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#1 of 50 Old 05-13-2011, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2yo DS is SCREAMING blue murder in the living, while I am locked into my bedroom.  He is SCREAMING b/c he broke the phone charger, and can't call his dad.  Umm....natural consequences, you break stuff you can't use it, and neither can mommy.

 

How long does this last?  He's been SCREAMING since we got home about one thing or another, and it just DOES.NOT.STOP.EVER.

 

I'm going to lose my mind. 

 

How do you stay empathetic to the way 2yo's feel when literally all they do is scream?  I seriously don't care anymore about why he's crying, b/c he's been crying for over an HOUR, about different things.  First, I put water in his sippy instead of milk (b/c he ASKED for WATER!), so he screamed for 30min.  Then, it took more than 5seconds to make a sandwich.  SCREAMED for 30min.  Now, its been 15min and counting of SCREAMING b/c the phone charger is broken and the phone is dead, so we can't call daddy.

 

Am I supposed to give a damn?  Cause I really don't.  I'm fed up with all the screaming, and seriously, he does this every.single.day.

 

To call him tempermental is the understatement of the CENTURY, and the screaming is making me want to jump out the window just to get away from it.

 

TG his dad is babysitting for a few hours tomorrow.  Oh yeah, but not screaming for daddy, b/c daddy gives him juice and ice cream, and ANYTHING he wants - I'm the BAD MOMMY that say's no to things like that.   

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Whats the secret to surviving the TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE GOD AWFUL HORRIBLE NO GOOD TWOS????????????????

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#2 of 50 Old 05-13-2011, 10:35 PM
 
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Are you really wanting ideas or just venting?  It feels like a vent, but if you do want ideas...

 

It sounds like your 2yo needs either more sleep, more regular food, or both.  It also sounds like leaving him to calm down on his own isn't working well, so he may need more support/scaffolding.  My DS calms much better with a snuggle.  My DS just needs someone else to be the calmness for him first.

 

I find if my child is upset about everything like that I generally put them to bed.  When all the world is so overwhelming that being upset about everything over and over keeps happening... it can't get any worse with a sleep.

 

HTH

 

Tjej

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#3 of 50 Old 05-13-2011, 11:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tjej View Post

Are you really wanting ideas or just venting?  It feels like a vent, but if you do want ideas...

 

It sounds like your 2yo needs either more sleep, more regular food, or both.  It also sounds like leaving him to calm down on his own isn't working well, so he may need more support/scaffolding.  My DS calms much better with a snuggle.  My DS just needs someone else to be the calmness for him first.

 

I find if my child is upset about everything like that I generally put them to bed.  When all the world is so overwhelming that being upset about everything over and over keeps happening... it can't get any worse with a sleep.

 

HTH

 

Tjej



I agree with this. What you are describing does not sound like a two-year-old to me (my son turned two in February). It sounds like a kid who is frustrated and exhausted.

 

If, as the pp suggested, you are just venting, then hug2.gif

 

However, this is nothing like my day-to-day experience with my two-year-old. I'll be curious to hear from other posters, because maybe it's just temperament?

 

Yes, my son can be stubborn, opinionated, and easily frustrated. For example, this evening I had to take a work-related phone call. My son loves to talk on the phone, so he was very upset and frustrated when he couldn't have the phone. I put the phone down, hugged him until he stopped crying, took him into his room, and showed him some toys. Then I went back to my phone call. Had I simply ignored him, walked in the other room, and shut the door, I'm sure he would have screamed.

 

Another thing that I have found that helps a lot is a very regular routine. We have regular bedtimes and naps. I know this isn't for everyone, but it makes a world of difference for us. We also have regular mealtimes. I try to avoid tantrums by making expectations clear. For example, my son loves juice, but only gets one cup of it first thing in the morning. The rest of the day it's water or milk only. He also has a sippy cup that only ever holds water, so there is no question when I go to fill it that I will be filling it with water. I put milk in a cup that has a lid and straw. He can drink from that or his sippy of water. That gives him some control and choice. I keep certain foods that he's allowed to eat available to him to avoid blood sugar crashes. He grazes on apple slices and almond butter, yogurt, etc. When I'm preparing lunch or supper I let him stand on a stool and watch and maybe give him some cups and spoons to play with.

 

I know that at his age he is incapable of controlling his impulsiveness (breaking things, etc.), so I keep things that he can destroy out of his reach. He pretty much has free range in the house, and if he can reach it it's ok for him to play with it. I honestly don't feel like he's old enough to understand consequences.

 

I don't mind messes during the day, and let him drag his toys all over the house, but at bedtime and naptime we pick everything up. I also give him a warning when there is going to be naptime or bedtime, and then we do a regular routine with stories, blanket, etc.

 

I am a full-time working mom and my house is pretty messy. I get stressed out. My life is not perfect. But I find daily life with my son to be relaxing and joyful. I don't see the twos as terrible at all. However, I am fully willing to accept the possibility that my son just has a different temperament or personality. I just wanted to offer a different perspective.


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#4 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 04:22 AM
 
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I had a high needs 2-year-old who had very long and frequent tantrums about stuff like that. You'll be happy to know she is now a dramatic and emotional but under control 9-year-old now. But you won't be happy to know that she was still having tantrums at 3. And 4.

How I handle tantrums is to briefly empathize, "You want to call daddy" and maybe name an emotion, "You're disappointed that you can't call daddy" and then let it go until they stop crying. If they feel heard, it might help the tantrum take less time and it might not, but it will at least put you and them on the same page, and will get them used to talking about emotions instead of living them. It will only make things worse if you say something like "we could call daddy but you broke the charger." They want connection with you and anything that puts you and them on different teams, so to speak, is just going to prolong things. So briefly empathize, say a few words, and then let them wear themselves out. Afterward, give lots of love.

