I realize those photos are old. However, they do tell a story – and a timely one at that. See, we’ve been having some issues in our house lately. As in, oh my word, is my child possessed and are those sounds really coming out of my baby issues.
If I had a good picture of a recent tantrum, you’d better believe I’d post it. Perhaps from two nights ago, when she screamed and banged and hollered and slammed until nearly 2:00 in the morning. Or from the other morning, when Mark attempted to drop her off at daycare and she refused to walk in the door and even once she did, screamed and cried for a quarter hour under a table in her classroom. Or from the movie theater parking lot, after we saw Brave, when she screamed so loudly and dramatically as I tried to put her in my parents’ car (for her grandparent sleepover that she looks forward to every week) that it’s a wonder nobody called the police over a suspected kidnapping.
Believe it or not, though, these fits are so traumatic (For me. Not her. ME.) that picking up my camera never even crosses my mind. I wish I did have the energy to grab my camera during one of her now-epic fits. I’m pretty sure I’d get a tiny bit of glee out of how mad she’d get to see me do just that. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Mom of the Year.) But honestly, she’s just worn me down.
Worn. Me. Down.
I’m exhausted. Physically and emotionally, I am beyond tired of the tantrums my child is throwing. My mom (a teacher) made up worksheets for me to start recording some details surrounding Annalyn’s almost-daily meltdowns, hoping that we can figure out what the actual trigger is.
As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much ANYTHING.
Okay, fine. Telling her no sets her off. But so does trying to leave her anywhere (i.e., daycare, my parents’ house, her class at church). And, oh yeah, so do itchy bug bites. Yeah, those set her off, too.
And in case you’re thinking it’s my fault (is it? I don’t know. I don’t think so. Could it be?), I’m not in the habit of just giving in or letting her have her way. No, sir. And I’ve tried a variety of strategies for solving this problem.
I have ignored her and refused to engage.
I’ve yelled and screamed.
I’ve given natural consequences.
I’ve taken away her favorite toys and privileges.
I’ve kept my cool, and I’ve lost my temper.
I’ve tried everything I can think of.
So this morning I’m resorting to a visit to the pediatrician. I realize that crazy behavior issues can actually have lots of different physical causes, and I want to check out some of those possibilities.
Because up until the past few months, we’ve never had such major behavior problems with Annalyn. She’s strong-willed and independent, but overall, pretty obedient and teachable. Not so much these days. Now, granted, our family has had a whole lot of upheaval in the past few months, but this was actually starting before any of that began.
I told Mark and my mom that I’m not sure what scares me the most: hearing the pediatrician say that all this is normal and I just have to deal with it, or hearing her say that there’s something major going on that we may or may not be able to fix.
No matter what’s going on here, though, no matter what is causing my sweet baby to go full-on rage monster several times a week, I have no doubt that her lungs are completely and totally healthy.
(My ears, on the other hand? Still ringing.)
Any tips for dealing with a tantrum-throwing preschooler?