The Arrival of Toddler Tantrums

Bubbles turns 18 months today.

In the last few days, the Terrible Twos Toddler Tantrums arrived. Although she still displays many sweet moments, she has clearly become a toddler who knows what she wants and will make her wants known. Loud and clear.

Overnight, she has morphed into a child who has a verbal opinion on everything. What to eat for breakfast (Flower Biscuit!), who should be feeding her, what colour socks to wear (Pink! Pink! Pink!), when reading should take place etc etc.

When she wants something it is always NOW. So if we're going to to the supermarket (she loves going there), she now demands MARKET MARKET MARKET all through the car-ride there, as if teleporting is actually possible. Or if we so much as hint at it, we will get PAYGOUND PAYGOUND PAYGOUUND (Playground).

The worst thing for me to cope with is when she insists on something, and when given it, she changes her mind. Especially if it involves me actually cooking something for her.

Unfortunately, she has also learnt the art of screaming. As in really screaming. I actually caught her practising it once after she heard another child scream. (How's that for learning from your peers?) Now, she uses it to protest or to gain attention.

We have been really tired out by all of this. I have been getting the brunt of it because I am her most favouritest person in the world and at times ONLY mummy can do a whole host of things. Like take an empty milk bottle from her. Or hand her a spoon. Or read a chosen book. Or pat her to sleep.

On the subject of patting, she now demands to be patted. She actually lies on her side, pats her thigh (or bum) and tells me Pat! or even Sarge! (Massage). Yes, my baby demands Massages. I survive by the cutest sight of it all: A tot patting her own diaper-clad bum while holding a bolster and sucking her thumb!

This is her protesting against her breakfast oats.
She wanted chocolate bread.
The funny thing is that she actually stops mid-scream to respond to our comments or questions.

Ahhhhhhhhh! DUN WAAAAANTTTTT! KEEEEEP! *Takes bowl of oats and thrusts it at me*
BREeeeeeeaaaaad! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Me: Do you want to eat bread?

AHHHHHHHhhhhhh....*Big eyed look*
Yes! *Nods enthusiastically*
Me: Ok if you want bread you'll have to eat your oats first.

*Scrunches up face* DUN WANT!! NO NO!
BREEEAAAD!! THERE!!! *Points to bread*

Sigh

Right now, besides painful eardrums, we're just thankful that she has not thrown herself to the ground or anything at us for that matter. Prayerfully that will never happen. If it does, then I pray for a bigger dollop of patience and lots of loving wisdom.

Mummy knows it is a phase, baby. A phase. That will pass. Soon enough. Doesn't time always fly?

17 comments:

mirrror said...

OH the beginning of the TT (terrible two). Seems all so scary at the start but somehow you'll get used to it.

This is a phase that's unavoidable yet i was dreading it so much. Thank God there are the good days to counter those not-so-good moments.

I like how Bubbles "demands" to be pat. Mii do the same thing too and she also "dictates" where she wants to be pat, either the head, tummy or bum.

fernoftheforest79 said...

oh dear. that last photo actually looks quite scary. cannot imagine

Jamie said...

Welcome to the club.. Jade was like that at 18 months too, unfortunately, she's still like that at 23 months!! She's so demanding that half the time I feel like I'm her slave.. I too hope that this phase will soon pass, hopefully before she turns 3!

goolypop said...

Hoho...let's surprise her by screaming along with her. :p

corsage said...

mirrror:
I agree that about the good days to counter the bad! And I think God made kids so cute it makes it easier to cope :) Mii asks to be patted too? Our kids these days! LOL

fernoftheforest79:
Haha, yes! You've not seen her that way before! Thankfully it is really her trying her best to put on an angry face. She was such an angel yesterday, almost like she read my post and decided on no more tantrums =P

jamie:
Your Jade too?! She looks so gentle! I know what you mean about feeling like a slave. My husband always says that Bubbles bullies me! I've been reading up quite a bit about dealing with such tantrums though, and one of the tips I picked up was to not let the tantrums change anything so that they won't use it as a power tool! Easier said than done I know!

goolypop:
And would you believe that I have tried that! Doesn't work =P I've managed to pick up some tips from the experts. Will write about them at some point! :)

Debra said...

Wah, massages! What a good life!

The Kam family said...

We have gone through the Terrible Twos phase of our #1 quite smoothly. It only lasted for about 2-3 months, a few big tantrums and that's it. Call us lucky! Wonder how it would be like for my girl, harder, I think.

