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Thread: Close to tears

  1. #1

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    Default Close to tears

    Some of you may remember that Maggie has not been the best as sleeping, she also has some food sensitivity problems and is a boobie addict. We have had our ups and downs, good stretches and bad stretches.

    Just before she turned 2 it was going very well, then Maggie got a cold, then gastro and then we went camping, it all went completely downhill from there and nothing I could do changed things. Then a few weeks ago we both got gastro and all of a sudden she was a changed girl. It would only take 20 minutes to get her sleep and that included reading her bedtime books, she was even asking me to turn off the light, previously that would result in tears and screaming. She was eating more and wanting breastfeeds less and less. She was also much less demanding.

    Then it all went to hell! We had one late night out, where she became totally overstimulated, would not go sleep till very, very late that night and it has not improved since. She now screams at being taken to the bedroom and once in there she does everything she can to fight sleep. Her breastfeeds have increased, she is eating less even though she constantly says that she is hungry, but she wont eat what she even asks for. She tantrums easily, wants completely irrational/impossible things and nothing will distract her. It is just awful, she is miserable, I am miserable, DH is just not coping when he is home. I just cannot believe that one late night would cause so many issues for so long now, surely it would have worn off? All I can think is something has slipped into her diet that I don't know about and it is setting her off. I just cant work it out though.



    I am at a complete loss as what to do now. Consistency is not working and neither is inconsistency.

  2. #2

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    Have you had allergy and intolerance tests done?

  3. #3

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    Oh Astrid the first thing that popped into my mind was that Maggie seems to be following the pattern my DD/DS#1 used to get into at that age (just turned 2) and that was one of angelic/demonic extremes. "Newness" seems to trigger challenging episodes very easily at that age... be it a change of scene, a change within the family, a change of routine or even a change in the weather. All I can suggest it to maybe show her that "newness" can be good. Even just dropping the odd comment like "I like it when we do something different..." etc. Chloe could also be right and it could be more of a health issue. If you think that her health is ok now and that it's behavioural then maybe you could use distraction as the key plan of attack. When she seems to be beginning her downward spiral say something out of left field like: "hey Maggie, have you seen teddy? I thought I saw him heading down the hall... let's go check?" and turn that into a game of let's find teddy (or her favourite toy). Kids that ages are very easily distracted. I still use a similar technique some nights when my DS#1 refuses his bath. We are standing there in the bathroom and he is screaming etc so all of a sudden I turn off the light. He goes instantly quiet (I have his attention) then I open the drawer and get out a box of matches, I light one and say "let's light a candle for bathtime".... he gets really keen and before you know it the tears are forgotten and he's in the bath. Another thing is that kids that age still mirror your own mood (or that of your DH). They can sense if you are worried about something and this manifests as a bad mood/challenging behaviour with them. But I could be wrong... these are just a few thoughts... let us know how she goes over the next few days.

    Oh and I forgot to add that my kids' eating habits lost regularity at that age too in the way you described. The way I dealt with it was just to offer healthy snacks all day rather than set meals.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; October 23rd, 2007 at 04:28 PM.

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    Aw shucks! ta Shannon I was just about to add that sometimes distraction is hard to do when you are tired and at your wits end so you read my mind. Your suggestion of "choosing battles" is very true. Sometimes you have to distract yourself! LOL just walk away, go outside etc.

    Regarding bedtime: maybe allow Maggie to settle somewhere different (eg your bed) and then carry her into her bed when she is asleep? We had to do that with our DD when she was that age... we thought it would become a bad habit but it didn't maybe because we didn't make a fuss... we just said "would you like your bottle in our bed tonight?" she accepted and that was it. Sometimes she wandered back out and we said "oh? do you want to go back to your bed?" of course she didn't so we said "well you go back to our bed then..." She usually complied but if she didn't and insisted on staying up we'd say "well, we're going to bed soon where are you going to sleep?".

    I think the main thing is just to keep the angst out of your voice as much as possible. Be as neutral as you can... and if everything fails just say "oh what the heck... does this really need to be done? And try your hardest to answer "no!" And most of all remember the old saying "this too shall pass!"

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    Thanks everyone - every bit if advice is appreciated. I suppose I got the glimse of the "Angelic" child and now it "hurts" to have lost her. I will definately have a chat to our Dr about proper allergy/intollerance testing, my hit and miss method at the moment obvisiously isn't cutting it. Also DH needs extra prompting to take things like this seriously, so if I can get my Dr on side, then he may be able to convince DH to be supportive if we have to do a full on elimination diet. Would much rather have tests run though.

    Doing what I can to survive at the moment (DH is away again), trying the method of lets go to sleep in the lounge room for a few nights before going back to the bedroom, to see if that helps as it has in the past.

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    As for the food, sometimes I think that Jessalyn survives on air. Seriously, she doesn't seem to eat at mealtimes at all, so she must survive on a couple of snacks a day, and would drink about a million litres of milk if I let her (and she doesn't have the good stuff either, it would be more so with a breastfed child).
    Lordy, this is Indah to a "T"...

    I just pick my battles with her & leave fruit etc out for her to snack on...