Tantrums are a stage to endure, and for some kids are a development stage they seem to need to go through. The key is to make them productive as far as learning goes so they will get less frequent. I think connection, and naming emotions, help.

My little one doesn't have tantrums. Odd how all kids are different.

I agree to make sure he is well fed and rested as there will be more tantrums when tired and/or hungry, but your experience doesn't sound like it is necessarily due to that, based on my older daughter's temperament. Some kids are just more intense.
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#5 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post

Are you really wanting ideas or just venting?  It feels like a vent, but if you do want ideas...

 

It sounds like your 2yo needs either more sleep, more regular food, or both.  It also sounds like leaving him to calm down on his own isn't working well, so he may need more support/scaffolding.  My DS calms much better with a snuggle.  My DS just needs someone else to be the calmness for him first.

 

I find if my child is upset about everything like that I generally put them to bed.  When all the world is so overwhelming that being upset about everything over and over keeps happening... it can't get any worse with a sleep.

 

HTH

 

Tjej


I would LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE for him to sleep more.  LOVE IT.  But?  Nope.  Not happening.  He HATES HATES HATES to sleep.  He wakes up at 6am sharp every single day, refuses to go back to sleep, takes a short nap in the afternoon and goes to bed at 8pm.  Which is a HUGE fight.  He literally hates to sleep.

 

I WISH he would calm with a cuddle, but NOPE.  He doesn't want to be cuddled.  He says he does, and then screams and runs away.  He literally SCREAMS for 80% of our waking hours together (when we're home - at daycare he's a charming wonderful obedient non-screamer).

 

The only thing he'll eat?  PB&J.  He's eating one right now, at 7:20am, b/c I don't feel like making him 20things and having him refuse them all.  I seriously DESPISE having a 2yo.  He WILL NOT eat anything else - he'll say, "I want yogurt" and then I'll get him some yogurt, "I don't want that" and then refuses to eat it.  I've tried eating the same thing as him, but then he just doesn't eat (he's not underweight - he's a good sized kid but I'm not exactly sure of his weight right now), and then he's even WORSE. 

 

What do you feed the kid that refuses to eat?  Do I just make him 6 PB&J's every day?  I'm at a loss.  And its just me.  At his dad's house, he's perfect - but his dad also gives him everything he ever wants whenever he visits, and ADMITS to giving him things just to make him stop crying.  Which I feel like DESTROYS any chances I ever had at having a peaceful home.  Everytime I say "No" DS says, "I WANT DADDDYYYYYYYYYYY"  - Yup, I'm sure you do, daddy gives you every single thing you want regardless of whether you're crying/screaming/freaking out/making everyone miserable or not.

 

Here, he is expected to ask nicely, in a non-whiney voice for things that he wants.  When he whines and says it in a whiney voice I respond with "I need you to ask in your sweet voice" which is of course met with MORE SCREAMING.

 

What the HELL is WRONG WITH MY CHILD??????????  Is there something wrong?  Does he have some special needs?  Or is he just spoiled ROTTEN at his dad's house?  WTH is going on here???

 

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#6 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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I can't give a hug smiilie because I'm on my phone.

I would look for ways to minimize conflict. If that means PB&J 6 times a day, so be it. That's not going to do him lasting harm, especially since I suspect he eats different things at daycare. What I might try is to make the PB and then put a few other things out and tell him he can choose any of them or not. My kids' daycare served family style starting at 12 months, and I was always amazed at the way they could regulate what they wanted and the sense of autonomy they had.

Another thought, do you bring a snack for the way home? Fruit was often eaten by my picky kids in the car when they'd turn it down at home. I'd bring fruit and a cereal bar or crackers, and a water bottle.

I've got an intense child who tantrums a fair amount. It's worse when she's tired, hungry or hasn't had enough attention from me. I'm not sure she could have always asked politely at age 2. We would ask her to, but more along the lines of "is that the same as 'can I please have some milk?'" Not until my kids hit 3-4 did we start insisting on the polite voice before giving them things.

It also helps me to be in the mindset that I don't have to fix her problems or stop her from feeling mad, I just need to be there for her when she needs me. If I can remember that, I don't get so frustrated by the tantrums. My job is to be the oak tree that she whirls around in fury, and that she comes to for shelter. Alas, it's all too easy to get caught up in her whirlwind. When I get sucked in, then we both spin out of control and it's not a pretty sight. That's where good self care can give you the strength to be the oak. I don't know how you can get that as a single mom, but I suspect it's even more important for you because you can't hand off your son when you're at the end of your rope.

If it helps, my daughter will still cry for daddy when she's mad at me, and dh and I are very much together. What she means is "I am really mad at you and want comfort, but not from you mean person!"

Have you read Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's book 'Kids, parents and power struggles'? It was asuper helpful book for me

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#7 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I had a high needs 2-year-old who had very long and frequent tantrums about stuff like that. You'll be happy to know she is now a dramatic and emotional but under control 9-year-old now. But you won't be happy to know that she was still having tantrums at 3. And 4.

How I handle tantrums is to briefly empathize, "You want to call daddy" and maybe name an emotion, "You're disappointed that you can't call daddy" and then let it go until they stop crying. If they feel heard, it might help the tantrum take less time and it might not, but it will at least put you and them on the same page, and will get them used to talking about emotions instead of living them. It will only make things worse if you say something like "we could call daddy but you broke the charger." They want connection with you and anything that puts you and them on different teams, so to speak, is just going to prolong things. So briefly empathize, say a few words, and then let them wear themselves out. Afterward, give lots of love.

