UGH - I swear Brynlee has to be the most difficult child on the planet. (in actuality, compared to G, any child would be difficult, but who's comparing?) I know I've posted about her extraordinary tantrums - where she holds her breath until she turns completely purple and then she makes herself vomit. It doesn't take much to evoke a tantrum either. She pretty much loses it anytime she doesn't get her way. For the most part, I try not to give her attention when she acts that way. I just make sure she is in a safe place with a towel nearby, and let her freak out - a tactic that works well during the day. But now she's having tantrums at night.
She wakes up screaming, usually right around 3:30 am, with her body rigid and fists clenched. And she screames with such a fury and rage that I have often wondered if she isn't being possessed. I wouldn't be suprised if her head turned around, just like in the Exorcist. At first when these episodes started happening, I assumed she was having night terrors. But the more I read about them, it really doesn't describe what she is doing. I'm convinced she's just having tantrums at night.
The problems with tantrums at 3:30 am, is that I don't know how to deal with them. Letting her "cry it out" doesn't really work when she wakes the entire house. Poor Daddy is working 2 jobs, and needs all the sleep he can get. And her screams upset Burton, who stands outside her door and barks. She's already had 3 of these episodes this week. Its turning our house into utter chaos. And Mommy is t-i-r-e-d!
Last night she woke up asking for a drink. So I went in with a cup of water, fully expecting her to drink and go right back to sleep. But she decided she was finished sleeping, and proceeded to scream for 10 minutes. I want to teach her she has to sleep at night, and that she must be in her own bed. But I was so frustrated with her last night that I caved. I picked her up out of bed, and took her out to the computer. We listened to Barbie Girl by Aqua on iTunes about 3 times before I convinced her it was time to go back to bed.
I just don't know what to do.
Then there is the issue of her beating up her big sister. She hits, pulls hair, yells, etc and poor Gracelin is too sweet to fight back. I've tried disciplining her every way I can think: time-outs, yelling, etc. Nothing gets through to her. She doesn't even seem to understand that she's in trouble. With G, I could yell or put her in time out, and she'd be completely devistated. Bryn doesn't even seem to care when she's sitting on the naughty bench - sometimes she laughs at me. One particularly bad day, after the 1000th time of Bryn pulling G's hair, I sat the girls on the couch next to each other. I told G that she had permission to pull her sister's hair, so show her that it hurts. With tears in her eyes, G looked up at me and said, "but mommy, I can't pull her hair. It will hurt". This from a girl that had a bald spot from having her hair pulled out.
I feel like I'm at my wit's end. The other day, I even did something I said I'd never do: I slapped her hand. Even that didn't faze her though - she looked at her hand, looked at me, and then LAUGHED! And I'd slapped hard enough to make her hand turn red. All it did was leave me feeling awful.
Ben and I have always said that we will never hit our kids. It stems from an experience we had when we were newly married, and living in our old neighborhood. We were having dinner at a neighbor's house (a neighbor who shall remain nameless, because any of my Jordan Meadows readers will know them). At the dinner table, the brother hit the sister. Nothing serious - just typical brother/sister stuff. But the dad pulled his arm back, and slapped the brother on the side of his head hard enough to make both Ben and I very uncomfortable, as he exclaimed "don't hit your sister". Waking back home that night, we discussed the hypocracy of teaching your children not to hit by hitting your children. I'd always known that I didn't want to hit my kids - that experience just solidified my opinion. (I'm not trying to condemn anyone for spanking, etc. I'm just saying its not for me).
At any rate, I'm out of ideas. I don't know how to teach Bryn to be well-behaved. Its almost as if she has no understanding of proper behavior. One minute she's a little angel, and the next she's the Spawn of Satan. So, moms of toddlers (or who have at one time been moms of toddlers) help me please! I need all the suggestions I can get on how to deal with her behavior before she turns into a monster.