    Sorry Astrid I dont have anything extra to add, the above ladies have covered it all....

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    I probably was a bit unclear in my first post. Maggie was never a good eater, but then for that short while she was. It was so nice having her eat 2 wheat bix, rather than 3 mouthfuls. I tend to leave snacky food out for her most of the day. I do think though that her eating does seem to be connected to her other behaviour.

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    Yep, eating can be a control thing with littlies (subconscience)... try not to say anything about her not eating enough. It will pass. My DD was the same.... now she is almost as big as me and definitely healthier and stronger!

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    Well there was some improvement tonight she was asleep before 9 and without a fight. Not long after getting her in her pj's she had a feed on the couch and drifted off to sleep. Thanks Bath for the candle idea for the bath, whilst she wasn't interested in a candle lit bath, she was interested in blowing them out and she was not allowed to do that until she had her bath.

    She was quite insistent that I played with her a lot tonight, so I am wondering if I am leaving her to her own devices to often. I am not very good at the one one play, so I will need to change that.

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    *hugs* Astrid sounds so much like Matilda, suddenly she was up all hours if she slept during the day. Even now if she sleeps, its usually around 8.30-9pm before bed. We started being strict with the time and found that after the first night we would set an alarm to go off at 8.30 and that was time for bed. It stopped all the screaming & negotiations from her about getting to bed.

    Also, for us it was an allergic thing. We found out 2 months ago that Matilda was allergic to cows milk,after much testing. We have seen a completely different child since then. Its incredible how much an allergy could cause behavioural issues.

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    With the one-to-one play: it's really good that you can admit it if that's a challenge. This has been a learning curve for me too as my own mum (not that I can remember anyhow) never played one-to-one with me either. She tended to prefer to take the role of "instructor" and if I didn't proceed to "learn" from her then she would be disappointed. Hence I am shocking at all the activities she tried to teach me eg knitting. All the things I am particularly good at she either can't do or isn't interested in eg tapestry weaving . Fascinating stuff hey? LOL
    Anyhow, my point is that sometimes it's good to allow your children to "teach" you stuff as a part of playing together. So, for example, if you see Maggie making something say "can you teach me how to do that?" it makes kids feel really important. So maybe just start by asking her stuff... see where that takes you

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    Thanks Christy, the alarm sounds like a good idea. I remember as a kid I went to bed after the Sullivans, unfortunately we don't have a regular nightly show that we watch, so an alarm might help.

    I am racking my brain for what she has eaten recently and all I can come up with is some Turkish bread from the supermarket. It was in a packet, so I would assume that it might have on of those nasty preservatives in it, next time I will buy it from a proper bakery. Not like me to not look at the labels.

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    Astrid, hugs to you Sorry, I’ve got nothing to offer except sympathy. I know what it’s like to be at the end of your tether and just so very, very tired (what Mum doesn't).

    Bath, they really were fantastic ideas. Thanks from me too (although I’m not up to quite that stage yet, I can feel it coming very soon).

    I read somewhere (I think it was Robin Barker) that toddlers “eat like birds and poo like elephants”. I’ve always liked that quote.
    Last edited by Epacris; October 23rd, 2007 at 09:48 PM.

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    Bath - I was doing my best to let her lead tonight. She had some imagination, we were playing shops in her little pop up tent. She had me pushing a trolley, buying food, she unloaded at the checkout, paid the lady and loaded the bags back into the trolley. Of course there was no trolley, food or checkout. Wondering whether to get her a little supermarket kit or will that "kill" her imagination. Very hard for me to do though, I am awful at doing housework, but all of a sudden I feel the urgent need to do some cleaning. I don't recall my mother playing with me, she would sew Barbie outfits, I do remember that sometimes my older siblings would play with me, other than that most of my memories are of me playing alone.

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    Yep, my mum would sew stacks of dolls clothes for me too... even made me a doll's house at a wood working class... she did lots of stuff for me but very little with me.... but then again much the same could be said for her mother as well. Isn't it good to know we are breaking the mould

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    We often play one on one with Matilda at night too, we will dit & play play dough or doll houses... Astrid I have gone & bought Matilda a trolley & she never uses it for shoping LOL she prefers the green bags I use. She has been known to put her teddy's in it & wheel them around the house.

    I also took a toy tea set & played tea party & Matilda would help me "bake" with play dough or with tissues.

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    I wish I was breaking the mold but I find it VERY difficult. TBH I hate playing. I especially hate pretend. I do it because I love my kids but I detest it. I would rather sit and draw, or talk about things, play board games etc. But pretend play I HATE. But only from a certain age, around 4 I think it was when she'd put on that voice it all changed LOL! So now she knows I don't like pretend but I'll do other things, we'll play hairdressers and she can do my hair, we'll do craft, play board games or bake. But yep I get that I should be cleaning or doing something else feeling too. I wish I was a better mummy, but hopefully it will be easier for Paris with her kids

  18. #18

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    Checked the bread at the supermarket today and yes it contains 282. She seems to have calmed down for now, so hopefully tonight goes well. Just wish nasty additives were listed on the front of the package, might have to start petioning my local MP as 282 is a known issue with many children.

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