Tantrums are a stage to endure, and for some kids are a development stage they seem to need to go through. The key is to make them productive as far as learning goes so they will get less frequent. I think connection, and naming emotions, help.

My little one doesn't have tantrums. Odd how all kids are different.

I agree to make sure he is well fed and rested as there will be more tantrums when tired and/or hungry, but your experience doesn't sound like it is necessarily due to that, based on my older daughter's temperament. Some kids are just more intense.

 

This exactly . My first kid screamed all the time over everything and nothing for almost 2 and a half years. I don't regret trying everything to make things better, but I really wish someone would have told me that sometimes nothing "works". Some of 'em are just gonna be screamers.

 

My biggest survival secret was fencing in part of the front yard and making it totally toddler/preschooler-proof and turning the outside hose on "dribble" so he could play with water in cups and small buckets and mud and construction toys and cars by himself. It gave me a break. Also, the show "Little Bear" seemed to have a tranquilizing effect on him. lol.

 

Don't yell at or be otherwise "mean" to your kid. Putting yourself in time out in the bedroom/bathroom to get away from the screaming sometimes is fine and probably necessary. DON'T overthink whether or not your kid's incessant screaming is putting you in a bad mood, feeding/causing the kid's bad mood, etc (I drove myself NUTS wondering about that stuff back then, and in retrospect, it was futile.) Stay far, far away from all "Grand Theories of Parenting"/advice that assume it's possible to avoid power struggles. That stuff is great for kids like my kid #2, who is naturally mellow...but it was crazy-making with hyper-emotional kid #1.

 

Whenever you catch your kid NOT tantruming, take a picture. Physical proof that there actually ARE good times can help you get through the bad times.

 

 

 


 

 

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#8 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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SO much helpful stuff, I'm just going tp
 

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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I can't give a hug smiilie because I'm on my phone.

I would look for ways to minimize conflict. If that means PB&J 6 times a day, so be it. That's not going to do him lasting harm, especially since I suspect he eats different things at daycare. What I might try is to make the PB and then put a few other things out and tell him he can choose any of them or not. My kids' daycare served family style starting at 12 months, and I was always amazed at the way they could regulate what they wanted and the sense of autonomy they had.
Thanks, I always feel bad when I'm just feeding him the same thing over and over and over again.  He seriously would eat PB&J 6times a day on the weekends, which is crazy.  I do worry a little since his teacher at school says that he doesn't eat everything - mostly just fruits.  Which is good for him, no doubt, but its not protein and fat which he also needs.  I do worry about how to get protein and fat into him, b/c he's really picky about stuff like that.


Another thought, do you bring a snack for the way home? Fruit was often eaten by my picky kids in the car when they'd turn it down at home. I'd bring fruit and a cereal bar or crackers, and a water bottle.
His daycare is so awesome that they hand out apples and banana's every day, and he munches while we walk home.  The daycare is only 2 blocks away, so we walk every day - which is good for me and him I think

I've got an intense child who tantrums a fair amount. It's worse when she's tired, hungry or hasn't had enough attention from me. I'm not sure she could have always asked politely at age 2. We would ask her to, but more along the lines of "is that the same as 'can I please have some milk?'" Not until my kids hit 3-4 did we start insisting on the polite voice before giving them things.

It also helps me to be in the mindset that I don't have to fix her problems or stop her from feeling mad, I just need to be there for her when she needs me. If I can remember that, I don't get so frustrated by the tantrums. My job is to be the oak tree that she whirls around in fury, and that she comes to for shelter. Alas, it's all too easy to get caught up in her whirlwind. When I get sucked in, then we both spin out of control and it's not a pretty sight. That's where good self care can give you the strength to be the oak. I don't know how you can get that as a single mom, but I suspect it's even more important for you because you can't hand off your son when you're at the end of your rope.

If it helps, my daughter will still cry for daddy when she's mad at me, and dh and I are very much together. What she means is "I am really mad at you and want comfort, but not from you mean person!"

Have you read Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's book 'Kids, parents and power struggles'? It was asuper helpful book for me

 

I will have to get that book, and see what it says.  Thanks!
 

 

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#9 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My biggest survival secret was fencing in part of the front yard and making it totally toddler/preschooler-proof and turning the outside hose on "dribble" so he could play with water in cups and small buckets and mud and construction toys and cars by himself. It gave me a break. Also, the show "Little Bear" seemed to have a tranquilizing effect on him. lol.

 

Don't yell at or be otherwise "mean" to your kid. Putting yourself in time out in the bedroom/bathroom to get away from the screaming sometimes is fine and probably necessary. DON'T overthink whether or not your kid's incessant screaming is putting you in a bad mood, feeding/causing the kid's bad mood, etc (I drove myself NUTS wondering about that stuff back then, and in retrospect, it was futile.) Stay far, far away from all "Grand Theories of Parenting"/advice that assume it's possible to avoid power struggles. That stuff is great for kids like my kid #2, who is naturally mellow...but it was crazy-making with hyper-emotional kid #1.

 

Whenever you catch your kid NOT tantruming, take a picture. Physical proof that there actually ARE good times can help you get through the bad times.

 

 


I already do take pictures when he isn't tantruming, LOL!  One of my favorites right now is from when he put on his own sunglasses upside down, LOL.  It's a cute picture, unfortunately its on my phone so its not good quality (I don't have a cool iphone)

 

I'm going to have to check out "little bear" and see if its online - I don't have a TV, and we don't have a yard (apartment in NYC).

