Monday, August 13, 2007

It is true what they say about redheads

What a "fun" weekend we've had with my sweet little Bryn. Notice that I put "fun" in quotes. Well, that is because its been an interesting weekend with my little girl. She's become quite assertive in expressing her strong will. At even the slightest inkling that she's about to not get her way, she dissolves into a fit of rage and fury that you'd have to see to believe. She's not afraid to assert her will by kicking, screaming, holding her breath until she's blue, biting, and making herself vomit - if she thinks that it will help her to ultimately get her way.

It came as quite a shock to me. G has never had a temper - she's been the easiest-going girl there is. I think she's had maybe 2 tantrums ever - and those could be chalked up to her being tired and/or hungry. I just don't know how to deal with this.

Yesterday I caught her playing in the water. She'd moved G's potty stool over to the sink, climbed up, and was sitting at the sink. When she saw me, she proudly exclaimed "hands!" and showed me that she was washing her hands. I helped her finish, dried things up, and lifted her down - which pissed her off. She flopped herself onto the floor and starting crying, and screaming, and wailing, and rolling around on the floor like she was dying a terrible, painful death.

I tried to reason with her, and quickly saw that she was in no mood to reason. So I picked her up to carry her to her room. On the way there, she arched her back, pinched my cheeks, pulled my hair, and tried to head-butt me. She was doing anything she could to express to me that she was unhappy with the situation - and read that message loud and clear - literally. I laid her on a blanket on the floor of her room (I don't want her to associate her crib with negative feelings, so I avoid it as a punishment). I again tried to calm her on the floor. She briefly settled as I wiped her face, but she started screaming. G came in, as did Ben. All three of us tried to cajole her by patting her back, singing songs, etc. She simply rolled under her crib, and pulled down the ruffle so she was hidden.

So, we left the room.

She continued screaming for about 10 minutes, but then eventually she came down the hall carrying her blanket. I picked her up, and she buried her face into me. She cuddled for a very long time, and the was perfectly fine the rest of the day.

I just don't know what to do with my baby. She's barely 18 months old - what will this be like when she's in the "terrible two's"? I may just have to sell her to the gypsies.

13 comments:

Kristina said...

That's just like my Lochlan-Bug!! Whenever he doesn't get his way he completely loses it. All we do is walk away. We put him in his room, tell him that when he's ready to calm down and listen then we'll come get him. Then he just shrieks and screams and thrashes and hits until he works through it. I find that once he's in temper mode you can't reason with him and any attention you give really just fuels the tantrum even more. So we ignore him! Once we started really ignoring his tantrums they stopped happening so often. Good Luck! TTYL

Megan said...

She sounds more like a typical child of her age (Sorry, it's true. But you got lucky the 1st time around!)I think 18 months is when they start to get really mean & the tantrums begin. We started doing time outs around 20 months & Hannah is the queen of fits as well. She knows that she gets to go to her room to throw her fit & can come out when she is finished. So when a fit begins I tell her she can go to her room (she usually says no, so I take her in there.) I leave her there where she kicks & screams & spits, but I don't give her any attention, because that is what she is seeking. After she is finished she yells to tell me she is all finished & then I go to her & tell her she needs to say sorry to me for throwing a fit & to anyone else who had to view it. This is pretty effective for us. We also have a couple of sayings: "You get what you get, & you don't throw a fit!" and "What does throwing a fit get you?" "Nothing!"
Sorry I can't tell you there is some magic trick to make it all go away, but that is my advice & what works for us! Good luck!!

Jess T said...

Ha ha ha! Don't sell her! :)

Tiburon said...

Christie - I have to say that all my kids started the "terrible two's" at about 18 months. I feel your pain!!

Oh, and I emailed you the info about class :)

Angie said...

I always said that my son went through the terible "twos" from about 16 - 20 months of age. Now he is two and half and much less prone to tantrums.

I feel your pain. Hang in there!

Elizabeth S TLOL said...

Sounds to me that you know EXACTLY what to do with your baby! Ignore it! You tried consoling and redirecting and sometimes they just have to work it out (under their crib even...too funny!) alone. Evy has the temper and does some of the same things as far as flinging herself and having a tanturm if I stop a fun/dangerous activity. She has recently started to try and smack at me, but I don't tolerate that for one single second, so it hasn't been a big issue yet. While I don't "spank" yet, I do smack hands, but feel that in regards to hitting mommy, mommy might not want to smack back, so I just use a very stern voice. Ah well.....our girls are the same ages and I am sure that I will relate to alot of what Miss Bryn does to her Mama!!

Everyday Superhero said...

I have SO been there. With twins. I agree with what everyone else has been saying. Ignore, ignore, ignore.

While I have never taken my kids to their rooms to wait out a tantrum, I can understand that it would be effective. I ask what is wrong (ha ha, like they are going to tell me when they are screaming), ask if they want a hug (more screaming ensues) and then walk away. The first handful of times I felt terrible leaving my child to deal with emotions he obviously couldn't understand and manage. But, seriously? Guilt passes quickly once you realize how much less frequent and less intense tantrums are when they are ignored.

Good luck. I've had two (the twins) tantrumers, but my 18 month old is a sweet as anything. But I'm not holding my the-terrible-twos-could-start-at-any-time breath!

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