Tuesday, February 5, 2013

At a loss

My toddler is on some kind of roll these days. The tantrums abound, he's defiant, not listening, and whines or fake cries if he doesn't get his way. He says "NO" to any suggestion we make. He wakes up in the morning and literally the first sounds out of his mouth are whining, then crying and finally screaming until we go in to get him.

He's not like this at daycare, we are told. He's not like this when he visits his grandparents. It is apparently reserved for dear 'ole mom and dad.

I desperately want to figure out why he is behaving this way. I don't know if it is because of all the life changes going on around him or if it is purely his age. If there was no baby sister or a daycare change would we still be getting the same behavior? Plus, he doesn't seem that bothered by P-Nut. He always wants to hold her, kiss her, and comfort her. If she's not in the same room he asks where she is. So far there really hasn't been any jealousy or aggression toward her at all. As for new daycare, the drop-offs are still rough but we are told he has a great time and no issues all day.

When it comes to addressing his behavior it is hard not being able to reason with a toddler. You can't explain to them why they shouldn't be screaming in an attempt to get their way. As I try to explain things to him all I get are blank stares.

It is hard. As much as I love and adore my son I find myself counting down the minutes until bedtime. I'm frustrated that I can't get through to him and I feel helpless. I know there are books out there with helpful information and plenty info online and I'll get around to reading it all when the kids are off to college and I have time on my hands again.

I do feel bad for Little C but this behavior has got to stop. Hubs and I are losing it! Between the demands of a newborn and this new toddler behavior we truly are walking zombies.

Did I mention C's sleep has also been different?!? Yeah, he now refuses naps and takes at least 30 minutes to fall asleep and then maybe sleeps for an hour. He used to average 2 1/2 - 3 hour naps. He has also start waking up between 5am - 6am. He used to sleep until 6:20am on the dot! There is something magical about getting past the 6 o'clock hour. If you are up at 5:55am it is the WORST!! But 6:01am somehow isn't as bad and you feel like you just might make it through the day.

So basically, I'm at a loss. I feel like it is time to crack down and get tough with Little C regarding the behavior that is not appropriate. However, if he truly is going through a hard time I also want to be sensitive to his needs. But being tough and sensitive at the same time will not send a clear message. ARGH!! What to do, what to do...

Is your toddler this way and if so, how do you handle it? How do you curb the defiance and get them to listen?


  1. Hi, I'm so sorry things are so challenging with Little C. I only have one son (22 months) and he is definitely in a pushing boundaries phase--he will go into "zombie mode" when he's told no where he'll stand there completely limp with a blank face and slack jaw, spitting out what may be in his mouth. We have found that ignoring him when he's either zombie or screaming because he can't wash his hands for the 5th time in 10 minutes is the best way to go. We just look at one another and let him stand there, crying or spitting.

    I have heard that from 18 mos to 2 yrs is a period of "disequilibrium" meaning very rough, and by 2, they even out again.

    I'm sure your issues are a combination of normal age issues and his reaction to his new situation. My son also HATES change--if he has to visit for even a day a different room in daycare, he cries like he's never been at daycare at all--so I'm sure Little C is just getting acclimated to the "new normal" of your larger family.

    I know my patience runs thin with my kid, so I can only imagine how hard it is with a newborn and an acting-up toddler. I'm SURE it'll get better as he figures out his new role as big brother.

    Our son also has sleep issues for mommy whereas for grandma or daycare, he's fine. He plays me hard.

    I'm sure none of this is terribly helpful, but I wanted you to know it sounds like a more intense version of what we're experiencing as well.

    Does he have a cold or anything? Our son was acting out like crazy and I think he also wasn't feeling well.

    Hang in there--P-Nut is so cute!

    1. Thanks, Kristin! Your comments are very helpful! :)

  2. Hi K!

    I'm not much help since I only have my 15.5 mo old, but I'm hoping it just has to do with the new addition right now.

    I know from some of my other mom friends they stress the importance of keeping with the toddlers routine as much as possible.

    I came here just to check in on you...thinking of you! xo