My daughter just exhausted herself enough to pass out & is now sleeping with a frown & furrowed brow. She spent the previous 45 minutes throwing a raging, screaming, thrashing tantrum. This is happening more and more frequently & I'm seriously out of ideas on what to do because nothing seems to help - it's as if she just has to use up all her anger/frustration/whatever before she can stop. We've always been very AP, she still bf's, still co-sleeps, we try to give her as much say in her life as we possibly can, but I feel like where this helped us ace infancy with zero hardships we're failing toddlerhood.
Here's the story of today:
We needed to get out of the house. With freezing/below freezing temperatures lately it's turned into a battle to convince her to go, but our days are so much better when we do. Today she was seemingly on board with a walk. It was within an hour/2 hrs of when she usually takes her nap, so I figured if we timed it right she'd fall asleep, but she wasn't displaying any tiredness signs yet. She's been super clingy so I offered to wear her in the ERGO & she said she wanted to. The confrontation started when it was time to put on her leg warmers, sweater, coat, hat, etc. It really is cold here & she is terrible at the natural consequence thing of letting her go out w/out warm clothes and let her ask for them thing... she will only ask once she is way too cold (ie. starting to shiver violently & turning blue). So we do a combination of explaining/showing her how cold it actually is, reminding her why she needs them, and just putting them on her... today it worked with minimal fuss, but she wasn't happy.
The fit started when it was time to go in the ERGO. I got her in & we started walking, but nothing was right. She wanted her elbows in, then out, then in, then her butt was stuck, then her back was stuck, then she ripped her hat off & my Mom put it back on (Gramma was coming on our walk too) and that's when she really started flipping out with the screaming & thrashing. We'd gone only maybe 1/2 of a mile at that point, but I got her out of the ERGO b/c she was throwing herself up & backwards in an attempt to get out. She spent the next 10 minutes thrashing on the ground, throwing herself at me, then out of my arms, all the while screaming incoherently, but seemingly objecting to whatever it was I tried to do and then objecting if I did nothing too.
I finally got her to calm down in my arms by singing to her, but it was really cold & we either needed to keep walking or go home, so I gave her the choice. She wanted neither, she expressed the wish to just stand there and have me sing. I think at this point she wanted to fall asleep there with me holding her, but I can't just stand in the snow singing in definitely, she's heavy & it's cold. She absolutely did NOT want to be put down.
I tried again with the ERGO two more times, but it resulted in resuming the screaming. I tried to give her the choice of going home or getting in the ERGO & everytime she would just scream about not wanting to go home or not wanting to be in the ERGO. I finally just said since she couldn't make the choice I was making it for her and started to walk home, carrying her in my arms. She screamed & thrashed the entire way home. Once we were home she continued to scream/cry, throwing herself at the door, throwing herself around on the floor, trying to climb into my arms & then once there trying to hurt me and/or throwing herself towards the floor to get away from me.
I was trying my best to stay calm through it all, but it's hard. I lost my temper a few times and yelled back, but at least was able to regain my cool again pretty quickly. I tried to keep her from hurting herself, tried to figure out her screamed demands about singing/holding and acommodate them, told her over and over that I loved her & was there to help her when she was ready to calm down. She finally was able to articulate that she wanted to nurse & for me to sing to help her calm down, but she kept biting my breast, so I had to take it away and tried to just offer cuddles & kept singing. After another 15 minutes she just seemed to go limp and she was asleep.
I feel like I have zero tools to deal with this kind of thing, it really feels like rage. She's shaking with emotion, crying/screaming hysterically, trying to hurt me at the same time almost desperate for me to help her calm down. My Mom has no advice, since she says her three kids never did anything like it our lives. Our friends parent differently, I'm pretty sure their advice would be something involving spanking and/or putting her in a room and leaving.