Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Make the tantrums stop

So, I was thinking to write on my facebook status something along the lines of:

Amanda thinks that she may have found the tube feeding easier than these tantrums. MAKE. THE. TANTRUMS. STOP!

And then I thought better of it because I knew I was going to get some well meaning responses like:

"She'll grow out of it."
"I remember those days" (from a parent who raised normally developing children and have no clue what this is like)
"I miss those days" (ha ha, no you don't, you just think you do)
"Don't worry, she'll talk one day and that will help, it'll be ok"
Some other piece of advice on how to get my 2 1/2 year old to stop rolling around on the floor screaming every time I smile at her.

And then I would want to scream and that would be bad.

Cuz you see I do realize that these 20 times daily or more occurring tantrums likely have something to do with her slow development and the fact that she can't communicate with us with any kind of precision. Pointing can only get a girl so far. And I'm also aware that she will talk one day, she's just taking her own sweet time.

I also realize that this is a normal phase in a child's life, but this I think may just be excessive. Willem was a big tantrumer. I've been through the drill. She's way worse.

I've got a kid who obviously has some problems and likely has more that we just haven't discovered yet. She very may well be in pain and we don't know it (though our most recent trip to the doctor on Monday mostly ruled that out). Or she may not be capable of controlling her emotions.

Or perhaps she just has my temper.

Regardless of the cause or when (as I'm sure inevitably) it will end, I'm going crazy NOW. I just want a day - with my child - without a scream, or a tantrum (or 12), or a face bashed against something hard.

Since school started, I now have almost 3 hours guaranteed without this type of behaviour. (Not that I can relax because I keep thinking I'm going to get a phone call from the school telling me they need me to pick her up for some reason or another. And I don't want to sound ungrateful, but these 3 hours are typically her best hours of the day. They're the hours that she's less clingy and more likely to smile. So hopefully they'll be productive at school, at least.) With this break, one would think I'd be feeling better about things, but I don't. I may even feel worse. And so, as my husband works yet another 12 hour shift, I'm at home trying to keep my cool and not depend too much on the TV to calm my adorable child now.

Speaking of adorable...she is. And everyone at school sees it. They all love her. They all talk about how sweet she is. The aids all want her. She's charmed everyone. More than once, I've already gotten, "oh, you're Finleigh's mom" from one of the staff members. And as much as I love to hear how cute she is. How adorable she is at school. I just want to say, "Come spend a day with her, and then see how cute you think she is." But of course, I don't. I'm much too polite to do that. (This morning, a mom asked how old she was as she was having a meltdown because she didn't want to go in the classroom. I told her 2 1/2 and since the age cut off for all children except for the ones with exceptional problems or delays is 3 1/2 - most kids are 4, I'm sure she was wondering and maybe even judging because I sure wouldn't have known anything about Finn's program before it was offered to me. And I didn't elaborate because she didn't ask. I probably should, but I'm tired of talking about it and am okay with her negative perceptions.)

I know it's not a race. I'm not trying to rush my daughter along the developmental road. I'm okay with her not talking yet. I'm okay that she acts much younger than her peers. I'm okay that she can't run and that she struggles with stairs unless she's crawling. I'm okay that she looks like an 18 month old.

I am not, however, okay with the consequences of that. The messy disasters at meals. The almost constant tantrums that are becoming self destructive. The crib. The weird throwing up at weird and unexplained times. The diapers that have no end in sight (I mean seriously, we're looking at at least another year). Her inability to tell us what she wants or needs or feels.

I've ordered a toddler bed for Finleigh. Since she's so small, it'll likely last her a long time. And since her room is really small, it may even last until we move out of our current place into something bigger. But the question we really want to put her in a toddler bed yet? Is she ready? I don't know, but I do feel like it's time. She's getting more and more independent and I want to give her this freedom. We'll still keep a gate on her door to keep her contained at night though. Baby steps.

I'm frustrated. I'm weary. I'm doubting myself at every turn. I can hardly wait for Brian's next set off. Now, I guess I'll go get on the treadmill and try work some of this frustration out.


  1. So I really have NO idea how hard this is for you or what it takes to make it through your day. Just know my friend that I will pray for you and your girl and I love you.

  2. we don't have james in a toddler bed yet. still the crib. he climbs in and out of it on his own. we have a "door chime" on his bedroom door so that we know when he comes out because a gate doesn't even slow the bugger down!!!

    and you are so right about the fb responses. i wanted to post something about how nachos should not be an entree for a school lunch! no wonder the children are fat! but i didn't because i didn't want anyone else to tell me i am too uptight about my child's eating.


  3. oh honey... I have had so many of the same thoughts about Aiden. Just yesterday at meet the teacher night his teacher told me how great he was doing and looked at me like I was insane when I updated her on his meds etc. I felt like saying the same "try spending a day with us on one of his off days". The first years of Aiden's life- really until he was 6 and got on meds- were really and truly difficult. And the stuff with Fin is NOT normal. It is NOT like everyone else's kids. It is NOT normal tantrums. I get it. Aiden's tantrums were scary and happened dozens of times per day for years. And everyone kept saying "oh, it's not that bad. he'll grow out of it" etc.

    It made me feel so helpless and hopeless.

    Aiden didn't potty train until he was over 4. Owen was over 3. Olivia will be over 3 as well. I have a meeting with the assessment people tomorrow because they want to start looking into things with Owen. Are his issues simply because he has a special needs sibling? Or is it something of his very own? Guess we will find out.

    And again, anytime you want to come visit I would welcome you AND your kids. I've seen the scary tantrums, the potentially dangerous terrifying freak-outs... I still worry about the phone calls from the school- because they DO call regularly- about things Aiden has done.

    Ok, this comment is way too long. I love you honey. I'm sorry you have to go through this. And there is nothing worse than having to give the school the best hours of your child's day... I know.

  4. Wow Amanda, that's a lot for you to handle. I have to tell you that my first reaction to this post was "WHAT!!! You're going on the treadmill to work off some frustration!?!??!? WHAT??!??!" That was NOT the way I was expecting that post to end. Did you really do that? Even for talking about it, you are my hero.

  5. wow sweetie..

    i really hope it gets easier for you and for Finleigh:)


  6. At the end of the day you have a beautiful little girl (and family) and you are doing the best job that you can! You're a great mommy Amanda, just remember that when its a rough day!