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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tale of a tantrum

Janey has so many tantrums and crying spells, they all blend together. So I thought I'd pick a random one and describe it. Tonight she asked to watch Kipper, one of her favorite videos. I had just turned off another video because she kept crying during it. I have decided to do that, to take her crying as communication she doesn't like something and tell her that---"Oh, you are crying, you must not like that video, I will turn it off for you". I gave her lots of attention and talked to her about things, and she calmed down and asked for Kipper. I put it on, and she watched it happily for a bit, then got to a certain part and went and asked Tony for "a green flashlight". She had been playing a lot today with her flashlight, which has a princess theme and sparkly things. We don't have any green one, so we assumed she meant her regular one, and gave it to her. That set things off---somehow that was very wrong. She immediately started screaming and stomping her feet hard, and it escalated to hysterical crying and biting of the couches, and pounding her feet so hard I am sure it hurt. We all stayed calm as we try to, and tried to ask her what was wrong. I tried "interpreting" a little and said "That wasn't what you wanted. You didn't like that flashlight. Something was wrong. You are very angry". I don't know if that does any good but I hope it gives her words. She cried for quite a while, and finally I lay down with her on my bed and told her it was bedtime. She seemed to relax some, then got up and asked Tony for a bottle. Now she is lying with her and hopefully on her way to sleeping.

We try to figure out what triggers these tantrums. Sometimes it's hunger, but she ate well today. Sometimes it's tiredness, or a stuffy nose, or our lack of understanding what she wants. I know it's frustrating for her, but it is for us, too. We all walk on eggshells so much of the time, and the boys so often just have to wait for what they need while we try to keep her sane. I am getting more and more tired. I am too old for an 1 year old, but that is what I have, essentially.

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