[It's the Little Things] A Selfie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday was one of the hardest days that I've had as a mom. Or more accurately - hardest mornings.

Now I know most of you are rolling your eyes at me and saying "her kid is two! how has she never had a hard day before?" but this was different. I've had hard days. I've had hard moments. But this was different.

Recently Mason has been overly whiny and cranky. But usually at night. We think it's because he has been so active at preschool during the day and while he takes a nap there, he either doesn't sleep quite as well as he used to at daycare (or at home) yet or it's just not enough for all the activity he is doing. When he gets home, he's a mess. Whiny. Cranky. Crying. Usually we are able to distract him with a quick episode of Mickey as we get dinner ready though.

Monday morning was a different kind of whiny and cranky.

I had to wake Mason up because although it was my late day to go in to work, I like to keep him on a schedule. We have to leave the house at 7am from Tuesday - Friday so I like to keep it the same on Monday. Plus, they like the kids to all be there by 9am anyways.

I woke Mason up around 6:40am and even though I was being a smart mom (or so I thought) and bringing Mason's milk upstairs to him to try to make waking up more pleasant (since he always wants milk AS SOON AS he wakes up). Wake up was fine. Same as normal. But then when I picked him up and tried to change him.... all hell broke loose. I tried to offer milk and that pushed him over the edge. He chucked the cup on the floor and kicked his diaper changing essentials basket off the dresser and into his laundry hamper. I tried to tell him that was not ok but he wasn't having any of it.

I finally won and was able to change his diaper and get his clothes on but he was still upset. I brought him downstairs and put him down on the couch and he just had a full on meltdown. Screaming. Crying. Running around. Laying on the ground. Hiding in the corner. Screaming.

I explained that he had to use his words (or signs) to tell me if something was wrong. I can't help him if he doesn't tell me what's wrong. Nothing helped. He just kept screaming and crying.

I finally stopped trying because nothing I was doing was helping. I'm sure this wasn't the best option but I needed to get my lunch and stuff ready for work anyway so I went about my business as he cried some more.

After like 2 minutes of that (because really, I can't listen to him cry like that without doing anything), I finally caved and turned on Mickey because I couldn't handle the crying and screaming anymore. Mickey usually helps calm him down and in this case, it actually did help.

Then I was kinda mad.

A two year old just tricked me. I thought something was wrong or he was just having a 'two year old tantrum' but he just fooled me into turning on his tv show. Not ok.

I looked straight at him and in a stern voice explained that he could not cry to get his way.
He could not cry and scream until I turned on his tv show.
If he wanted to watch Mickey, he needed to tell me/show me and sign 'please' for me to turn it on and I would. It's that simple. But crying and screaming until he gets his way is not how we do things.
Of course, no answer, but I at least felt better that I explained myself to him.

Then all of a sudden, more crying. Screaming. Tantrum. Running around crying and screaming.

Then I started to get worried. He was acting like he was actually hurt. I tried to comfort him but he didn't want it. He kicked and screamed until I let go. He kept crying. Flailing on the ground. Rolling around. His arm was under his body like it was hurt. I helped him move it but it was fine. I pulled on his ears a little to see if maybe his ears hurt. Nothing. 

Fine one minute and then screaming the next. I couldn't figure out what was going on.

I tried to comfort him again and this time it worked.
And in that moment I wished for nothing more than to be able to stay home all day with him and cuddle him and make everything better. Make whatever was wrong, stop. 
Comfort him. Hold him. Love him.
But alas, that wasn't reality.

So instead we threw our schedule out the window and I just watched him. Made sure he was ok.

I thought maybe it was his teeth. That has been our default recently because we don't really know what else could be wrong. It's the only thing I can think of that might be fine one minute and then hurt the next. I explained that he needed to drink some milk or eat some waffle so I could give him some Tylenol (I worry that it will hurt his stomach otherwise). He would bring the milk to his mouth like he would drink and then he would start screaming and crying. Maybe the cold was hurting his teeth?

I was at a loss.
I wanted to start crying myself.

I don't even know how to explain it but it was like he was in pain. Like someone or something was physically hurting him. He couldn't catch his breath. He put himself in the corner and was just screaming. It was awful. Awful.

I was finally able to comfort him and calm him down. He finally drank his milk. I felt a small victory.
I gave him some Tylenol - or tried to. That was a HUGE struggle. I tried to explain it would make him feel better but I had to squirt it in his mouth as quickly as possible because he kept turning away. I finally got it all in and then just held him. He finally caught his breath and seemed calm. We watched some Mickey. When I felt like he was calm enough, I packed up his stuff, and we headed out to preschool... over 40 minutes later than I had wanted.