Things that I keep reminding myself druing the Terrible Twos phase - acknowledge his need/request, think from a child perspective. be more patient and communicate/talk to him lots. They want to be heard and they want to learn how to communicate with us adults.

corsage said...

debra:
Haha! Indeed! It's payback time because I apparently did something similar when I was a tot! Asked for back scratches.

kam:
Oooh, why do you think it will be harder with your daughter?
For us Bubbles is very communicative and we clearly know what she wants. It is more a battle of wills and giving her the attention she needs. She was such an angel yesterday and I'm re-reading this post and wondering "did it really happen?!" haha! Let's see how long this lasts.

MamaJ said...

Ohhh I feel your pain! The boy has had massive meltdowns, complete with hands flinging & back arching... We're finding it a fine balance between giving him some of his requests and saying no. Praying hard it pass and for wisdom!

corsage said...

mamaJ:
It is truly a trying period, isn't it! I've been reading about how to deal with it and was surprised to find out that it is terrifying for a child to be having a tantrum as well. Their own rage scares them. I think I shall gather tips that I could work with the next time a tantrum comes again! Yes, we need God-given wisdom indeed!

Alice Law said...

True enough, it's a phase that my boy is having too!(18 months)^-^ Always 'BEAR SHIRT' when I want to get him change(but boy easily gives in after a few whimpering)!

Poiema said...

Mine's been having a surge of tantrums too... Sometimes ignoring helps if she's seeking extra attn, sometimes giving in helps if the request is actually reasonable, sometimes we feel we have to put our foot down just to maintain our authority over her whims... As always the challenge is to have wisdom to discern what is appropriate!

I didn't start patting cos i was addicted to it myself as a child. But K has developed another addiction sigh.

corsage said...

alice:
It IS a phase I'm sure! Just need loads of patience on our part! Whimpering is WAY better than screaming! LOL

poiema:
Is it due to the arrival of baby sis? It really is a challenge to know what to do! Sometimes it truly is a battle of the will and whoever holds out first wins! In those instances we DO need to win, but it takes a ton of patience and time! Re patting, we started when she was a weeks' old to wean her off being carried to sleep. Unfortunately weaning off the patting seems a lot harder! Worse after a spell of illness. Almost seems impossible right now :/

Adeline said...

I can't explain whether is it a phase but they sure like to test their limits at this point. My older boy Isaiah is still like that at 2.5 years old. He clearly knows what he wants and I am absolutely tired too if it involves me cooking something and he so decides to chuck it away. Frustrates and annoys me!

On the flipside though, I hope I don't sound like Amy Chua here :P, I find that this is a good time to rein them in and discipline them so they know their limits and when boundaries ought not to be pushed. E.g. when there are cars zipping by, Isaiah automatically knows he has to hold my hand, no buts about that otherwise he will get a stern lashing from me. Among the two of us, my kids are more afraid of me because I'm the bad guy but for the long run, I'm all for hard loving and too much pampering will create a bratty child.

Hope I don't sound like a terrible mother. :P

The Kam family said...

Corsage,
I said that because as of now (before the start of her Terrible Twos), my girl has already thrown herself onto the floor a few times when she didn't get what she wanted! While for my boy, he NEVER did this till now that he has passed 3 yo.

Acknowledge what she wants is very important. Sometimes what she asks may not sound right, but to a child, she doesn't know what's right or wrong. You don't have to give in to whatever she requests, but you must let her know you listen and would consider her request, and tell her clearly why you couldn't let her do or give her what she wants.

My boy is an early speaker too, so that helps a lot in minimising the tantrum, since he can communicate with us clearly.

corsage said...

adeline:
You totally not an Amy Chua! I actually witnessed a horrific incident where a toddler boy almost got knocked down by a car at Holland Village! His mum parked the car and put him on the ground and was taking something out of the car when he ran out onto the road! Thankfully the oncoming car wasn't speeding, and an adult man stepped in front of the car to signal 'Stop'. Tears came into my eyes when I saw the relief of the screaming mother. I say we definitely have to be strict when it comes to safety! I like how a friend describes toddler tantrum periods as toddler puberty! How apt =)

corsage said...

Kam:
I see. Throwing themselves on the ground is something that can frustrate any parent! Yes, I agree with your advice. We do need to always explain our actions so that they will understand if not presently then sometime in the near future!