please help me, I have had a horrible week with dd (and it's only Wednesday!) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday I went to Lowe's with my 2 girls, age 3-1/2 and 11. I was looking at vinyl floor tiles and discussing them with older dd and Poof! the 3 year old was gone. My back was turned for *seconds*. I stopped a store employee and the store was locked down while we found dd. She was hiding behind the giant rolls of carpet padding, right behind where we were standing. She KNEW we were looking for her and she was hiding on purpose. The only reason I found her was because I could hear a rustling sound back there as she was digging her way in deeper.

Then today at Publix (grocery store) she was begging for a bag of m+m's. It was 7pm, we'd already had dinner and a small ice cream, I said No. As I was paying she grabbed a bag of them and RAN OUT THE DOOR. I barely caught her on the threshold of the store. I had to carry her SHRIEKING back into the store to grab my cart and receipt. Then we got to the minivan, I opened up the back of the van, put her in and told her to get into her car seat. Only the back of the van was open (we only keep the 2nd row of seats in there so she didn't have to climb over seats or anything, just walk to her car seat and get in) I turned around to get a bag of groceries out of the shopping cart and she HOPPED OUT OF THE VAN and RAN AWAY. I had to *sprint* after her to catch her, in a busy parking lot, and she still got about 5 parking spaces away. I grabbed the back of her dress, tripped, and we both hit the asphalt.

I skinned the palm of my right hand, ripped the knee out of my jeans and skinned my knee, and there is something wrong with my right wrist now. She hit her forehead on the asphalt and has a goose egg there now. The whole time I was catching her she was shrieking at the TOP OF HER LUNGS, 'I want to go in Pugwix! I want CANDY!' I lugged her back to the van, blood running down my leg, and had to hold her down while I put her in her car seat and strapped her in. I was shaking. I felt like I would vomit.

I don't know what I should do. Should I stop taking her out in public? What should I have done in the moment? What I did tonight was walk around to the back of my van and just sit there and shake for a couple of minutes, while she was STILL shrieking, until I felt I could drive us home. Yesterday when I found her I scooped her up and started bawling. I don't know what to do. It seems like there is some horrible incident like this way too often.

My dh is a wonderful dad but he is gone about 25% of the time traveling for work, plus he works full time when he IS home. I can't always just wait for him to get home.

It doesn't seem like there are good cues to let me know something like this is going to happen, either. For instance, yesterday at Lowe's she wasn't hungry, or tired, or anything that I can understand, except not getting my full attention. Ditto tonight.

I just can't accept this kind of incident...I need to know what I am doing wrong here. I've turned both events over in my mind and I don't see what I could have done differently that would have been ok with me...ignoring dd1 to give dd2 my constant undivided attention isn't fair...letting her just have the damn candy tonight wasn't either.
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#2 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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First, s hang in, you are doing great.
Second, I totally get whee you are coming from, my dh is gone 12-13 hours daily and just got back a year ago from a 16 month deployment.

When my ds started (and continued) to run, shriek, scream, grab stuff off shelves) I started putting him in the stroller strapped in snugly, EVERYTIME WE GOT OUT OF THE CAR.

I think for us consistency hs been the key. Now that he has seen that he can't run off he's getting better about sticking w/ me. Additionally, when we are out if he throws a fit, runs etc & he's, now, not in the stroller he's put in, another freakout that he cannot control, we go home.

It only took a couple weeks of stroller time to express how important staying w/ me is.

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#3 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 02:14 AM
 
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I agree, you're not doing anything wrong at all. I have what I consider to be a VERY responsible three and a half year old. She's very careful, very cautious in public, and almost always follows the rules. Almost always. Sometimes she does stuff like this, too, and it scares the daylights out of me because I'm always going around trusting her and chasing her brother. I don't know what gets into her!

But if it's a recurrent problem, maybe you should try a harness? I've never used one, but for places like Lowe's, it might help. Or put her in the cart and bring a little toy like a Magna-doodle or something. Can your 11 year old help? Or did you mean 11 month old?

