On Monday night, Annalyn woke up crying. Actually, it was technically Tuesday morning. Whatever you call it, it was dark – what we call “sleep time” in our house.
She didn’t calm down on her own (and it’s strange for her to do this in the first place), so I went in and rubbed her back. “What’s wrong, baby?”
“The PAINT on my FINGERS is coming off!” she wailed. WAILED.
You would have thought the world was, in fact, ending. I very calmly and without a hint of laughter said, “It’s okay, sweets. Just go back to sleep. It’s still sleep time.”
“But THE PAINT! Waaaahhhh!”
I finally had to tell her that if she didn’t quiet down and go to sleep, I would NOT put more paint on her fingers. It was a great way to spend an hour in the middle of the night.
Just over 24 hours later, on Wednesday morning, my little drama queen woke up early, though not technically during sleep time. Shortly after 6:30, she woke ME up, crying.
I went in, told her whiny self good morning and informed her, gently of course, that I’d get her out of her crib when she stopped whining.
So she did. And I did.
But as soon as I pulled her multicolor gingham skirt set out of the closet, she started throwing a doozy of a fit.
“I want to wear a DRESS!!!”
Normally, I indulge her. If the girl wants to wear a dress, I usually let her wear a dress. But that day, all her clean dresses (that fit) were in the laundry. So a skirt set it was.
But no. She wanted to throw a fit. Finally, in frustration, I told her that she could either quit crying or go back in her crib, naked, while I took my shower. “Is that what you want?” I asked her.
Okey-doke. I put her (mostly naked, but she was wearing underwear) back in her crib, and I took my shower.
When I got out, I asked her if she was ready to behave nicely and put her clothes on. She said NO.
After that, I went back every few minutes and asked her the same thing. Each time, I got the same hateful answer. And the whole time, she was crying and hollering and pitching one heck of a fit.
Finally, we had to leave. So I wrestled her into her outfit, shoes and ponytail, and I picked her up to head out.
It was at THAT point that she decided to kick it up a notch. THAT is when the screaming started. At the TOP of her LUNGS.
She continued to scream all the way through the house into the car and all the way to her daycare. As we pulled up, I said (calmly, and I’m not sure where that calm even CAME from), “You can keep this up if you want. It’s your choice. But I’m going to carry you inside, and ALL your friends are going to see you acting like an animal.”
I know. Harsh, right? Totally mean. But IT DIDN’T PHASE HER.
She kept screaming. All the way up the sidewalk, into the daycare and down the hall. When her teacher said, “Annalyn! What is WRONG with you?” she didn’t even stop to take a breath. She just KEPT SCREAMING.
Her teacher urged me to just leave, so I did. And I only cried a little.
I have NEVER seen her act that way. She was completely out of control! I know it was a full moon this week – and even my cats were kind of spazzing out. And I know we’ve been too busy and had too little family time lately.
But seriously? More than an HOUR of the worst fit I’ve ever seen? What the heck???
Thankfully, about 25 minutes after I left her (SCREAMING) at daycare, her teacher called me at work to say that she’d calmed down. He even made her get on the phone and apologize to me.
She was fine when I picked her up that night. I told her that she’d made me really sad, and she apologized again. I told her that I forgive her and she hugged me.
But MY GOODNESS! That was TERRIBLE!
And here’s the kicker: I can’t even say, “Where on earth would she GET this?” Because, um, YEAH. I know. I can remember times not so long ago when I cried so hard I made myself physically sick.
Poor girl. The crazy comes naturally. Too bad it has to be so LOUD.
This post will be linked to Friday Fails. Because, well . . . do I have to explain?
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Our daughter went through a phase like this when she was about 3-1/2 – the night terrors were the worst. She was inconsolable, and hysterical, and totally not herself. Around that time, she started up with some behavioral problems during waking hours, too. And then, after about 6 months, the night terrors went away and the daytime behavior problems went back to more or less normal toddler stuff.
So… hang in there! Probably just a phase – “And the peace that passes all understanding…” will help a lot!
I had night terrors as a kid, too. And our old babysitter’s daughter had them, and I know it put the whole family through the wringer. I’m glad your kiddo went back to normal!
Ok, this post made me feel just a little bit better about my daughter. Not that she’s any better, but that someone out there acts just the same. And this morning? Huge fit because I gave her a dark blue spoon at breakfast not the slightly lighter shade of blue spoon she wanted. Wailing and thrashing was involved. Over a spoon.
Over a spoon. *sigh* Why do they freak out over such tiny, inconsequential things??
Even boys have those fits of crazy. We had one about two weeks ago, where I actually called daycare to ask if they took children in a complete and utter meltdown, without shoes. The daycare director even met me out at my car (so sweet!). By then of course, he was done (so was I!) and it looked like it was all my issue….so strange how their world goes so crazy, isn’t it? Do you think it only gets worse?? Yikes!
I’m glad he calmed down. Even if it made you look crazy! ;)
Good for you mom!!! This is a perfect example of how to deal with toddler outbursts. They’re gonna happen, because deep down, we all want what we want when we want it. Part of growing them up is teaching them to control their “it’s all about me” urges.
Keep it up and know that God has given her that strong will for a good reason. If pointed in the right direction, she’ll do great things with it!
“A strong will” is exactly what she has! And I AM thankful for it…most the time!
Oh, Mary! I totally feel your pain. I think, for some reason, it’s easier to remain calm when it’s apparent that they are completely out of control. Keep up the good work. :o)
Sometimes. But I totally lost it when she threw a fit on Friday. It was NOT a mom of the year moment!
