Wild screaming while getting ready to go out - how to handle without TV? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-27-2005, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, my girls are now 20 months old (gasp - how on earth did that happen?). They love love love to go out - to the store, to the mall, to the zoo, you name it. They love riding in the car as long as the trip is not too long. They love exploring the places we go to.

What they hate with a passion is getting ready to go. The entire getting ready routine for all three of us could be done in 20 minutes, 30 max, were it not for the wild panicked screaming that just takes over the house when we are getting ready. They want to go out now. They want their shoes. They want to be carried. They want to nurse. They scream "ledy ledy ledey (ready ready ready)" over and over while pounding the door. You get the idea. :LOL

I understand fully that this is age appropriate. I consider it normal and do not regard it as a discipline problem or something I need to actively stop. I do, however, think I might handle the complex series of transitions we go through better so they don't panic so much. I mean, they really freak out! This means a really rattled mama is backing out the driveway and getting onto the local roadways. Not great!

Formerly (well very recently) my strategy would be to turn on PBS and let them be zombies until we were ready to walk out the door. That would usually at least keep one of them from having the attack of screaming, and as we twin moms know, you can do ANYTHING while holding one baby in your arm!!!! But I've cut waaaaay back on TV these days and while I see a huge huge huge improvement in our overall quality of life, I have yet to come up with a solution for these mornings from you know where. I don't want screamers or zombies. I would just like not to cause mass panic every morning! Yeesh! It's like Godzilla was let loose in the city, I swear!!!

Also - my sainted MIL wants to know if your 20 month olds lunge at everything in the grocery store as well. :LOL I expect the answer is yes but we'd both like to know how you keep them engaged and leave the store as clean as you found it.

Thanks! I know I could post this in Toddler and get more responses but I think I'm dealing with a twin dynamic here (correct me if I'm wrong) and only you mamas will understand that!
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#2 of 4 Old 05-27-2005, 02:07 PM
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Tee-hee, I totally understand what you mean about the twin dynamic!

Mine aren't quite 16 mos. yet, so you're on territory that I've yet to explore. However, I'm veeeery leery about taking mine to any kind of store. They're too restless to sit in the stroller or cart, and too curious to bypass all those tempting goodies - so I'd have to say, sounds normal to me.

One strategy that's been helpful to me & might apply to you -- mine hate diaper changes. Hate hate hate! So, to keep them from acting like deranged octopii, we sing the ABC song, or count in a singsongy way. This distracts them thoroughly & lets us work. Maybe you could add something like that to your routine? So that they associate the getting ready activities with a predictable period of time? "Now is when we get our shoes, get our shoes, get our shoes" etc?
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#3 of 4 Old 05-28-2005, 10:39 AM
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I can't give any good advice, but I can say you're not alone LOL. My girls are 27 months old now & getting out the door in the morning is ALWAYS a nightmare when I'm alone (on weekends when dh is there to help it's slightly easier but then we get all new arguments of "Daddy do it!" "No! Mommy do it!" etc etc etc. I've just accepted it as part of life right now. TV doesn't distract mine, if it did I think I'd go for that strategy LOL.

Grocery stores, etc. Most of our stores have the double carts & wide enough aisles that I can leave the cart in the middle of the aisle & they can't reach anything. For along time snacks were my main coping tactic in grocery stores. I'd just keep feeding them crackers or somesuch the whole time we shopped. Just recently (in the last couple months) they've started WANTING to shop. As in, given the choice of staying home w/ daddy or going shopping w/ me, they'll choose to come. Or if we're having a bad day at home I'll ask if they want to go shopping & they both cooperate quite nicely to get ready & go (the advantage here is I can say "you need to sit still so I can comb your hair or we're not going!" since we don't HAVE to go shopping right that minute). So now we do lots of talking on the way to the store about how they're going to have to sit nicely in the cart & not touch things & listen to mommy yadda yadda yadda. And if they don't the threat is that we'll go back home right now. We also do lots of our shopping at walmart (I know, I know, but it's cheap & convenient & right now that's my #1 priority) which currently has a whole row of tractors parked out front (lawnmower ones). So the added treat is, if they sit nicely in the cart, listen to mommy, etc. they get to ride the tractors when we're all done. So far there's been one time when Ashlyn refused to obey so she had to sit in the cart (screaming & crying) while Lexie "drove the tractors" since then I just have to mention not getting to ride the tractors & she settles down. But their "memory" has also gotten alot better just recently so reminding them of prior consequences works better now.

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#4 of 4 Old 05-28-2005, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses - as always, the best thing is just to know I'm not alone!!! :LOL

I had forgotten about the snacks in the store - I used to use that strategy and then didn't need it for a while, I think I'll try again.

As far as the wild screaming when getting ready, I've tried the singing thing (they sing along in panicked screaming voices while rocking back and forth or pounding on things and sobbing, it's REALLY disturbing). I've tried telling them the sequence of events. More screaming. Today I broke down and let them watch The Wiggles (preschool band from hell IMO but they loooooove it!) and as I said in my OP everything was ready in 20 minutes flat to walk out the door!!!!! Grrrrrrr......

I'm on a thread about eliminating TV, I think I'll post this there too and get some responses and I'll report back. Maybe we'll get some tips that help, other than "the thing that helps is for them to turn FIVE!" which is what I expect is actually the case... :LOL

Thanks again, keep those tips coming mamas!
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