps and tell them to take a break. Our day care did the same thing when redirection and distraction did not work.

    By 18 months, we were doing real time outs. And then around 26-27 months, we started 1-2-3 Magic.

    But definitely, definitely, definitely we could not make it an entire day in the house. They always reached a point (we call it fever pitch) of no return where everything spiralled out of control. We still find that today!

  4. We did the “immediately sit down” thing… and sometimes still do. I do this with Logan as well. If of of them does something not-so-good (like bite), I immediately plop them on their butt and say “No. We don’t ” It jars them enough to realize, hey – mom’s upset with that. And usually make’s ’em cry a bit…but it sometimes stops the behavior. (yep. only sometimes.)

  5. Jen

    hey.. wait.. is that TIM in arlington? we are there almost every monday during their open play. that’s where the big guy’s second birthday party will be.. we’ve got the run of the place.. yay!

    i’ll be freaked out if i can identify the play space just by the parachute, the floor mat and a few cones.. crazy…

  6. Liz, I am right there with you. Some days, I really wish I could just adjust the clock to 7:15 p.m. and put Jack to bed already! I swear, my ears are ringing with whining and with me saying “no” these days, since Jack’s favorite activities are hitting anyone and anything, pushing, swiping items off of shelves and throwing huge tantrums. What happened to our sweet children?? Sometimes I need multiple cups of coffee to survive the day. And forget meaningful teachable moments … I find that some days, in my effort to stop Jack from hurting himself or others, I don’t really speak much TO Jack!

    In terms of discipline, I use distraction a lot — saying “no” to Jack, along with a brief reason, and showing him something else to do. The other day I got a babycenter.com email about how to deal with the incessant whining, and so far it seems to be working: Getting down to Jack’s eye level and saying, “I can’t understand it when you whine. Can we talk like this?” If nothing else, it catches Jack’s attention that I’m looking into his eyes instead of down at him, and a few times, he’s actually pointed at what he wants, or just given me a little hug, and gone about his business.

    I’m definitely interested in your other readers’ tips, though, because I need to start disciplining more, too.

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