Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-16-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
JMBaby's Avatar
JMBaby
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 813
My Mood:
Whatever

Call this a rant, if you will, but I feel like I need to unload or break down.

My son is officially a toddler and has become a joyous frustration.

I love my son more than life itself but sometimes I feel like I could go a week without him only to feel extremely guilty for having such feelings.

Frustration #1 : Sleep
I've probably started a half dozen threads about my son's sleep issues. I finally gave up with trying to solve them and my husband and I have adopted a "whatever" approach. We still co-sleep and if he wants to nurse I nurse him, if he sleeps, he sleeps, etc.
Since he wasn't using his crib I decided to go ahead and convert his crib to a toddler bed and not two minutes after I was done converting it he climbed into the bed on his own and laid down. He took two naps and slept in the bed all night only waking twice and I would go and lay with him and nurse him and he slept rather well. But that didn't last long. He was back in our bed in a day and has since started refusing to let me leave. Previously I could nurse him to sleep and then get up to do housework but now if I'm not touching him he often wakes up and starts crying. Sometimes he will slip into a deep sleep and I can slip away but we are talking about HOURS later. It's driving me nuts. I know it won't be like this forever but I have so much to do, I can't lay in bed with him all day.

Frustration #2 : Keeping things clean
He is a lover of disaster and now that he is super mobile it had because disaster city around here.
For instance: He woke up from his nap the other day, climbed out of his toddler bed and by the time I got to him he had gotten into his dresser drawers and threw all of his clothes all over the room. I made his bed, put his clothes away and put all of his teddy bears back on his bed. I went into MY room to get changed and by the time I got back he had gone back into his drawers thrown his clothes all over the place again and was standing on his bed throwing his teddy bears across the room.

I picked up his clothes a second time and while I was putting his teddy bears back on his bed he ran to his dresser and started pulling out his clothes again. I quickly took him downstairs where he threw open every drawer he could find and tore through them. I couldn't clean up fast enough and he ended up breaking some figurines I had.... my house is in constant chaos and while he understands "No" and has more toys than any child should possibly want he likes to think that if Mommy isn't there to say "no" it's fair game. A little mess I can deal with but chasing him around trying to keep him from DESTROYING stuff (and failing) is driving me mad.

Frustration #3 : Safety
While cleaning up one of his disasters he was in the living room playing with what I assumed was a safe toy when he came into the kitchen and handed me a broken Christmas bulb with blood on it. He had blood on his mouth and his fingers as well. I hadn't heard him cry and when I cleaned him up I discovered that he had put a pretty good gash in his thumb from the bulb.
He KNOWS he's not supposed to play with the Christmas tree (that is coming down today) but because I wasn't there to stop him he got a bulb off the tree and hurt himself. My house is pretty kid-proof but he seems to have a knack for finding THE dangerous thing and going for it. He's got to be a dare-devil in the making. He's also OBSESSED with our stairs which makes me nervous though he's very good at going both up and down them.

Frustration #4 : Rejection
I'm trying to be a good Mom. I sing to him. I play with him. I read to him and snuggle him. I nurse him to sleep and rub his back, feed him and love him. I teach him, bathe him and laugh with him and we make faces together, but that seems to mean nothing sometimes. In the morning he wants no one but his Daddy and if I reach for him he pushes me away.
It wouldn't be so bad if it was just his Dad because I know he loves his Dad but yesterday we went to a brand new play group and he went to a mother he had only seen once or twice before and when I reached for him he pushed me away.

We also got a sitter last night so my husband and I could go on a date and when I set him on the floor of this new place he ran from me and wouldn't even let me kiss him. When we got back he ran to my husband but pushed me away. I felt so rejected and sad. This morning my husband went into the bathroom and half shut the door. My son ran screaming to the bathroom, slipped through the door and when I tried following him in he shut the door on me.

