3.19.2012

This Little Man Right Here...




Oh the tantrums lately. They've been epic and difficult and frequent and exhausting. We never experienced the terrible twos or threes. But four is difficult already, and he isn't even four yet ;).

I think it's time I put the plea out there and ask how you have peacefully and lovingly handled per-school age meltdowns. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

For now, here's my plan of action.
1. More sleep
2. Healthier eating. For us, this means even more veggies, less refined sugar, more protein.
3. More time outdoors. If this means packing a picnic and spending the day at the beach, then that's what we'll do.
4. More time snuggling. Each time I get Bodhi down for a nap, I want to hustle and get stuff done. Burl on the other hand wants nothing more than for me to sit and snuggle him. He even asked to nurse the other day, which he hasn't done for months. I let him, and it was weird for both of us. He had this confused look on his face, as if he didn't know what to do, then said, "Let's just snuggle".
5. Avoiding places and activities that trigger the tantrums. Darn those ladies in the Safeway bakery! Why must they hand out cookies and cause and argument between my boy and I when I say no cookies? And the Hot Wheals displayed right in the checkout line? I'm not buying him a toy each time we go to the grocery store. And the Children's Museum? Not a chance right now. Unless the whole downtown Everett population wants to hear him scream when it's time to leave. These places will have to wait until we're over this hump.

I think the novelty of having a baby brother has worn off, and Burl is just craving my attention. Reconnecting with him and holding him and cuddling him, now more than ever, seem essential for his healthy development.

What do you think, friends? Can you share your experiences please?

9 comments:

The Lewis Family said...

Love your ideas Amber! We ate very well, but I often forget the water! Lots of water. Ephraim turns wild if he is thirsty or needs to poo. :). I am going to be glued to anything on this topic from people I trust since I feel that Ziva is close to tantrums often these days. When reading this post though I realized since getting sick I have fallen off my routines. One that I think really helps my children stay grounded is for me to wake up before them. This helps me start the day off meeting some of my own needs so I have something to give. Then as each child wakes up I greet them with excitement and joy that they are up with me. Then I try to spend 5-10 minutes with them individually before the daily business begins. I don't know if this would help you, but I am going to get back to it and hope that she feels content again. Hopefully you can understand this...writing from my phone :b

Oakmoss said...

lindsey, thank you for your words. i don't think i've ever expressed how much i look up to you, so your thoughts mean a lot to me. routines are so important, and so easy for me to let go of. it's a good reminder. and yes, waking up early is so good too. i struggle with that. i love sleeping in since becoming a mom and having lack of sleep. i was always a morning person, not so much anymore. but i know the mornings i do wake up early and take my boys on a walk first thing, the days go smoother. it's just hard getting up and out of the warm bed during these cold mornings.
thank you, lindsey! love you!

bridgmanpottery said...

amber, I only have one, but yes, I do find that when I am calm and centered so is my boy (now 8). He loses it if he thinks I'm losing it. So if I can keep a pleasant expression, a quiet voice, the freaking out is minimized. I wish I'd realized this when Mr. N was a toddler. You're a strong, wise mama.

The Lewis Family said...

Seriously Amber?! You just made my week. I really admire you so it is a huge honnor to have you say that.

jenna said...

your ideas are great. i too have two boys - one is almost five and the other is two. my older one has quite a temper. i think four can be a very hard age for a kid. food is a big trigger with my oldest. he never wants to eat and is always hungry/cranky. i have to remember to model the behavior that i want him to have. for example, when i am frustrated i can't just try to push people away and deal with it on my own (like when i am cooking dinner and hungry and just want everyone out of the kitchen!). i am trying to talk more (calmly) about what i am feeling and the help that i need. i worry so much that he is getting set up for a lifetime of anger/frustration, without a positive outlet. you may have already read this book; i am re-reading it and find it very calming, centering, and helpful: buddhism for mothers http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Mothers-Approach-Yourself-Children/dp/1741140102

Sherrie said...

Amber, that's hard, and was a familiar story in our family for awhile after our second was born. Frankly and practically speaking, regular pooping time and plenty of fibre make ALL the difference with our little guy (along with all of the love and calm stuff, too, of course). As long as that part of things is going well, everything else seems to follow for him. I hope it gets easier quickly for you - I find nothing more exhausting than dealing with meltdowns. Good luck!

Alyssa said...

I am no expert, but sitting down to read a book to John never failed to center him. It still helps, but at almost 9 it's getting harder to convince him when he needs to switch gears.

COFFEE & MORPHINE said...

"Let's just snuggle" :) Lovely!!

Oakmoss said...

Friends, thank you all so much for your comments. I really really appreciate them so much!