 

I wish I was one of those mom's that never yelled or got frustrated and was never mean.  I certainly don't want to be mean, I don't want to yell, but there are times when I just lose it.  I try really hard, it just doesn't happen all the time b/c he knows what buttons to push (like jumping on the bed which is a BIG no-no in my house).  Going into my room to give myself a time-out is almost worse than anything b/c then he freaks out that he can't get to me, and screams and bashes himself into the door - its not quiet, its not peaceful, and there is no break from the screaming. 

 

Keep the advice coming!!!  If nothing else, I like knowing that my kid isn't the only one that does this.  Today he's been doing very well though, right now he's playing with blocks, he played with his dad at the park for an hour while I taught swim lessons, and ate some gyro for lunch (just the insides, but I don't care!).  Maybe part of it is that he's super tired on the weeknights?

 

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#10 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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I can sooo sympathize. My 2 (soon to be 3 year old) is very similar. I find he reallllly enjoys seeing my (or anyone else ) get upset so I have to really control my reactions to what he does. On top of many tantrums a day he loves to bite and throw things. I am not great at controlling my reactions but I find all of the above are much more short lived if I stay very calm..which is not easy! I totally find myself saying things like "YOU broke the charger that's why you can't call your dad" but when I am thinking right I will react with empathy saying something like "the phone is broken and you must feel sad that you can't call daddy..sorry" and then offer hugs or sometimes begin to roughhouse with him...the second reaction shortens the tantrum significantly.

 

As for the food mine will eat noodles 24/7 and may only eat bites here and there of other things..one thing that does work though is to fix myself  something to eat and not offer him any...suddenly it's the most delicious thing in the world for him to eat even if he rejected it 2 min earlier. So I fix my food fully expecting he will eat most of it. shrug.gif

 

He is my fourth child with this temperament which is very hard for me because I am the laid back type who maybe had 1 tantrum as a kid. The best thing to remember is not to take what your kids do personally..when i take things personal I tend to get much more angry then if I remember that it is about something going on inside of him and what he needs is for me to guide him through it.

 

HTH some..especially to know you are not alone in having a child like this.


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#11 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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My oldest had a tendency to be like this.  It was hard.  I did eventually realize that it was a combination of sleep and nutrition (with a picky eater it feels like a bad cycle and you feel stuck.)  Once I did begin to get more nutrition into her it got a lot better.  I also needed to back her bedtime up to about 6pm. 

 

Now, she's a very cool preteen who is pretty dramatic and emotional, but is usually better at managing it. 

 

The phase you are describing started at two, and got immensely and overwhelmingly worst at three.  It was like a slap in the face when everyone had been telling me how much easier three would be- so be aware of and prepared for that possibility. 

 

In the meantime, choose your battles.  It sounds like you are saying no a lot, and the kid is frustrated.  Instead of making a sippy cup and having it be 'wrong'  have two made in the fridge and let him choose which one he wants. If he wants PB&J all. the. time. get creative with a variety of jellies and look for a variety of nut butters- put it on homemade bread and sneak extra nutrition into the bread when you bake it.  Create a yes environment. 

 

Also, I find it MUCH easier raising my two-nearly three year old with language delay and special needs than it was raising my apparently neurotypical oldest.  I didn't know then about sensory needs, and I didn't know how to play with the environment to meet her needs.  That is something to look into as well.  Does your son need a mellow  environment with muted light?  Does he do better with bright open spacces?  Does he need quiet, or is upbeat music a help?  Play with everything in his world until you find the right fit. 

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#12 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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Oh! I remembered something. Another thing that really helped my dd was having a breakfast based on protein (like eggs) rather than based on grain (like cereal). And she can not handle anything even slightly sweet in the morning - so no pancakes or muffins or fruit juice. Making that change affected her behavior not just in the morning, but all the day right through to bedtime.
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Oh! I remembered something. Another thing that really helped my dd was having a breakfast based on protein (like eggs) rather than based on grain (like cereal). And she can not handle anything even slightly sweet in the morning - so no pancakes or muffins or fruit juice. Making that change affected her behavior not just in the morning, but all the day right through to bedtime.


I would LOVE to give him protein based breakfast - but he refuses to eat eggs.  Of any kind.

 

Are there any other good protein based breakfasts that I could work into the morning???

 

insidevoice - I don't have time to do homemade bread, or the money to do different kinds of nut butters and things.  I wish I did, but its just too much.  Also, my ds is incredibly verbal - he easily has a vocabulary of 1,000+ words.  He talks more than any other child I know thats his age, and he understands abstract concepts (such as patience - he knows what the word means, and knows what being patient is, but certainly isn't able to be patient all the time).

 

And, right this moment, DS is eating PB&J # 2.  Life with a 2yo, somehow, I just don't get it.

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#14 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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The phase you are describing started at two, and got immensely and overwhelmingly worst at three.  It was like a slap in the face when everyone had been telling me how much easier three would be- so be aware of and prepared for that possibility. 

 



This was what I was thinking.  2 for us was hard, but it has stayed hard through 3, 4, 5, and now almost 6.  It's just a different kind of defiance as they get older.

 

It's been a while since I read it, but the book "The Challenging Child" has some good tips.

 

Is he like that at daycare?  Have you considered going to therapy with him in case he's having a hard time with the 2 separate households?

 

Has he been evaluated by a developmental professional?  Screaming like that doesn't sound normal or typical to me.  Have food intolerances been explored?


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#15 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 03:36 PM
 
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I would LOVE to give him protein based breakfast - but he refuses to eat eggs.  Of any kind.