Honestly, the incident at the grocery store also sounded like something my dd would do when she was over-tired. Her self-control is nil when she's doesn't get enough sleep. Do you think she's getting enough sleep?

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#4 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 03:02 AM
 
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Hmmm, maybe you need a couple more.... and

I really don't have any advice for ya, but if it helps any, I think you handled it quite well!
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#5 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 04:15 AM
 
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that sounds absolutely terrifying - i cant imagine how stresful your week has been so far

it sounds like she is having some real impulse control issues right now.

if my 3yo was doing this i would make sure that he strapped into a buggy (stroller) when we were out for at least a week or so until my heart stopped pounding ever time i left the house with him. i would give him absolutely no freedom to run at all, straight from buggy to car seat - strapped in by me immidiately.

i think not going out is not fair for you, i would just make good use of every contraption i have to restrain him till i felt brave enough to start experimenting with a bit more freedom

it may sound harsh but i feel when dealing safety issues that keeping them in one piece and keeping me from having a nervous breakdown comes first

a million for you
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#6 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 05:23 AM
 
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I'm also having problems with my 4 1/2 year old daughter. She throws fits and screams from the bottom of her lungs over and over again. It doesn't matter where we are and who knows what will set her off. It's embarrasing that the neighbor lady comes over to "visit" and I know she's feeling me out to see if I abuse the kids because of my daughter's screaming. I'm sure she can hear the screaming but can't make out the words because we speak another language. My daughter was screaming "Coffee, Coffee!!" the other day and I could not make her stop. Even leaving her alone didn't help....crazy!

She does this often where she decides that she wants something that she can't have, so she just screams it over and over again...that one word and nothing can make her stop. Sometimes, I just hold her while she screams and then she just crashes into my arms, sticks her thumb into her mouth and goes to sleep. I have spanked her for it in the past and it's made it even worse, so I had to really search for tools to handle it. So far, sitting down and rocking her is all I can do and it seems to work (past 2 times) We're really trying to discipline gently and have put it mostly into place. We're a work in progress, obviously.

My MIL thinks that she throws fits because I "let her push too far" but my MIL doesn't realize that I let her go further because she is so quick to have a meltdown...not that she has meltdowns because I'm too lenient....argh, inlaws. It's pretty sad when you're so out of tools that you have to ask your MIL for advice!LOL My mil pushes her to do things her way, like put on boots when she wants tennis shoes and then I have to deal with the fact that my daughter will never again put on those expensive boots just because they were forced onto her once by MIL.

Anyway, that's my story, hope it helps You're sooo not alone. I hope you feel better and nothing's too damaged by your fall. I can totally feel your frustration in your post. Sometimes, just writing it all down here makes us really "see" what's going on so we can deal with it.
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#7 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 09:24 AM
 
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Could a part of the problem be the time of the year? The holidays increase tension all around, there is a lot of focus on kids, candy, presents, demands, etc. everywhere you look. Also, public places are so much more hectic this time of year.
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#8 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 10:18 AM
 
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Ugh. OMG. I am soo soo soo sorry that you had to go through that!!! I suggest feven for short term if you are not comfy with strollers to at least try it and see if she begins to understand she cannot run all over and cause you so much strife. Just be careful if she rebels of being strapped in. DD was like that once and I had to physicall restrain her while DH strapped her in. (We were going out to the mall for clothes for her and she is a terror if we let her go without the stroller)

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#9 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much everyone for your replies...I think the people who mentioned that 3 year olds don't have much self control have hit it on the head. Maybe I am expecting too much of her. I am just going to try to REALLY limit trips out of the house besides going to the playground until after the holidays. If that means we're eating brown rice and veggies again for the 5th day in a row because dh is out of town and I can't go back to the grocery...so be it...it will be good for us anyway. Now that I've slept on it, I am feeling sympathetic towards her and not angry. I wish I hadn't gotten so beat up in the parking lot...my wrist and knee are both visibly swollen! But when I woke up this morning I looked over at her and her goose egg is huge. I bet her little head hurts too. It's not like this was her intent. She is a sweet little thing most of the time and I think that's why I am expecting more of her than she's able to give all the time.
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#10 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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i am sorry your feeling so battered, but i am glad yoou are feeling better otherwise

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#11 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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you deserve the biggest hug ever!!
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#12 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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A grocery store suggestion, based on my childhood experience.