But it didn't matter. That was what he needed. And I gave it to him.

I turned on his 'DJ Shuffle' CD in the car and he pointed at the radio with a huge smile on his face.
We rocked out to 'Sophia the First' and 'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' the whole way to preschool.

We arrived at preschool, he handed over his milk cup, and he hopped out of his car seat.
Little man was happy again!
And we documented with a selfie :)

Sometimes all it takes is taking a little extra time to read the cues of your child to know what's wrong. I don't know if Mason is getting especially frustrated because he can't verbally express what's wrong or what he needs, but I try my hardest to give him the tools to communicate to the best of his abilities. I explain to him that I am here for him. I do need him to help me figure out what he needs, but I am always here for him and want to help him.


Sadie Sky Boutique


  1. phew. that is a rough way to start a morning. definitely harder than just a tichy morning or some crazy toddler antics for a little bit. I'd be so frustrated. It is hard now knowing what they want or need or what is bothering them! ..I want to help!! I do! I just don't know how!!.. Did he have a fine rest of the day?

  2. You could try a photo chart? So he can point to what he needs or wants. Being a mom is just a hard job. Just remember you are doing the best you can at any given moment. Patience testing may be a toddlers favorite game. Keep up the fabulous parenting mama! Love you!

  3. Hugs for you! That sounded like a really rough morning, poor guy :( It's really hard when your kid gets so upset and you have no idea what's wrong. It's in those moments you just want to snuggle and love on them and make the bad feelings/pain go away. You are a great mama! Hope you were able to have a drink or two after that hard morning :)

  4. What a morning. It's so hard when you can't figure out what's wrong. Glad he was able to get past it and you were able to take him to school. Sometimes we just have to remember not to rush and you definitely did remember that! Great job!

  5. Man what a rough way to start the morning. They say the reason 2 gets a bad wrap is because they get frustrated that they can't communicate everything they are feeling. I also think they like to be in control (who doesn't) and get upset when they aren't. It takes time for them to learn to use words instead of crying. For a while crying was their only way of telling us something.

  6. wow! That is a tough morning!!! To me you handled it the best way you could though! I would have put on Mickey for a bit too!

  7. toddlers man. you never know what your going to get! seriously such a rough morning! i would have throw in the towel and poured everyone a cocktail.

  8. Such good advice. It's hard to stay calm and not give in when you are in the heat of the moment. I think it's going to be part of our lives with 2 year old boys for a bit. As handsome and sweet as they are, they are their own people and we need to pay attention to their needs just as much as what we want to do for them.

  9. Seriously, toddlers!! I feel like we've had similar moments where T freaks out but then is totally fine and although it's heart-wrenching to see him get SO upset, I do feel like he's tricking me cause he would turn it on/off so quickly. I think it's all part of development and they are still learning to control emotions and communicate. Good for you for trusting your instincts though, communicating your expectations with him and figuring out what works for you guys. So frustrating sometimes though.. And then they do something precious and adorable and it makes it all worth it. I hope for a smooth rest of the week for you!! :)

  10. Hugs momma. Parenting is a tough gig, and even more difficult when we can't communicate with our little ones. You took note of what Mason wanted/needed, and did the best you could with what you had to work with. Mason is one lucky little boy to have such a great mommy.

  11. man what a morning! Sounds like you did everything you could to get him what he wanted/needed. No shame in walking away either. Every kid is different (heck every tantrum is different!) but I find just walking away often helps callie calm down way faster and gets to the root of the issue more easily than trying to calm her. seems like M needed a little of both and you guys got through it!

  12. This is such a trying age! The lack of verbal skills paired with wanting their independence ahhh! I can totally relate! My 2 year old has had some horrible tantrums lately! I really think he gets frustrated not being able to communicate. Hope the rest of the week was a little calmer

  13. Dang, that does sound like a really hard morning. Maggie has kind of been doing something similar and it's frustrating for both of us because she can't verbalize what's wrong or what she needs. So tough!

  14. You are such a good mama!!!! We've all been there...with the unexplainable fits/tantrums! It's hard...so hard and draining as a Mother!! And I am sure there will be more of these days {but hope not}. Just hang in there, it gets better I promise. Praying for you all and for easier, calmer days!

  15. LOL at what Erin said!!! You did a great job! I have a hard time being patient when Sadie is really whiny/crying but it quickly turns to worry if it seems like something is REALLY wrong. Way to go for handling it like you did!


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