I think my daughter has decided to jump into the Terrible Two’s about 6 months early.* This is what our morning looked like.
7:15 – Chloe woke up and snuggled dad while I got ready.
7:45 – Dad left for work while Chloe ate breakfast. Chloe wouldn’t touch anything but her banana and only got halfway through that before she wanted to be done. I convinced her to eat more while she sat on my lap. I thought I’d made it through the ‘rough portion’ of the morning.
8:05 – I got Chloe settled in her ‘boat’ – a cardboard box with the front cut out – in the dining room with a blanket and some books so I could pay some bills online. She immediately ran after me and wanted me to come sit next to her. I took her back over and explained that I’d be back in a minute when I was done. This worked for about 10 seconds before she ran over and started screaming and tugging at my legs to try to get me to move. After I explained again why I needed her to wait a few seconds, I let her scream while I finished up. (We’re working on patience. It’s not going well.) When I was done, I bent down and asked her what she needed. She continued to scream, then sob, for about 10 minutes. She didn’t want me to touch her, or even really talk to her during that time. When she finally calmed down, I gave her a hug and we played with the letters on the fridge.
8:25 – I asked Chloe if she’d like to take a bath. She said, “No!” I told her that it was okay if she didn’t want to take a bath at the moment, but she would need to take one in a few minutes. About 5 minutes later, I took her back to the bathroom and started running bath water and taking her pj’s off. That’s when tantrum #2 started. I tried to calm her down, it wasn’t working, so I took her into our room. We sat on the bed until she calmed down. When she climbed down, she made a beeline for our DVD player. She just can’t seem to stay away from the buttons on it.
8:40 – I knew she was about to get in trouble, so I reminded Chloe not to touch the buttons on the DVD player. I told her if she touched them, we’d have to leave the room. She walked up to the DVD player, raised her cute, chubby little arm and looked back over her shoulder at me while she pressed a button. So I picked her up and took her over to her room, closing the door to our room on the way out. This is when tantrum #3 started. She spent another 10 minutes crying, standing on tiptoes trying to open our bedroom door and generally wanting nothing to do with me. Finally, she took her monkey and blankets that I offered and snuggled down on the ground with them. She let me rub her back and she calmed down. We read a few books and we were both happy (for about 3 minutes :-))
9:05 – I had given up on the idea of a bath, but Chloe was half out of her pj’s at this point and it was time to get dressed. I think you can guess what happened next… I picked out her clothes, she wanted a different shirt, I said fine, and put it on. Then she wanted another shirt on top, her pants on her head and pretty much anything other than what I asked her to do, so the crying started all over again. It took some time and a few more tears, but she was eventually dressed from head to toe.
9:20 – It was time to get ready to go to the sitter’s. We put the dogs away and sat down on the couch to put on coats. Guess what?? Another tantrum. (Mom even joined in this time. I’ll admit, there was some yelling on my part.) After getting Chloe’s coat on and forcing her into her carseat, we both cried on the way down to the sitter’s. Then we dried our tears and went inside. Chloe was happy to see Miss Katy and Nya and ready to play. I said good-bye and Chloe ran after me and started whining because I was leaving. Seriously kid?!? Then I cried again, in my sitter’s living room. She kindly got me a tissue and let me vent.
Thankfully, this did not go on all day at Miss Katy’s. Luckily, our evening didn’t go like our morning did. I actually got giggles and hugs tonight. That, and a piece of chocolate cake at lunch, helped me recover from my emotional exhaustion from this morning!!
My question to you is, do you have any ideas for dealing with tantrums?? I don’t want to spend our mornings fighting over every little thing. I much prefer my little girl who gives hugs and I’m sure she prefers her mommy who doesn’t yell.
*In her defense we’ve had a lot going on the last week and a half. She’s been sick, away from home and spoiled my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. But still…