 

Are there any other good protein based breakfasts that I could work into the morning???

 

insidevoice - I don't have time to do homemade bread, or the money to do different kinds of nut butters and things.  I wish I did, but its just too much.  Also, my ds is incredibly verbal - he easily has a vocabulary of 1,000+ words.  He talks more than any other child I know thats his age, and he understands abstract concepts (such as patience - he knows what the word means, and knows what being patient is, but certainly isn't able to be patient all the time).

 

And, right this moment, DS is eating PB&J # 2.  Life with a 2yo, somehow, I just don't get it.



Peanut butter has a ton of protein, so if that's what he's getting for breakfast, he's getting protein!

 


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I just want to commiserate with ya. I will echo the info that you don't want to hear about 3 (being the worst year for us) and 4 hasn't been a piece of cake either. We're heading into 5 and uh.. yeah not so great yet although it's a different sorta fun. lol

I also have to say that when we were finally able to get him to sleep a decent amount each night there is a marked difference in behavior. He has to have 11 hours - which sounds crazy that he sleeps that long since he was the kid that didn't STTN till close to 3. But if he has 10 1/2? He's mean, grumpy, and just no fun to be around. We played around a lot with bedtimes until we found one that worked. He had a window that was considerably earlier than we even imagined, we also just have resigned to the fact that the nighttime routine takes an hour now. 

 

I think you've got a lot of great advice so far. I like the analogy about being the tree that is the calm in the storm. Works like that for us too, the more I freak out the higher he goes. I have to concentrate on diffusing the situation and sometimes that means picking my battles. If it's not a hill I want to die on I stay off it, cause my DS thinks EVERY hill is one to die on. I think everyone in our family thinks we're just letting him get his way or he's controlling us but really and truly we're not. I just smile, shake my head and tell them that this kid is a difficult one to parent. When I find myself being grumpy, mean and short tempered at him I have to take a step back and just promise myself to be nice. That's what we tell him to do a lot and sometimes I need to be a better model for that. So if we're in a hurry and he decides to take the long way out of the car when I feel the urge to say hurry up!! I count to three and usually he's out of the car. I didn't need to hound him about it but wow he takes a boat load of patience! 

 

One more thing.. the anchor that got us through our rough year was laughter so the two sort of quotes I like best about those in the 3 age range are: Three is when you find out just how mad you can get and Reasoning with a 3 year old is like switching seats on the Titanic. :D Enjoy! 


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You've already gotten some good advice, but I just got done with age 3 with our youngest (of four kids; he just turned 4) and OMG, I would take a 2 yr old any day over a 3 yr old.  I know, not really helpful, but I think for the majority of kids, it gets worse before it gets better... so if you can find a way to make it work - even if it includes six PB&J's a day, it will save you a bit of sanity.  If anything, it doesn't improve drastically until age 5-6.  Reasoning with a typical 2 yr old is actually not near as frustrating as it is with an outspoken, opinionated, hard-headed, more resilient, bigger kid. 


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I second the idea of protein based breakfasts.  I can get DS to eat a minimum of 10g of protein a day with very little effort.

 

2 toaster waffles each with a tablespoon of peanut butter has 13 gm of protein.  Add a banana to that and you've got a pretty complete complete breakfast.

 

A smoothie with a handful of fruit and berries (I use a raw egg but you could also use powdered whites), a half a cup of greek yogurt, two tablespoons of protein powder drink for kids, a drizzle of honey, and a handful of ice cubes comes to about 15 grams of protein.

 

A PB and J sandwich with whole grain seeded bread can come to as much as 13 grams of peanut butter. 

 

You also need to let go of your idea of what it means to be a good mom when it comes to food (we all do). Between 2 and 4 I made more peanut butter and jam sandwiches than I can remember.  It was absurd,  But it's not totally unhealthy if he is also eating fruit throughout the day.  With this age group it is more important to look at the big picture rather than meal by meal,  he doesn't need three square meals in three different times of the day.  He needs a balance of protein fats and vitamins throughout the day.  So if he has six peanut butter and jam sandwiches (and you can get him to do so on whole grain bread) and three apples and a glass of milk (or if he's still nursing, even better) he's getting everything he needs.  Don't feel bad about it.

 

The less you push for him to try new things the sooner he will be excited to try new things, especially if you are always trying new things and raving about how excited you are to try them.

 

 My DH is yelling at me to come to dinner already so I will post more later.

 


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You also need to let go of your idea of what it means to be a good mom when it comes to food (we all do). Between 2 and 4 I made more peanut butter and jam sandwiches than I can remember.  It was absurd,  But it's not totally unhealthy if he is also eating fruit throughout the day.  With this age group it is more important to look at the big picture rather than meal by meal,  he doesn't need three square meals in three different times of the day.  He needs a balance of protein fats and vitamins throughout the day.  So if he has six peanut butter and jam sandwiches (and you can get him to do so on whole grain bread) and three apples and a glass of milk (or if he's still nursing, even better) he's getting everything he needs.  Don't feel bad about it.


 

Thanks, for your whole post, but mostly this.  He does eat whole grain bread - I buy the Arnolds brand wheat, and I try to get different kinds.  So one week it will be 12grain, then I'll try the honey wheat, and those are the only 2 that I can think of right now, but I always always get a dense yummy whole grain bread - I can't stand any other kind, and neither can his dad so thats the only bread he's ever had.

 

He will eat veggies (peas are his favorites, but I hate them) so I keep frozen ones to give to him, and I try to remember every day.  Sometimes it doesn't happen.  He's not still nursing - he self weaned basically on his 2nd birthday, although he did nurse a few times after that.

