Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Armageddon is close...

I'm done, you guys.  I'm giving up.  I don't know what else I can do in these TRYING TIMES!  I can NOT handle any more.  I'm serious.

I'm been slacking on blogging a bit and that is because on top of getting things ready for the Home & Garden Show, and wrapping up a few photo shoots, I am running on no sleep.  Last week (or was it the week before?), I begged for your help with my WONDERFUL three-year-old and her not-so-wonderful bedtime routine.  You guys were awesome!  I ordered the book that was recommended and tried a new approach to bedtime.  We've decided that at bedtime, Taylor is having separation anxiety.  Apparently this is very common with kids her age.  I've solved the problem by tucking her into bed, showing her where five minutes is on the clock and promising to come check on her, and then after five minutes has passed, I go to her room and sit on her floor to read my book.  Taylor knows that I will be back.  She knows that I will stay with her until she falls asleep (usually takes 5-10 minutes).  Our one rule is, she must lay down with her eyes closed or I will leave the room.  It has been working without a fault!  Yes, it may be what some would call a "bad habit" when it comes to bedtime, but I don't care.  If she needs someone in there with her, I'm all for it.  Five to ten minutes sitting on her floor, reading quietly to myself, is much more enjoyable that an hour of yelling and fighting.  I win.

There is one problem.  Taylor wakes up in the night, too.  She has been waking up and calling for me every night, usually around 2-3 a.m.  A couple of times, I've sat on her floor for a few minutes until she fell back asleep.  Some times were longer than others.  She would have a hard time falling asleep, so I would grab a pillow and blanket, and camp out in her room.  When she was softly snoring, I headed back to my bed for another hour or two of sleep.  A couple of times, I had her come to my room and sleep on the floor.  Whatever it took to get bot of us back to sleep as quickly as possible.  It sucks, I'm not gonna lie.  I have had enough of the broken nights.

BUT, waking up in the night and then going right back to sleep is WAY better than the situation we had last night.  Taylor woke up at 3 a.m.  I did as I usually do; went into her room and tried to get her to lay down.  I offered to sit on her floor... NOPE.  She would rather pout.  No big deal, right?  WRONG.  In Taylor, pouting is only a lead into a full-blown tantrum.  So I stood there.  Wait for it... wait for it... WWWAAAAAAHHHHHHH AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!  There it is!  I held her and calmed her down, trying to get to the root of the problem.  Last night, it was "wonky socks."  One little twisted sock totally wrecked her universe.  I tried to fix said sock.  No go.  I tried convincing her to take the blasted sock off.  Nope.  Change socks?  Ain't happening.  After an hour, she ended up coming into our room to sleep on the floor... and toss and turn for the rest of the night because of that stupid sock... or whatever reason.  It sucked.  I'm tired.

Tantrums are the worst.  People talk about tantrums and other people are like, "yeah, that must be inconvenient."  Or, "why don't you just give her a little spanking?"  Or, "Just give her what she wants, she'll stop."  Easier said than done, people.  Taylor's tantrums have the touchiest little trigger.  ANYTHING can set her off.  There is NO off switch.  She may start a tantrum because of a wonky sock, but fixing the dumb sock will NOT end the tantrum.  Nothing... not spanking, giving in, ignoring, NOTHING stops a tantrum.

Last week, Mike's mom picked Taylor up from daycare.  For one reason or another, Taylor started in.  Karen had heard us complaining about the tantrums, but had yet to experience one.  Sure, she had seen Taylor drop to the floor and pout, but she was finally able to get the full experience.  I went to pick both girls up at Karen's house that evening after work.  I walk in and BAM.  WWWAAAAAAHHHHHHH AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!  She was writhing on the floor, kicking and screaming.  From what I could get out of her, it had something to do with fishy crackers.  I had to fight to get her coat on, only to have her throw it off.  I had to fight to get her shoes on, only to have her kick them off.  I finally decided to just put her in the car sans coat and shoes.  We only live down the street from Karen's house.  It's seriously a 30-second drive.  I did my best to strap Taylor into her seat while she did her best to fight me, arching her back and kicking her legs.  In that 30-second drive, Taylor managed to slide her way out of her seat belt and climb into the front seat.  When we got out of the car, she was arching her back and sliding out of my arms, still screaming. It was NOT fun.

This has been happening daily.  Not always to that extent, but still happening.  You all helped me with my bedtime problems so I am counting on your advice with the tantrums.  I know it is just her age and that everyone goes through it.  But help me cope with getting through it because it is seriously breaking me.  I'm frustrated.  I'm tired.  I'm just done.  Help.

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Abbey said...

oh yuck. so sorry. i have nothing to offer except my sympathy. :(

Ronda C. said...

First it will get better, you have to believe that. Second, is there an outside influence that might be causing stress?
We had a situation with my son that sounds very similar. For 6 months something as simple as a broken cracker would throw my son (then 3) into a massive screaming insane episode. He would only eat pb&j for meals 3x a day, and other type behavior. Daycare had us send him to test for autism and other things, I took him to counseling and almost quit my job because of stress. Turns out he was having daily power/control issues with his daycare teacher and was stressed out himself (and yeah, I had to figure this out myself, the counseling consisted of blaming me, the mom for not disciplining him, yet my daughter was having no issues). We simply changed schools with him and gradually he became his normal self again. My feeling was that he being stressed out in one area began to NEED to control the areas he could in order to function, ie. no broken crackers ect. I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, I hope you can figure all this out for your family too. Just know that others have gone through and lived through to see better days. My son is 7 now and has no recollection of that miserable time whatsoever.

Angela said...

I am sososo sorry. It sounds just horrible. I can't even stand whining in my classroom. Tantrums? No way, man. I'm out! I commend you for the immense patience you have to have and show to get through these times. It's just. so. draining. Hugs.

Laura said...

I have a child with "tantrums" from the touchiest little triggers as well. Sometimes I can see them coming and divert her before it happens and sometimes I can't. But that's the "trick" I think. Diversion.

You can use anything really, like if the tv is on: oh my goodness! did you see that? it's so cool! it's so neat! it sparkles! look at that! that dog is so funny! etc, until she's paying attention to the tv and no longer having a tantrum.

Sometimes just being convincing enough that what they are upset about (in a non-condescending way) isn't a big deal and you guys can fix it or solve it together.. and it will be fine.

I also use the term "pick your battles" when it comes to this child of mine. Cus whatever the "battle" is, sometimes it isn't the battle I choose to fight.. and I let it go.

Does it work all the time? No. Does it work more than it doesn't? Yes. For me, it works WAY more than spanking, punishments, yelling, etc. And there is no "giving in", there's nothing to give in TO. It's not about the trigger.. usually the trigger is just the trigger.. they were already there.. on the edge of that tantrum.

Hope that helps. Good luck.