Frustration #5 : Eating
I don't know how much food to give him when. He can point and communicate what he wants and when he sees bananas or crackers he goes nuts pointing and I'm happy to give them to him but when I try to feed him more substantial foods he eats a little and then tries knocking them out of my hands and refuses to eat but then is hungry again. He can't live on crackers and bananas but that's all he wants. I've tried telling him he can't have a cracker or banana until he eats more substantial food and I've even tried giving him more interesting and tasty food and it works for a couple of bites and then he refuses. Then he wants to nurse nurse nurse which I'm okay with but I don't think I have enough milk to sustain him anymore. I just hope he's getting enough. He's not losing weight but he hasn't seemed to be gaining either.

Frustration #6 : Communication
He can say "Dada" and "Mama" but that's it. He once said, "KEE" and pointed to the cat so I assumed he was trying to say, "Kitty" but he's never done it again. Everything is "Duh." He has even stopped saying, "Dada" when he wants his dad and just points and says, "Duh." It's that way for everything and some times he just stands in a room, spinning in circles pointing in all directions with both hands saying, "duh, duh, duh, duh," and no matter what I give him he is unhappy and starts screaming. He has also learned the art of the temper tantrum and lays on the floor kicking and screaming when his wants are not met though I cannot always understand what he wants. He used to use signs for milk but has even stopped signing despite the fact that I continue to do so. It's almost like since he's learned to point he sees no reason to try to communicate any other way.

Frustration #7 : His temper
My husband and I are VERY laid back people and neither of us have bad tempers. We never raise our voices or yell or throw things or even really argue. So it is a huge surprise to us that our boy is a little monster when he doesn't get his way. He throws things and screams and falls on the floor flailing. I often resort to just sitting on the floor near him and waiting for him to come to his senses but he can have these temper tantrums for five - ten minutes at a time and I have no idea what to do but just sit there quietly waiting them out. I'm totally at my wits end on that one.

My saving grace is that (so far) he plays very well with other children. We go to play groups a couple times a week and he has a lot of fun running around and playing with the other kids and seems particularly interested in watching them and how they do things. He seems to make huge advances in skills after every play group just by imitating what the other kids have done (he's usually one of the youngest in the group). However, I'm afraid that once he stops being interested in these other kids and wants what they have his temper will soar to new heights and mine will be the kid no other mom wants around their child because they beat the crap out of the other kids.

I've watched him get pushed, hit, stepped on, toys taken away from him and even bit and pushed down and taken it all with a grain of salt trying not to make a big deal about it even though my instinct is to "rescue" him. I've treated those things very casually, almost like they aren't anything at all. My hope was to not make mountains out of mole-hills. My "nonchalant" attitude, however, has seemed to foster the idea those things don't matter at all. I'm glad he doesn't make a big deal out of being hurt and he never comes running to me for a boo-boo but I'm wondering if I have made a bigger error along the way.

So, there you have it, my whole Mommy head-ache in one, LONG post.

I think I need a day off to regroup.

I'm willing to take any seasoned advice or perspective.

I love my son dearly and KNOW that he will grow into a confident, strong, leader (I can already see it in him) but I hope that doesn't mean running over his Mommy to do it.

ETA: He's 14 months!

Advertisement

__________________
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

Last edited by JMBaby; 01-16-2010 at 01:14 PM.
JMBaby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
elibellij's Avatar
elibellij
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 631
Re: Whatever

The only advice I have is that these things are very, very normal for a toddler to be doing. I'll try to give my personal thoughts on each point

1. "refusing to let me leave"

He will of course refuse to let you leave -- until he learns that you WILL leave. You will lose your sanity if you don't let your toddler alone to nap. Even if he doesn't nap/sleep, it gives him down time. I'm not sure how old your toddler is, but I think he needs to learn the rules of nap time and know that you're not going to give in. I don't know of other DS mama's opinions on letting toddlers cry in a situation like this, but (and I would never do this with a newborn or infant), I have no problem letting my 2.5 year old son fuss if the reason is because he's not getting his way (i.e. not getting to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed, not having mommy sleep there, etc.).