I just have to say…you handled that situation SO WELL! I don’t know if I could’ve remained as calm and rational. Every single move you made was so appropriate and reciprocal. You should feel SO PROUD of your mama instincts! Way to go, lady!
Oh, thank you. But you should know that I pretty much did the opposite when we had a reprise on Friday. Yuck.
Well done. It is so difficult to stay calm after that long of a fit. My son, who is 5, has been doing the whole breakdown & scream thing. Not sure if it is the-end-of-summer, going-to-school-everyday-all-day, having-a-hard-time-getting-to-bed-early-but-still-have-to-get-up-early blues or what. It has been about a week or so where he freaks out over little things. Not to say I’m happy for your daughter’s meltdowns, but at least we all know our little bundles of joy are “normal”. :)
I know what you mean. Confirmation that craziness is normal IS a good thing!
Multiply it by 8 and give it a set of keys and you have a teenager.
Welcome to the wonderful unpredictable world of toddlers. Get used to it, it’s not stopping anytime soon!
I hear you! Those of us with toddlers have to stick together or we might actually go crazy. I have heard it said that the way they act at 3 is the way they act at 13. At least we should have a little break in between the “terrible twos” and teen years. I hope.
Interesting. I hadn’t heard that comparison between 3 and 13…
Yowsers. My kids have had fits like that. One real doozie started because the shirt I’d selected was a BABY SHIRT and YUCKY and then he didn’t want to wear jeans, he wanted LITTLE PANTS (a.k.a. shorts) and I ended up giving in and letting him select his OWN clothes for the day only to have him take off his shoes repeatedly and stand in the hallway with his eyes closed shouting “I’M NOT GOING TO THE BABY SITTER’S. I’M SLEEEEEEPPPIIIINNNNNGGG.” I ended up doing the same as you – wrestling him into those shoes and hauling a screaming kid to the baby sitter’s. :(
Oh, that’s rich. Sleeping, huh? :)
I just have to laugh–not AT you, but WITH you. I could tell you stories that would make your hair curl.
I’m so sorry that happened, but I AM SO PROUD OF YOU FOR HOW YOU HANDLED IT!!! Way to go, Mom. Keep that cool head and stay in control. I bet it won’t happen again.
Thanks, Shelly. I didn’t keep such a cool head on Friday when she threw another fit. THAT did NOT feel good.
Dude, that so sucks, but I am really glad they had her apologize on the phone in the moment, so she understood what she was doing.
Here’s hoping for calmer days ahead…
I know. I was so impressed he made her apologize. And yes, here’s hoping…!
I had a similar situation Tuesday at 4:00 AM with my 2 yob. He didn’t go back to sleep until 8:00. However, I had to stay up with my 4 yob. All day was off track!
I feel like the worst mom during these situations where I cannot comfort nor control their behaviors or emotions. I get so frustrated! Then I remind myself of their ages and stages. And then pray.
My pastor posted this on Twitter this week. “Hudson Taylor: All our difficulties are only platforms for the manifestation of His grace, power, and love.”
Clearly, Hudson Taylor must have been talking about parenting! :)
Clearly! Haha! I hope you and your boys have a better week!
You stood your ground and didn’t give in. She will eventually get it. Your daughter is still adorable:) How old is she??
Thanks, Dede. She’ll be three in a couple months.
I remember before becoming a parent I would have thought, “My kids would never do that.” God has a great sense of humor because then I had children and yup, they did.
So here is where I give you hope. Ready? My son is in the process of moving to VA for his first teaching position. He’s off the family payroll! Woo hoo!
My daughter left on Wednesday for her third year at university. Woo hoo!
Empty nest. Woo hoo! (It’s been a great week!)
Thanks, Cindy. I’m definitely not wishing away her childhood, but I won’t be sad to see the end of this particular phase! (Then again, she’s also – funny enough – in a very lovey-dovey phase, and I don’t want that to EVER end!!)
I always thought the ‘Terrible Two’s’ got too much attention…it’s the Three’s that got crazy in our household (well…and now the Four’s too). Boy have we been there…yesterday as a matter of fact (but, you know that already!). You handled it great. Hang in there!
I’ve heard that about the threes. Unfortunately…
Oh, heck ya! I have four of those. My 8 year old is actually, I think, finally transitioning from this to a real teenager (or tween. Whatever.) Yay! :P
Ugh. Teenage behavior at 8? How will we survive??? :)
Wow, I’ve had to deal with tantrums over nothing. But not like that. Here’s hoping that it was a one time thing.
I hope you never have to deal with something like this, but I’ll warn you – I hadn’t either! It came out of nowhere! Ahhhh! ;)
Yowsa. That’s too bad, but sounds like you handled it well!
Thanks. I wasn’t so calm when we had a similar incident on Friday. :(
That photo is fabulous!
I dunno if this makes you feel better, but the thing that shocked me the most about this story was that the daycare teacher was male. So see, apparently this is completely normal behavior. Which is why I don’t think I could do what you do (raise kids, especially girls;).
love the title of this post! hahaha can relate!
There are days like that in my house too. You handled it beautifully though.
It only took one MAJOR freakout/meltdown as we were leaving my dad’s for us… I put his screaming freaking out self right into the carseat without so much as a goodbye from his aunts and grandpa, drove him straight home and put him in bed for Finn to learn that now we leave nicely so we can say our goodbyes, get hugs and kisses, and come back soon.
Sometimes it takes just a little reminder, but I guarantee she won’t forget that morning and that you aren’t going to buy into the drama.
Oooh, that’s good. I’m glad it just took one incident for your son!
So you know we had VERY similar days … our two would have lots of fun together!
Ugh. I still can’t believe you put her in the bath with her shirt on. That cracks me up! (I’m posting this reply on my blog.)