Saturday, July 7, 2012

Terrible Two's?!

So, Bug's birthday is coming up in just under 3 weeks.  And boy, has she hit the terrible twos!!

I think part of the problem is that she still isn't really talking.  She says (in sign language) More, Eat, Please, Thank you, Milk, Water and Thirsty.  She speaks Mama and Dada (although not very often), This, That, yes, no and Ice.  That's about it.  So I think she's having a hard time communicating, on top of the whole learning to deal with the strong feelings.

Today was a good day.  We only had one mid level and three minor melt downs.  They involved crying and some kicking and hitting of the poor floor.  But there are worse.

Most days, in the time after I get home from work, we manage to have sometimes 3 or more melt downs.  Mind you, this is between about 5:45ish and 7:30ish when she goes to bed.  These melt downs range from minor (not lasting long, mainly just some sitting down and crying), to mid level (crying harder, throwing herself on the floor kicking and screaming) to major (all of the above plus hitting everything in sight including me, the dog, and herself), scratching herself to the point of drawing blood, pulling out her hair, crying so hard she almost pukes, and comes out sweaty and exhausted.

I've tried ignoring, holding through, talking to her softly, talking to her whiny.  I've tried joining her on the floor.  Nothing seems to work.

Is this all normal?  On the weekends it gets BAD.  I mean, sometimes 10, 15 tantrums.  I asked my mom one day if I was like that at her age (or my brother).  She said while we both threw tantrums, they were nothing like Bug's tantrums.

She's obviously a master tantrum thrower.

When K had her in to the dr for her 18 month check up, they gave him some phone numbers to talk to some people about her speech.  They also said we could try to wait it out to 2.  I wanted to call, he wasn't too worried so he misplaced the numbers.  The only new word we seem to have in spoken language since then is ice.  Sometimes I think I hear words (please, eat, more milk, hi, etc etc) but they never last.  I'm honestly getting worried.  And K is hardly ever home, so he doesn't see it as much.  This week was nice, he got almost all of Tuesday, and all day Thursday at home.  Plus, he's home now putting Bug to bed.  Which is so nice.

Speaking of putting bug to bed.  I was really starting to stress because she STILL wasn't going to sleep on her own.  I had no idea how I was going to manage it with her and an infant.  Then we went on vacation and my Mom sleep trained her.  Not in the way I would have chosen, but I was desperate, so it became OK.  She's doing pretty good with letting us put her down and then walk out.  She has cried the last 2 nights though.  I hope it keeps getting better, as I want to try to transition her to a new bed so the new baby can use the crib.  Plus, she won't nap in her crib any longer (she has napped on a cot at daycare for a year now).  So she's been napping on the couch.  I don't love this set up, but it's better than the alternative, which is no nap at all.  She's not ready for that yet.

For the good news, she's still very much a lover when she wants to be.  Nothing makes up for the tantrums more than some big old hugs and kisses from the sweetest little girl I know.


  1. Hang in there! Terrible 2s lasted the ENTIRE year for CC. She is are finally starting to break from them. Not to scare you...just trying to prepare. My advice is to just learn what it takes for her to break out of the fit. For CC we just has to let her cry, and cry she did....on the floor in TSA, on the floor of. 737, on the sidewalk of an amusement park, ect. Stay strong, since she is testing boundaries. :)

  2. Okay, a few thoughts. As far as speech, every kid is different. That said, she "should" be using lots more words and even putting them together in 2s or 3s. I'd google "early intervention" in your state. Every state has a program and your insurance should cover it. Although I'm nearly positive that they should come do an eval with her for free to determine whether she would benefit from services. I strongly believe that if kids do need some help, it is much more effective the earlier it gets started.

    Tantrums, not sure if you've tried the Happiest Toddler on the Block? I love it and have seen if very effective with tons of toddlers (including the kid - haven't needed it with E yet).

    Lastly, hugs mama. She is normal. Even if a bit challenging at times ;)

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  4. I am an infertility blog lurker since I am still in the trenches with it, but I rarely comment. I am also an early intervention speech pathologist. Do not be alarmed because most kiddos move past language delays with just a little push, but you most certainly should have her evaluated and treated if you can. Even if it is something that she would spontaneously catch up later, you don't want to take the chance that she won't AND it is likely the strongest factor for her behavioral outbursts. That's her only way to communicate with you at this point... or at least her easiest and most effective way. Typical language at her age is between 20-100 words and some routine phrases, along with a ton of imitation. You are already on the right track by introducing baby signs. As Becky said, all states have an early intervention program that are generally very similar, so I will just give you the run down on my state program that I work for. Evaluations are free. If services are recommended, they work with your insurance or have a reasonable co-pay for each visit, which is typically weekly. Services are reviewed quarterly and you can change/discharge at any time or when she meets her age-appropriate goals. Therapy mostly looks like play because that is how children learn. A good therapist will show you how to play with her and teach/encourage her communication at the same time, as well as work it into your daily routines. I love my job and I love helping parents. Most therapists do, so don't be nervous about calling. Also, I would be happy to send you some info that I give to parents if you would like. Just email me if you are interested Best wishes.

  5. You've already gotten great speech guidance, so I'm going to focus on the sleep things. Yeah, I know. You didn't really ask. I'm offering this up because (and just know I'm terrified to jinx this by even mentioning it) we seem to have solved Fynn's going to sleep issues.

    Okay, when I say "solved" I mean they are now manageable.

    The big step that I took was changing her bed into a crib not quite two weeks ago. And every single morning except two she has slept until at least 6:30 as opposed to her normal rise and nurse until she could shine time, which was about 4:15. In the morning. (One of the two mornings she was up early because Tom took her down to Grandma's so I could hang out with a friend; he leaves for work at 4:15.) Even bigger news, Fynn's napping in her own bed. Not in mine. Not in my arms. And the sleep she's getting during the day is probably why she's sleeping so well at night.

    So, the trick for me is that I started out sitting where she could touch me or see me or even hear me doing some long, slow deep breaths until she falls asleep. Most of the time I'm out of the room in a matter of minutes once our routine is done. Other times, like *right now*, I'm sitting in the chair in her room. Once she settles down I'll leave.

    I know that Bug isn't using a lot of words yet, but does she get upset if she gets stuck anywhere? Fynn flips out. She either says, "I t(r)apped" or "I s(t)uck" (in which case I tell her not to be so hard on herself, bahaha *ahem*). The simple fact that she *can* get out of her bed makes it more tolerable than her crib. She stays in.

    I know. I'm stunned, too.

    Oh, for tantrums, I'd say come up with a plan and stick with it. And know that what works for Bug may not work for her sister or brother. Mad and Fynn and so different. We bob and weave our way through the days right now.

    Hope that helps.