2. I do not try to clean up until he is done playing I've found that with my spirited son, when mommy is cleaning he thinks it's just as fun to "unclean." If I am cleaning up, I redirect his attention. It sounds like some gentle redirection (and I will actually physically move/guide my son to another spot and get him interested in something else, if it comes to that) might work for you, since he is breaking things.

3. Accidents happen Do the best you can, and know that you're a good mama. You can't expect that a little boy will never get hurt! (as much as it breaks my heart).

4. Toddlers go through phases. This does not mean he is rejecting you, just exploring his world and testing his boundaries. Shrug it off. If my son does this I give him a quick peck on the head, tell him mommy loves him, and don't make a deal about it. Most of the time he'll reconsider and run over to give me a hug before we go anyway

5. I don't have any advice here We've been very blessed with a little one who will eat just about anything. This has always been something I've worried would happen though! I was apparently a picky eater as a little one.

6. It takes time He is communicating in his own way (even with the tantrum). Don't make a big deal over the tantrums (we "ignore" or son when he throws one. It's hard being a little guy with limited communication skills. You might like the book "Happiest Toddler on the Block" which goes over how toddlers communicate and how to communicate back to them.

7. He's a toddler You're doing the right thing by waiting it out. Don't let it get to you!

I think you're obviously doing a great job with him and these are all very normal things! *Hugs*

8.

Last edited by elibellij; 01-16-2010 at 01:13 PM.
elibellij is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 01:16 PM   #3
JMBaby's Avatar
JMBaby
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 813
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

Quote:
Originally Posted by elibellij View Post
I'm not sure how old your toddler is, but I think he needs to learn the rules of nap time and know that you're not going to give in. I don't know of other DS mama's opinions on letting toddlers cry in a situation like this, but (and I would never do this with a newborn or infant), I have no problem letting my 2.5 year old son fuss if the reason is because he's not getting his way (i.e. not getting to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed, not having mommy sleep there, etc.).
Oops. Forgot to say how old he is.

He's only 14 months. I have been against CIO though I have let him fuss and tried to guide him to different methods. I agree that eventually he's going to have to understand that his Mommy cannot stay with him for every nap and bed time but I'm not sure when that time is. I'm very conflicted about it.
__________________
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh
JMBaby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #4
elibellij's Avatar
elibellij
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 631
Re: Whatever

Awww, that is a tough age for sure. On the one hand they are still like little babies, but on the other hand they are getting so big and are ready for independence.

I doubt that my view on this age will be very popular here, but I'm not against letting a 14 month old cry some as he learns to soothe himself to sleep and gain Independence at nap and bed time. I feel that they are old enough to know that mommy and daddy still love them, and are still around at all times.

I think it's important to weigh the reasons and factors that might go into this decision -- is it better for him to have a mama who's at her wits end and (probably, I would be!) resenting the fact that she doesn't get even a single minute to herself to do housework, doesn't get enough sleep, and is frustrated (as is he!)? Or, is it better for him to take a couple of days to get used to the idea that he can and will sleep in his own, even if it makes him madder than ever as he learns? After which mama and toddler sleep peacefully night after night (okay, it's not always that easy, lol!)

We did make this difficult choice around this age (I used to put mine in the Ergo every nap and bedtime for HOURS to soothe him to sleep and avoid crying...and was at my wit's end...I decided what was best for him was a hard lesson at first, but one that benefits him now as he gets more sleep, I get more sleep, and he is more independent at bedtimes).

It's a tough call and every mama and little one is different. The best of luck no matter what you decide on
elibellij is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
Chey
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Just South Of 60th Parallel...Brrrrr
Posts: 5,591
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

Oh lord. 14 months.

He's completely normal.

I'll just address a couple things.

1) Food. Look at the scope of a day or even a week or two. Remember that growth slows SIGNIFICANLY after the first year. The average 2 year old eats 2tbsp of food at a meal. If for a week all he wants is cheese and crackers, throw a few grapes in there and maybe some cubed up ham....if he eats a couple grapes and a few bites of ham through the week, you're golden!!