 

I'm not to keen on greek yogurt, but the first time I tried it, it was awful - which probably was b/c the yogurt may have been bad (I didn't check the date or anything) - any brand or type that is better than others?

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#20 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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Oh man, I can really, really relate. And I want to cry when I hear that 3 & 4 are WORSE. I cannot imagine a worse. DS was a really difficult baby and a difficult toddler and we had 2 or 3 great weeks right around his second birthday but overall 2 has been pretty bad too.

Luckily, my DS will eat just about anything (spicy Indian curries, Mexican with tabasco... no joke... I'm not sure he even has tastebuds lol.gif)

Other than that though, he sounds so much like your little guy (even down to the 'highly verbal' thing). He's always screaming, always mad... He says he wants X, you give him X, he SCREAMS, "I DIDN'T WANT X! I WANTED Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!" and melts down, and even if you do give in & give him Y, he just breaks down even further. I can't win with him. He is an angel when he's out though (well, most of the time!) mostly because he is terrified of 'loud noises' (which includes everything from far-off traffic noises to someone vacuuming a mile down the roud eyesroll.gif) but he really likes being out, ironically, so we spend tons and tons of time out of the house. I dread returning home because I know the minute we walk in the door (or even on the car ride home, since he wants to stay out) he will revert to the screaming... I can't take it. And throw in some pinching, hiting, and biting and I just want to run away & hide too... Fortunately (well, unfortunately really) DH was laid off so I almost always can just hand DS over & get some space. I'm terrified of DH finding a job bag.gif

So I guess I don't really have much advice since I obviously don't seem to have the ability to handle this myself either... Just get him out of the house if that helps... get breaks whenever you can... I will say that we are in the middle of an EI evaluation for DS, he has sensory problems and possibly other issues, and I wonder if that's something you'd want to consider with your DS as well? Maybe that's way off-base (not enough info in your post to know!) but just wanted to mention it.

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Is he like that at daycare?  Have you considered going to therapy with him in case he's having a hard time with the 2 separate households?

 

Has he been evaluated by a developmental professional?  Screaming like that doesn't sound normal or typical to me.  Have food intolerances been explored?



He's not at all the same at daycare as he is at home.  He is a complete angel, halo and all.  I get nothing but glowing reports from his teachers, who are wrapped around his little fingers, and who absolutely ADORE him.  He'll even stop screaming if he's upset in the elevator and someone else gets on.  Then they get off and he starts again.  It's ridiculous. 

 

I don't think he's having too hard a time with the 2 different houses, b/c on the weekends he does great (today has been amazing - he hung out at the park for a while with his dad, but other than that we've just had a very relaxing day at home watched some TV, and some cuddles.  And about 5 or 6 or 7 tantrums.  But they weren't the worst they've been - I almost wonder if the weekdays are just too long? And part of it is that he's tired? 

 

I wish I could put him to bed earlier during the week, but we don't even get home until 6:15pm, so bedtime isn't until 8pm - although 7:30 would be great, its just not really possible.

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Oh man, I can really, really relate. And I want to cry when I hear that 3 & 4 are WORSE. I cannot imagine a worse. DS was a really difficult baby and a difficult toddler and we had 2 or 3 great weeks right around his second birthday but overall 2 has been pretty bad too.
I know!!!!  ME TOO!  help.gif
Luckily, my DS will eat just about anything (spicy Indian curries, Mexican with tabasco... no joke... I'm not sure he even has tastebuds lol.gif)
 
This was my older brother - he bit off the top of a jalepeno pepper at 2yo and sucked out all the juice before my parents realized it.  They were horrified, until they realized he wanted MORE - and then I think they just had no clue what to think.  Everyone else is wimpy about spicy food in our family, so they didn't know what to think!

Other than that though, he sounds so much like your little guy (even down to the 'highly verbal' thing). He's always screaming, always mad... He says he wants X, you give him X, he SCREAMS, "I DIDN'T WANT X! I WANTED Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!" and melts down, and even if you do give in & give him Y, he just breaks down even further. I can't win with him. He is an angel when he's out though (well, most of the time!) mostly because he is terrified of 'loud noises' (which includes everything from far-off traffic noises to someone vacuuming a mile down the roud eyesroll.gif) but he really likes being out, ironically, so we spend tons and tons of time out of the house. I dread returning home because I know the minute we walk in the door (or even on the car ride home, since he wants to stay out) he will revert to the screaming... I can't take it. And throw in some pinching, hiting, and biting and I just want to run away & hide too... Fortunately (well, unfortunately really) DH was laid off so I almost always can just hand DS over & get some space. I'm terrified of DH finding a job bag.gif
 
I COMPLETELY understand!!!  I look forward to Thursday nights, b/c those are the nights DS is with his dad every week, and then every other weekend its a 3-day break!!  I can't wait till this Thursday.

So I guess I don't really have much advice since I obviously don't seem to have the ability to handle this myself either... Just get him out of the house if that helps... get breaks whenever you can... I will say that we are in the middle of an EI evaluation for DS, he has sensory problems and possibly other issues, and I wonder if that's something you'd want to consider with your DS as well? Maybe that's way off-base (not enough info in your post to know!) but just wanted to mention it.

 

I don't think DS has any sensory problems (he's pretty fearless, although more cautious than I was - which isn't saying much since I really was completely 100% fearless as a child), and he seems to be doing fine developmentally (although, I'm a first time mom so what do I know?), and other than the temper, he seems to be very typical.  I really hope it doesn't get worse, but my parents say that their easiest baby was the hardest teen, and the hardest baby was the easiest teen.  So maybe there is hope for when he's 15?
 

