Tantrum City

Calvin went through a phase for a month or two before he started talking when he threw tantrums regularly, mostly because he couldn't communicate and was frustrated. We weathered that moderately well. Since then, he has fairly isolated occasions of fit-throwing and they are generally related to one of three things: he's tired, he's hungry, or I didn't give him any warning about an upcoming change. (He needs a couple minutes or so to "finish" playing with his legos before we leave for the grocery store, etc. - With that small window of time, he comes totally willingly, without the great shoe and sock war and the kicking and screaming scene to the carseat. So I comply. I feel crabby when someone demands that I stop something immediately, too.)

Cal can also be a little surly sometimes, and I've figured out that it mostly stems from a level of shyness and his intensity and curiosity - he's always thinking and processing. I'm not justifying anti-social or unruly behavior, I'm just saying that as his mom, I've learned a lot about how he operates since he was born almost four years ago.

But lately, he has been in nearly constant tantrum mode. I picked him up from preschool today and he SCREAMED that he didn't want to go. He had to put away a water bottle that he was playing with at preschool and wanted to borrow it. I told him we had one at home that I would get for him when we got there and he SCREAMED that we did not have one and that he hated me and he hated going home and that he hated the car and he hated water bottles.

I passed the preschool calendar and supplies on to the next teacher and he SCREAMED that he hated to share and then fell in the middle of the stairwell with his head in his hands bawling like the world was ending, sobbing because he was going to miss the calendar and it was ours, etc.

We came home and he was looking at the leaves everywhere, somewhat recovered from his aversion to calendar sharing and water bottle trauma. He said, "There's lots of leaves on the ground now, Mom." And stupid me, I said, "Yep, I bet the leaf blowers will come in a couple days." And he fell apart about the leaf blowers (which he usually loves - anyone with an impressive tool).

I have no idea where it all comes from - he's fed, not too tired, and I'm not throwing any curve balls his way, really. There's no reasoning with him, there's no consoling him, there's no discipline that seems to reach him whatsoever. And it seems that when he is not tantrumming, he is causing Henry to scream and cry.

I don't think I can listen to it anymore. I'm about to throw a tantrum of my own...

Scream!! Crash! Whap! Kick! Kick! Kick! (shoes in the hall, toys on the stairs, etc.)
Bam! Thwap! Thump ! (fluff pillows violently, wallow into bed, yank covers over my head)

Hey, that feels a lot better.


Super Happy Girl said...

"Shoe and sock war", wow, never heard this put quite like that.
:( sorry.
Kids just like to test boundaries, and testing they do.
It'll get better eventually, just in time for something else.

Angela said...

Aww, that was a puny tantrum, you can do better than that!

I have discovered a correlation (although I haven't discovered how to spell that word) between major developmental milestones and crankiness. Just before the start crawling, walking, talking, toilet-peeing, etc. Maybe he's about to....take over the universe or something. Or turn 4.

The Amazing Trips said...

I totally feel your pain. Times three.

Our house is like tantrum train wreck central. You are guaranteed to catch a good one at least once every 15 minutes.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Ditto on Angela's comment. It's like they don't want to let go of the last stage, so they go out with a BANG! Hang in there. Four was my hardest year for my oldest, but the best year for my next one, so it is definitely a personality thing. You are in the trenches right now, so hunker down and look for the humor in it all. It really is there, under all that screaming, somewhere!