Terrible Ones?

Sometime around 13 months, we noticed a change in Aiden’s behavior.

Can't get the puzzle out...meltdown begins...

Our once happy-to-be-alive, easy-going little boy started showing signs of frustration and downright anger.  We’re talking unrelenting bouts of crying, screaming, clenched fists, hitting, and just generally lashing out.

 ...oh the inhumanity...

These tantrums can show up at any time for any reason although the common theme seems to be moments when things aren’t going his way.  Like if he bangs his head on something.  Or we give him the cup he doesn’t like.  Or if we put him down and he wants to be held.  Or if we pick him up and he wants to be down.  Or when he can’t get his puzzle board out of his toy box (because mommy is holding it there).

Why does this box hate me?

Suffice it to say, the world just seems against Aiden lately.  Many times during his tantrums, I look to Dan and ask “Is this normal?  Are we messing him up?  I mean why is he so angry?  How can he be perfectly happy one minute and so upset the next?”

I hate you box. 

During one of his more recent tantrums, when the questions of concern started flowing freely, Dan encouraged me to look in the parenting book that we had on the shelf.  So I turned to the “Second Year” section and started reading, looking for any sign that we weren’t screw-up parents.  Here are the first six sentences of the chapter:

Your baby enters her second year and becomes a toddler, crawling vigorously, starting to walk, even talking a little.  As she becomes more and more independent, the days of her unquestioning adoration and dependency on you are becoming numbered.

This realization probably makes you feel both sad and excited—not to mention a little nervous as you think about the coming clashes between her will and yours.  In fact, you may already be getting some glimpses of these struggles.  For instance, try to take something away from her and she may scream in protest.”

Strike out “sad and excited” there and replace it with “stressed out and mortified” and these people just might be on to something.  I didn’t read any more after that because my questions were answered.  This is apparently just what happens to our sweet babies.  In Aiden’s case, I think a lot of it has to with the frustration of not quite being able to walk and obviously not being able to communicate what he wants, so my initial thought is that it should be relatively temporary, right?  RIGHT? 

Well after some recent conversations with his co-workers, Dan has informed me that different versions of this behavior has been reported all the way to age 4.   Great.  So I guess we’ll just have to learn how to deal and chalk this up to more crap that nobody felt it was important to mention before we had kids.

Defeated.

All we can do now is just stay calm (aka suppress our worries that we have a bi-polar kid), laugh about it when we can (which is surprisingly often), and try to teach Aiden to relax.  Or in the words of Dan: “We just have to power through the next 20 years.”

Note: No babies were harmed in the staging of these photos…only pissed off.

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One Response to “Terrible Ones?”

  1. kathy truhn Says:

    talk about on the job training! The stress has just begun!

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