 

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I seriously have to say 3 ways waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy worse than 2.  way way way worse.  4 wasn't that great either.  


Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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Thanks, for your whole post, but mostly this.  He does eat whole grain bread - I buy the Arnolds brand wheat, and I try to get different kinds.  So one week it will be 12grain, then I'll try the honey wheat, and those are the only 2 that I can think of right now, but I always always get a dense yummy whole grain bread - I can't stand any other kind, and neither can his dad so thats the only bread he's ever had.

 

He will eat veggies (peas are his favorites, but I hate them) so I keep frozen ones to give to him, and I try to remember every day.  Sometimes it doesn't happen.  He's not still nursing - he self weaned basically on his 2nd birthday, although he did nurse a few times after that.

 

I'm not to keen on greek yogurt, but the first time I tried it, it was awful - which probably was b/c the yogurt may have been bad (I didn't check the date or anything) - any brand or type that is better than others?



Well I live in Colombia, so I just get the stuff at the healthfood market near my house.  I can look up the brand, but I don't think it will make much difference to you there.  Maybe some other moms can recommend one in the states?  You can also just buy plain yogurt and let it sit overnight in a sieve lined with cheese cloth resting over a bowl, weighted down with a plate and a couple tine cans to squeeze the excess water out and make a denser yogurt.  I used to do that in Costa Rica where they had no thick yogurts like I like.  It reduces the amount by about half.  So if you get one of those liter size tubs it reduces to about a cup and 1/2 maybe a little less.

 

Peas are a good veggie.  My DS also liked edemame at this age.  I told him they wre crocodile eggs.  I think he knows now that they are not, but telling him this made him really happy at the time.  He'd eat a cup of the beans in one sitting.

 

Okay...here is the rest of what I was going to say.

 

Hang in there.  This is just the beginning.  I personally thought 4.5 to 5 was by far the worst of all.  It was like this final hump of toddlerhood.  Now he is a sweetie pie, but man those were some tough years, and then just as he was really at a point where I thought he had words and control and calm to get through a day, he had this hormonal shift and was like a nightmare child. I was freaking out!

 

so yeah...it really might get worse, and three is not much better,

 

Here is what I read once and it really really helped me, but if you've never tried to live in a country where they don't speak your mother tongue it might not be a good analogy for you...but here goes anyway:

 

So being a toddler, the theory went, is sort of like being in a foreign country where you speak a little of the language and you understand a lot, but sometimes you have bad days where you can't seem to communicate your wants and needs, and when your needs are not being met this causes stress that increases the affective filter (a fancy term for it makes you forget stuff you already know and you KNOW you should know) which is a vicious cycle increasing the stress further (hence the beloved meltdown so popular with the 2-4 set.)

 

So for me this worked well because I remember when I was living in Vietnam and I had been taking lessons for about a year and I thought I was doing okay language wise and ready to hit the governmental office solo, and I went to mail a package, and it was hot and I had been up partying the night before and was a little hung over, hadn't eaten much for about 18 hours, but needed to send this package...suffice to say I found myself five hours later crying on the steps on the post office after having screamed my head off at several postal workers who were laughing at me because my rage over their apparently to them very logical system, and basic rules of sending packages trying to figure out what the rules were so I could just fing get my package sent to my nieces back home, and no one would help me, and everyone seemed very amused and all the vietnamese that I had spent countless hours learning and practicing just f-ing abandoned me!  I was like a blathering idiot and this only made them more confused and upset and unwilling to help me.

 

And when I read this piece of advice (I think it was in "the Happeiest Toddler on the block"?)  I thought back to that day and I thought to myself:  That is what the tantruming toddler is feeling, only multiply that times a much more (I'd like to think anyway) immature emotional development, and you've got a kid who just out of control, and needing help.

 

Remembering how I felt that day, defeated, unhappy, misunderstood, confused, frustrated, generally down about vietnam, I can empathize with my little ones when they are losing it.  I don't always have the patience to help them through it, but I try to at least have this perspective of understanding there are big feelings at play and try to minimize the factors that could be contributing to the effective filter to help them increase their word power, so I give them food, and cuddles, and drinks, and then more cuddles, until we can get to the bottom of what they need.

 

It must be frustrating not to have a co-parent who is on the same page.  Can you talk to him about reaching a place of consistency with him? As a child of divorce, I would say the biggest mistake my parents made in their divorce was using the breaking of dad's rules at Mom's house and vice versa as technique for winning loyalty from us...we were their kids, we were going to love them no matter how badly we wanted the ice cream for dinner. If there is any way you can get a sit down with him, make non-judgmental observations, tell him what you need and what actions specifically he could take to meet those needs, very CNVC, it would really be worth it.  For everyone.

 


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You should also check out Sleepless in America by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It sounds like he definiitely doesn't get enough sleep and there are a lot of ideas in there to help you deal with a sleep fighter. The difference was like night and day for my ds1 when he was finally getting enough sleep. Good luck mama!

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Yeah, you admit he isn't getting enough sleep.  I'd really focus on that and look for resources to help that.  Maybe start another thread in the sleeping/night time parenting section. 

 

When someone is crazy overtired there isn't really anything you can DO besides get them more sleep. 

 

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Yeah, you admit he isn't getting enough sleep.  I'd really focus on that and look for resources to help that.  Maybe start another thread in the sleeping/night time parenting section. 

 

When someone is crazy overtired there isn't really anything you can DO besides get them more sleep. 

 

Tjej


See, the big problem there is that he won't sleep.  And we get home at 6 if we're lucky, which means if I was going to put him to bed any earlier, I would have to start bedtime as soon as we got home - no time for dinner for either of us.

