Toddler PMS

Charlie has hit “that age.” Or maybe that age has hit him. Whichever the case, he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he’s becoming independent. He has desires that go way beyond eating, sleeping and keeping clean. Now he knows about dogs, books, songs, foods, strollers, playgrounds, water—it must seem like the whole world could be his if only he could tell his Mama and Daddy exactly which part of the world he’d like to hold. (I say this because he very often throws out both of his arms to encompass all he sees and says, “Eh! Eh!,” which I take to mean, “Can I have it please?”) And though he has quite a few words for someone his age, none fully capture everything he’d like to say. Hence, frustration, AKA, toddler PMS.

This means: Screaming until he’s red in the face, crying in a prostrate position on the floor (as if his very heart has been broken), making his body an inflexible board, hitting and pulling—all of his emotions flying free and unconstrained. It’s hard enough to deal with a lady’s week of hormonal shifts. What’s one to do with a toddler’s terrible twos? (Especially when my mother, when asked what she did when I hit, said, “You didn’t hit.” Sigh.)

Amazingly, the one thing that has been helpful to me (though we’ll see how helpful it is to Charlie—assuming we both survive) is to learn more about this developmental stage. All the experts say (God bless ’em) that it is completely normal for kids 14-18 months old to hit, bite, begin to push back and throw fits to let off steam. While there is nothing that can completely stop tantrums, they say I can try to reduce the triggers, provide small consequences when he tries to hit, and give lots of praise and encouragement when he accomplishes desirable behavior (such as asking for more food, instead of screaming for it, or giving his cup to me when he’s done instead of throwing it on the ground, or playing with a toy while I change his diaper instead of trying to roll off the table and put his hands in poop.) He did many great things today, including five out of five wiggle-free diaper changes, twice handing me his empty cup, sharing shakers with other kids at the sing along, and politely asking for more food at several meals and snacks. Yay, Charlie!)

Anybody have stories that might prove useful for this stage? I had hoped CW wouldn’t be a thrower of tantrums. (Doesn’t everyone hope, or arrogantly assume, their child won’t do this?) Yet now I learn that every kid has tantrums. (Well, almost every kid—my mom says that doesn’t include me, although I think she might have just forgotten.) But I know that when this happens in public, people, even those with kids, will be thinking, “What is wrong with that lady that her son behaves so awfully?” To keep my head on straight during these trying times, I have to keep learning and creatively coping. Otherwise I will give in to Mama PMS. Then we’ll both be lying on the ground screaming, kicking, and hitting, and those nosy people will stop thinking judgmental thoughts and just call the police.

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3 Responses to “Toddler PMS”

  1. Aunt Jenna Says:

    Lol…you’re hilarious.

  2. I think it was chicken pox « With Charlie Says:

    […] think it was chicken pox Remember my rant about toddler PMS? It seems it really was PMS, because it’s gone. While the hitting and trouble-making […]

  3. William Sole Says:

    Blogging keeps me insane. Keep up all the positive work. I too love to blog. I found this one to be very informative

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