2) pulling stuff out of drawers. Get used to it. LOL

3) communication. You can't expect a 14 month old to be able to communicate. They simply can't. My son was pretty much non verbal until three then opened up and spoke complete sentences. Usually you start getting some decent communication between 18 months and 2 years, but for many, and moreso for boys, it can be closer to three

4) won't let you leave. Perfectly normal. Once you go they are find 99 times out of 100. I've had daycare kids that cry while the parents are leaving and within a moment or two they are laughing and happy. Totally normal.

5) Temper. At 14 months he doesn't have a temper, he has an inability to adequately communicate his feeling and this leaves him frustrated. Understandably so, I get frustrated trying to communicate with a 14 month old.

6) clean up. Do a quick clean up mid day then a second one after he's in bed. At this age they mess up whatever you clean up. It's a losing battle, don't even try to fight it.

Overall your son is acting like every other 14 month old baby. Nothing out of the ordinary here. LOL
Chey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
JMBaby's Avatar
JMBaby
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 813
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chey View Post
Oh lord. 14 months.

He's completely normal.

I'll just address a couple things.

1) Food. Look at the scope of a day or even a week or two. Remember that growth slows SIGNIFICANLY after the first year. The average 2 year old eats 2tbsp of food at a meal. If for a week all he wants is cheese and crackers, throw a few grapes in there and maybe some cubed up ham....if he eats a couple grapes and a few bites of ham through the week, you're golden!!
I'm going to do a little more research on caloric needs of a 14 month old but this is a big relief. I always feel like he's not eating enough but I really don't know how much is enough. I did some researching this morning and found a growth chart and saw that he's still 95th percentile for weight but he always has been (he's a big boy). I just want to make sure he stays healthy.

A gal friend of mine got scolded BIG time by her doctor for almost starving her daughter because she was making her own baby food and was feeding her things like pureed carrots and green beans and squash and leaving out fats and oils and her daughter got down to dangerously low weight. She just didn't know any better and it made me super aware of making sure he gets enough fats and proteins.. What can I say, I'm a typical first-time Mom.

Quote:
3) communication. You can't expect a 14 month old to be able to communicate. They simply can't. My son was pretty much non verbal until three then opened up and spoke complete sentences. Usually you start getting some decent communication between 18 months and 2 years, but for many, and moreso for boys, it can be closer to three
I do understand that he will communicate at his own speed as far as talking is concerned but I never expected him to STOP using words he was already using or to stop using baby signs. I don't (and won't) push him to communicate in ways he can't. That's silly. But is it normal for him to stop using communication he was previously comfortable with?

Quote:
5) Temper. At 14 months he doesn't have a temper, he has an inability to adequately communicate his feeling and this leaves him frustrated. Understandably so, I get frustrated trying to communicate with a 14 month old.
He definitely has NO problem communicating his feelings of anger...lol. His "tantrums" usually come when I take something away or tell him not to do something. For instance: He learned how to climb into the tub where I hid the plunger. I removed him from the tub and tried to trade the plunger for a toy and he FREAKED OUT!! Enter temper tantrum. Of course.. toilet plungers are so much more fun than toy helicopters than sing..lol

Quote:
Overall your son is acting like every other 14 month old baby. Nothing out of the ordinary here. LOL
That is relieving to hear. I seem to be in an odd stage with my son. In the one play group we go to he is the youngest and the only boy and the mothers I talk to only have experience with their girls.

In the second play group I go to he is the youngest little boy who can walk and run and everyone is just so concerned about watching their kids it's hard to talk... TONS of kids running around.

I really can't seem to find good advice around here (geographically) and I wonder if I'm not completely failing as a mom sometimes. I know that can't be the case as long as you are genuinely trying to do your best by your kids but it doesn't stop you from feeling like that sometimes.
__________________
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh
JMBaby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 01:58 PM   #7
nakedbabytoes
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wonderful Nebraska!
Posts: 5,901
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

Chey, I heart you!