 

I've tried everything to get him to sleep, he just refuses.

 

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See, the big problem there is that he won't sleep. And we get home at 6 if we're lucky, which means if I was going to put him to bed any earlier, I would have to start bedtime as soon as we got home - no time for dinner for either of us.

I've tried everything to get him to sleep, he just refuses.


Hmm do you think he just misses you after not seeing you all day? So he wants to stay awake to spend time with you? Or maybe he needs a certain amount of wind-down time (or a certain amount of crazy-active time!) before he can settle down and sleep? What do you mean by 'he refuses'? What specifically does he do? Do you have a bedtime routine? What does it consist of?

Is there a way you could give him food on the way home so you could start bedtime earlier? And then you could eat once he's asleep? Or even shift your hours at work a bit, if that's remotely a possibility (I know often it's not, just an idea!)

If he's not having any other issues it really does sound like he's just way over-tired. Is he getting a nap at daycare? What time does he have to get up in the morning?
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I seriously have to say 3 ways waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy worse than 2.  way way way worse.  4 wasn't that great either.  


faint.gif Boy I hope your kiddo was an 'easy' baby/toddler that just made 3 & 4 seem worse by comparison. lol.gif No way can I take 2-3 more years of this -- I doubt the OP can either. Please be wrong!! lol.gif

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See, the big problem there is that he won't sleep. And we get home at 6 if we're lucky, which means if I was going to put him to bed any earlier, I would have to start bedtime as soon as we got home - no time for dinner for either of us.

 

I've tried everything to get him to sleep, he just refuses.

 




Hmm do you think he just misses you after not seeing you all day? So he wants to stay awake to spend time with you? Or maybe he needs a certain amount of wind-down time (or a certain amount of crazy-active time!) before he can settle down and sleep? What do you mean by 'he refuses'? What specifically does he do? Do you have a bedtime routine? What does it consist of?

 

We have a sort of bedtime routine.  We read a book, attempt peeing on the potty (this only happens if he asks to - I don't push it ever), brush teeth, and then lay down.  I turn on the fan now that its warm enough, and then leave the room to do dishes.  He cannot fall asleep with me in the room, it overstimulates him now, so generally when I leave he falls asleep.  Getting to the point of starting the bedtime routine is the hard part - he fights every diaper change (if he's poopy he tells me he wants to "sit in it" biglaugh.gif) and he takes forever to eat dinner.  I wish I could rearrange my work hours, but I work in a law office, so its not really possible.

Is there a way you could give him food on the way home so you could start bedtime earlier? And then you could eat once he's asleep? Or even shift your hours at work a bit, if that's remotely a possibility (I know often it's not, just an idea!)

 

Eating once he's asleep might work for me, but I'd have to make sure that I have a snack on the way home from work - otherwise my fuse is WAY too short after a crazy day at work/in court.  He does have either an apple or a banana on the way home from school, and we walk home which I think is good winding down time for him (its only 2 blocks, and I don't have a car).  That part seems fine, but then getting dinner ready once I'm home is harder - maybe some FAST recipes would be helpful?

If he's not having any other issues it really does sound like he's just way over-tired. Is he getting a nap at daycare? What time does he have to get up in the morning?

 

He does get a nap at daycare, generally from 1-3pm.  I think how late the nap is in the day makes it harder for him to go to bed earlier, but thats the routine so I can't change it.  Also, he doesn't have to get up until 7:30, but when he goes to bed too late he gets up at 6am shrug.gifI've been trying to get him to sleep later, cause that would go a LONG ways towards him getting enough sleep, but I think it could also be his 2yo molars, which don't seem to be terrible, but it could be making sleep more difficult.  I don't know, why don't they just come with detailed instructions like everything else?????

 

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Originally Posted by Sharlla View Post

I seriously have to say 3 ways waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy worse than 2.  way way way worse.  4 wasn't that great either.  




faint.gif Boy I hope your kiddo was an 'easy' baby/toddler that just made 3 & 4 seem worse by comparison. lol.gif No way can I take 2-3 more years of this -- I doubt the OP can either. Please be wrong!! lol.gif


 

Yeah, your'e right about that!!!  I'm going to DIE if this is what he's like until he's 5 or 6!!!

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#30 of 50 Old 05-15-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




See, the big problem there is that he won't sleep.  And we get home at 6 if we're lucky, which means if I was going to put him to bed any earlier, I would have to start bedtime as soon as we got home - no time for dinner for either of us.

 

I've tried everything to get him to sleep, he just refuses.

 



I had this problem with DS (not at two but at 5) and I realized it was just not working having him go to bed at 8 or 9 or even closer to 11 sometimes, so I started cooking on the weekend, or cooking double portions of things for leftover and even leaving aside my ideals a little and relying on frozen foods and take out during the week. 

 

I come home, I throw dinner in the microwave and we eat no later than 6:15 every day.  Bed by 7pm.  Stories and a song for 1 hour and then he has to stay in bed.  He usually falls asleep within 20 minutes,  I founf that we had dinner at 7 he wasn't just up for another hour, he would past the point of tired into overtired and then be impossible to get to sleep, just bouncing off the walls!  But if he went down at 6:30 or seven, he'd fall asleep within 20min.

 

You might think about getting a crockpot type thing to have dinner ready when you walk in the door.

 

There are other things I have ready about that encourage sleep hormone production, like sour cherries, and certain herbal teas.  The absolute best thing for us though was protein for breakfast.  You wouldn't think it would make a huge difference breakfast to bed time, but it really really did!

 


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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