Monday, September 28, 2009

Thank god it's Monday

Yes, I just said that. I am glad that it's Monday and that I was able to drop Michael off at my mom's and come into work. No, we aren't having a big party or anything. It's just that things were a little crazy this weekend.

Ha, a little crazy. That's an understatement. Things were a lot crazy this weekend. It had been building all week, but by Saturday morning, Michael pretty much just came unglued.

It started when he woke up around 5:45 and refused to play in his room for even one second. Thankfully, Andy handled getting up with Michael, so I didn't have to suffer the day while also being completely sleep deprived. (Which means that Andy did.)

The first tantrum started around 10:30. Andy had been trying to get Michael to let him change his diaper for a while, but by 10:30 it was so full it was practically falling off his tush. So, I decided to try and get Michael to submit to the diaper change. And I was rebuffed. Loudly. With tears and screaming and toy throwing. You know, the 3-year-old's "big guns". Tears are fine. Screaming is fine. Throwing and hitting are not. Over the course of the next 40 minutes Michael had two time outs and I had to leave him alone to calm down several times. By the time it was over, I don't even think Michael knew what he was upset about.

In the afternoon, I decided to try out a playground that I had heard was good, so all three of use headed out for some fun. Michael had a nice time and played happily for over an hour. Next we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up a new pillow. I let Michael walk instead of making him ride in the cart and he was fine.

But, when dinner time rolled around, Michael flew out of control again. I don't even know what started it, but once he got started, there was no turning back. He cried, screamed, and started throwing things again. We removed him to his bedroom where he cried, screamed and threw stuff. (But hey, it was his stuff.) He did finally calm down, but we were done dinner and he had lost his ice cream privileges by that point.

He had another crazy tantrum over getting ready for bed.

Sunday morning started off well. I was up with him at 6:45, which sucks, but is still better than 5:45. We had a great time playing with letters and he was fine letting me go up stairs to get ready once Andy got up. He even agreed to a diaper change and getting dressed so that he could go grocery shopping with me.

At the grocery store, things started off well. Michael was helping me pick out oranges and would put them in the bag gently. We shopped up and down the aisles without any problem...until we hit the dairy aisle. I have no idea what happened. One minute we were shopping, the next he was insisting that I take him to the "play room so we can find letter toys". I tried to humor him at first, but his demands were becoming ridiculous. When I realized that a tantrum was unavoidable, I just let it happened and finished up my shopping as quickly as possible. Michael just sat in the cart and cried and screamed.

I just let him have at it. I headed for the registers, where I discovered that only two lanes where open. And the lines were long. And my kid was screaming and yelling. I have to hand it to the folks around me. I didn't get a single nasty look. Instead, I got a few sympathetic smiles and some "oh, I remember those days."

After waiting for about 30 seconds, a woman came up and tugged on the front of my cart. She pointed at a lane and said she would take me there. I felt bad because the guy in front of me ended up behind me, but he just smiled and added to the chorus of "I remember those days." He actually commented that he was impressed that I was standing my ground, staying calm, and not giving in to Michael. I was very touched by the compliment even though I would have given in and bought Michael a candy bar in a second if that's all it would have taken to calm him down. The only reason I wasn't giving in was because there was nothing to give in to. Michael was just upset over existing.

The rest of the day went well, but Michael did get in a final F You. I awoke to him calling for me at 11:45 at night. I dreaded going to him, but figured it was worth a try to calm him down before letting him got too worked up. He did go back to sleep after about 10 minutes, but I'm sure he has energy for more of the same for later.

It was a very long, stressful weekend for all of us. We have seen some of this crazy behavior before, but never with this intensity. It's hard to stay calm through so many tantrums, but it's also concerning because Michael is clearly distressed over something that I don't even think he understands. I know that this is expected of kids his age. I know that he'll go in and out of difficult developmental stages. But that doesn't make it any easier to watch him go through the stages, especially when so much of his anguish is directed at Andy and I.

So, for now, I'll just be happy that I like my job, and I'll share a little of the "joy" with my mom.


Mama Mia said...

WOW..i am giving you a big HUG...

Heidi O said...

Bravo! I don't know that I could have handled myself so well. I bet it was nice to have people understand and probably added to your calm and strength. The tantrums that older kids have are so much tougher.

LauraC said...

Sorry to hear about the rough weekend. I followed along on twitter and am sad to report we've had too many weekends like that in the past. That's when I truly enjoy sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee!

(Have I mentioned that we put an alarm clock in Alex's room that plays a Raffi CD and he's now allowed to come out of his room until the music plays? Has worked wonders for us. He literally has his hand on the doorknob waiting for it to play! We do it for naps and morning time or else he is up too early.)

Karla said...

Yikes, what a tough week-end. I hope Michael isn't coming down with something...although at this point that might make it easier to understand. Good luck!

Maria said...

All I can say is wow. There is definitely a special place waiting for you after that weekend. I hope it gets better soon.

Lindsay said...

Much compassion for you today. We had just an afternoon like that yesterday, where CLEARLY Mommy didn't understand the ever-changing rules to whatever was going on in his head. I'm looking forward to Tuesday, although today hasn't been as bad.

Mel said...

Is your mom prepared? I'm glad you get a small break. We have been having tantrums lately too. Well, I say we-but I mean her. I feel like having one though. I've found sometimes the tantrums happen when she is hungry, tired, or needs to go potty. Some bodily need that she is expressing through a tantrum. In fact, just yesterday morning as she was tantruming and I was holding her, she peed on me. I don't know why lately she will just not say "I'm hungry or thirsty or tired or ____" 3 year olds are insane though!

Stacey said...

We had a very similar weekend, but I'm pretty sure I did not handle myself anywhere near as well as you did. I hope your mom made it through today and that he was better for you tonight.

JenFen said...

Sorry to hear you had a rough weekend with Michael and am glad you get a break with work. I agree that I don't know if I could have handled myself so well at the store and was glad to hear that most everyone seemed to understand.

Steph said...

Ugh- what a weekend! You deserve a medal/raise/etc for handling everything so gracefully. Cooper is always especially grumpy when he wakes up too early which happens more often than it should.