The conundrum of melt-downs and tantrums

I would have to say that the hardest part of having a toddler is navigating the tricky slope of meltdowns and tantrums.  Things have actually been fairly good for a while.  We would have your random little meltdown that would generally end in a reasonable amount of time, and we could handle it.  We bought a book called ‘Calm Down Time‘ and even made Enzo a calm down place that he actually used… for a while.

CalmDownPlace

Every once in a while, though, we go through a stage where the tantrums and meltdowns are of epic proportions.  The last time this happened was when Josh was traveling for business and when he got back the intense tantrums started up and lasted for a few weeks.  It was exhausting for all of us and honestly?  We didn’t know what the best way to handle them was. We’ve tried so many suggestions and are still trying to find a method that shortens the outbursts, or better yet, stops them from happening.

The past weeks our beloved toddler has been a bit of a bear, and we’re not really sure what set it off. The only thing that has changed is that about a week ago he developed a canker sore in his mouth (who knew they could be hereditary??), which was really painful for him and he didn’t sleep well for probably 3 nights and didn’t nap well either.  He’d wake up crying a few times a night despite giving him Tylenol.  He was obviously grumpy, but the pain started getting better and he started sleeping better, so we figured things would be good.  Not so much.  My hernia surgery hasn’t affected life all that much.  I’ve been doing as much as I can with him and only pick him up if necessary (even though I shouldn’t be lifting him at all).  The only other thing we can think of is that Phoebe is becoming more mobile and that while he usually loves her and enjoys her, he’s experiencing some jealousy.

PosingFail

I suppose it’s only natural, really.  He woke up happy as a lark this morning, but his attitude immediately changed when he realized that Phoebe was already in our room. We are beginning to realize that we may need to change how we do a few things. Because Phoebe is starting to move around more, she can be grabby and curious, but doesn’t understand sharing or otherwise, so we need to be more proactive about moving her instead of always expecting Enzo to move and making sure that we tell Phoebe to share as well if only so that Enzo sees that we aren’t playing favorites.  He’s also going to have to learn that some toys he needs to play with in his room and that if he she is somewhere first and he brings a toy next to her, she’s just going to grab it and we can’t always be there to referee.  Josh and I may have to start switching up the bedtime routine as well… so far I’ve been mostly handling Phoebe’s bath and bedtime (mostly because Enzo wanted Josh for so long), but I think I may need to ask him if he wants me.  Maybe he is jealous of me spending so much time with Phoebe and I never even realized it because we just got into a new routine.

It’s not easy being a toddler… or the parent of a toddler, for that matter.  If anyone has any great advice or references for toddler tantrums and jealousy, though… send them my way!

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