We’re in the middle of a ruthless tantrum throwing and messed-up sleep stage right now that’s seriously insane. Little M turned 15 months old last week (I’m due for an update and he’s due for photos!) and all of a sudden everything is worthy of a tantrum. I thought he was throwing the occasional tantrum before, but his little throw his body down on the floor antics from a few months ago are nothing compared to what we’ve got going on now. Shut the windows, close the blinds, we’ve got MELT. DOWN. CENTRAL. over here.
I’m learning to anticipate what causes the biggest tantrums and trying to figure out ways to head them off. The biggest ones so far come when we get home from daycare and I shut the door. He spends most of his days outside and does not want to have anything to do with being inside when we get home. There’s usually only a 30 minute window between getting home and bath time and he needs to nurse, play and have dinner in that time. So playing outside isn’t usually an option. Last week I’d walk to shut the alarm off then go back and shut the inside door. Yesterday I shut the door completely before walking in to turn the alarm off. Seeing me go back to shut the door was mind blowing for the little boy last week. Tonight that little change avoided the 20 minute tantrums we had every night last week. Of course then I put the gate across the bottom of the stairs and that lead to a major meltdown…before he finally peeled himself off the floor and just reached up and moved the gate himself.
Along with the daytime temper tantrums, Little M has started to wake at night screaming at the top of his lungs with the same intensity of a temper tantrum. And for much, much longer than a daytime tantrum. It’s insane to be woken up at 11:30, just as I doze off to sleep for the night, by a blood curdling scream. We’ve tried nursing, rocking, rubbing his back, just sitting next to him and Ferber-style CIO. He’ll fall sound asleep and be snoring away until we leave the room. Then BAM as if he’s got a sixth sense for mummy or daddy’s presence, and he’s up and screaming at the top of his lungs. This cycle goes on for hours. In the middle of the night!
Over the past week the only way I’ve been able to get any sleep is to bring Little M into bed with me. But there’s not much “sleeping” in our co-sleeping and he and I are both tired. Plus, the lack of sleep has me run down and sick. We all need some good rest around here.
Thankfully Mr. S hasn’t been flying much over the past couple months so we’ve been able to tag-team the sit-in-the-room-til-he’s-asleep routine, but tonight I’m alone. As I write this post I’ve gone upstairs six times to settle my screaming toddler. And it’s only 9pm. I think I’ve got a long night ahead of me. Side note, we’ll be headed to the pediatrician in the morning since this pattern is just so completely out of character for my usually amazing sleeper. He’s never had an ear infection before, but several moms suggested that might be the problem.
During some frantic googling in the middle of the night last week I read that the “terrible twos” start in the second year, not at two. Seriously? And girlfriends have told me that two and three were the worst years for them. I’ve got this pit in my stomach that this screaming and yelling is our new normal. Now more than anytime in the past 15 months I want to turn back time. Now I understand why so many moms told me to “enjoy it” when Little M was a newborn. I found myself thinking the same thing when I saw a mom with her newborn out shopping today despite feeling like I was just in her shoes like two seconds ago.
Toddlerhood has hit me like a ton of bricks and I am soooo not prepared.
Were you shocked by a sudden entry to toddlerhood? Any tips for this shell-shocked momma?