OP, I know it's frustrating. You try to childproof what you can, gate what you can't, and roll with it. You are going to drive yourself mad otherwise.
Sanity is hard enough when you get a nap break, but you aren't. That is hard! I won't even go into suggestions because you have heard them all.
He does sound like a normal 14 month old kid to me. Sometimes just saying "this is normal, this is normal" is the only thing that gets me by.
Hugs.
__________________
Bye bye.
nakedbabytoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
Chey
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Just South Of 60th Parallel...Brrrrr
Posts: 5,591
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

I think 12-18 months really is one of the hardest stages to get through. They are JUST at an age where they are mobile and have the ability to explore. They get over stimulated easily. THEY know what they want but do not have the maturity or the ability to convey their feelings in any way other than a tantrum. They are clingy and needy because although they have this newfound independence they still need the security and comfort that a parent offers. It's a tough situation, we just need to be there to gently guide and encourage them to explore.

As for food. Just make sure that the choices you offer are good one. Try adding Olives, Avocado, cheese, scrambled eggs, french toast, grilled cheese sandwiches etc... etc... I try to make eating fun. If I think (even at the ages my big kids are 6 and 5) if they haven't eaten an adequate amount over the past few days I will make for supper something that I KNOW they will eat. I don't cater to them, but if it's been a tough week I might decide to make spaghetti or perogies, both of which I know they LOVE and will eat multiple helpings of. Even at their ages now, I tend to look at the scope of a few days or a week before I am concerned about what they haven't eaten.

The Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto has a great book called The Hospital For Sick Kids Better Baby Food. This is an AMAZING book for giving good recipes for babies and toddlers. It gives age appropriate foods that meet the nutritional guidelines. It will help to understand how much a toddler needs to eat and when to worry and when not to worry. This book was a life saver when I had my first almost 7 years ago. Not sure if it is readily available in the US or if it is even still in print in Canada, but you might find a copy on ebay. I still use mine.

ETA: Don't set high expectations for the day. Some days maintenance is as good as it gets. I feel like I've reached nirvana if the house isn't a bigger mess at bed time then it was when we got up. Generally after everyone is in bed I do a quick tidy and fold laundry, but really, spit spot just isn't where it's at. This is with one kid. I have three. It seems like they just get messier as they get older too. LOL.

Last edited by Chey; 01-16-2010 at 02:06 PM.
Chey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 02:19 PM   #9
Chey
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Just South Of 60th Parallel...Brrrrr
Posts: 5,591
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

OK, so that was really weird. I posted a paragraph excerpt from the book and it posted a zillion times, and I guess at the same time I was editing a mod came and deleted my multiple posts and deleted the original one too. eep.

Here it is again.
Quote:
When young children are at the stage of trying new foods (as well as their parents' patience!), there will be times when they seem not to be hungry, and refuse their usual favorite foods. This is quite common and should not be a cause for concern. Just as a child's growth and weight gain do not always increase smoothly, appetite may also be inconsistent. Also, with all the little things they eat throughout the day, children who refuse a main meal could be getting more than their parents realize.

Consider, for example, the sample menu shown on page 46. Here 1-year-old might appear to recieve insufficient amounts (bites) of food, yet in fact gets 850 calories - or over 80% of his or her energy needs - from various foods nibbled on throughout the day. (Only 50% of iron needs would be met, however, so you'd eventually need to add iron-rich foods.)
Here is the Menu from p46
Quote:
Breakfast
1oz cheese
1/4 banana
1/2 egg

Snack
6 small bite-size crackers
1/4 banana

Lunch
1tbsp pasta sauce
2tbsp pasta
1/4 cup juice

Snack
2 arrowroot cookies
1/4cup cheerios

Supper
1/4 slice of bread
1 mini yogurt (2oz)
1/4 apple

In addition, 2 cups whole milk through the day

Last edited by Chey; 01-16-2010 at 02:36 PM.
Chey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 02:20 PM   #10
Chey
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Just South Of 60th Parallel...Brrrrr
Posts: 5,591
My Mood:
Re: Whatever

multiple post

Last edited by Chey; 01-16-2010 at 02:24 PM.
Chey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.