My sister and I are 9 years apart, like your DDs. My mother took us to the grocery store every Thursday night, when my dad was out of town. It was a girls night out for us. Mom and I split the list and each went our separate ways. I took all the items that were related to coupons - I loved figuring out if we were getting the right items. I also took my sister, who was about 2-4 at the time. She helped organize the items in the cart while I pushed her around.

Can your 11-year-old help be responsible for the younger one while you're in the grocery store?

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#13 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
Could a part of the problem be the time of the year? The holidays increase tension all around, there is a lot of focus on kids, candy, presents, demands, etc. everywhere you look. Also, public places are so much more hectic this time of year.
No kidding! We've had to go out at least once every day, we're getting ready for Christmas and a baby, and it's sooooo stressful. It's wearing out my three year old, that's for sure.

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#14 of 18 Old 12-14-2006, 08:46 PM
 
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I was also wondering if your 11 year old could help out more, like holding her hand, or pushing her in the stroller or something. Not that you should leave her totally in the care of an 11 year old, but I bet she could be a big help!



This sounds really stressful and like something my DD would TOTALLY do!
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#15 of 18 Old 12-15-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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sorry mama! it is a crazy time of the year as pp's have said, but I had this problem with my dd for a little while and finally just told her that she had to choose...hold my hand or ride in the stroller/cart. That was after some heart-stopping incidents like yours. I also gave the choice (if she was freaking out) to hold my hand or be carried, meaning there is NOT a choice of just going for it. We did that in public every time for most of a year, and finally now (almost 4) I have let her walk without holding a hand if we are in a store. I really think that 3 is just a time of serious testing of limits! anyway, hang in there mama, and I'm so sorry you both got hurt.
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#16 of 18 Old 12-15-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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My son did that once in Target. He started running, and I was going as fast as I could behind him .. he was too fast for me and got out the front doors and started running across the street and down the parking lot! I was terrified, and I'm not sure I would have caught him, but a man getting out of his car ran out and stopped my son. I swear, I'm shaking typing this, I was soooo scared.

My son saw how scared and upset I was and was crying. In a calmer moment, I explained how dangerous that was, and that I would have to hold his hand, and strap him into the cart for awhile for his safety. He really didn't like that (he was 3 at the time) and I explained how he has to stay right with me, etc and when he felt he was ready, I'd give him a chance. He told me he was ready, and has stayed with me ever since.

If I were you, I'd constantly hold her hand, strap her into her carseat, and keep her strapped into the cart until she is able to stay with you.

Sorry, I know how scary it is to have them run away.

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#17 of 18 Old 12-15-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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PJmama, you did a great job! When I get physically hurt, it unleashes a flood of feelings and it's really hard not to yell and blame. I hope you're healing.

I agree with pp's that 3.5 is an age of little to no impulse control!
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#18 of 18 Old 12-15-2006, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
Can your 11-year-old help be responsible for the younger one while you're in the grocery store?
My 11 year old *does* help me out with the 3 year old. However, when things like this happen, if *I* could not prevent them, what the heck is she supposed to have done? She was with us during both of these incidents and I think they left HER more shaken than they did me.

The suggestions to strap her in wherever we are going sound like what is going to have to happen...she is a very spirited little girl and high energy, I know how this is going to go over with her! I can't risk her safety but I don't want to crush her spirit either. It is hard for me to know where the line is between taming her enough for her own safety, and completely squashing her spirit falls. My first dd was nothing like this at 3. She was very easy, she would stay with me and never stopped my heart doing things like this one does! Sometimes I feel like a first time mom because of the differences in their temperaments!
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