Explosive, Fussy, Spirited, Or is it me??
I remember the first time my son "lost it." It was in the car ride on the way home from a friends after Thanksgiving dinner. Fast forward three years and here we are at Thanksgiving dinner again. This time, the tantrums began early in the evening and continued until we packed everything up to leave. Yes, most kids have tantrums and 3 year-olds are famous for them. But, it just feels as though Jackson has more tantrum moments than calm moments. I find myself tiptoeing around him at times, hoping that we'll make it through Trader Joe's, pre-school pickup, a playdate, a trip to the bank without a complete meltdown. It is exhausting.
Back when he was an infant, I had Sears' The Fussy Baby Book. I think I found some of it helpful. At least I knew that I wasn't the only one with a babe that needed to be held ALL the time and was a terrible napper. But, maybe it was the new first baby syndrome and I didn't try putting him down enough.
Furing toddlerhood, I moved onto the Mary Sheedy Kurcinka book, Raising Your Spirited Child. Having a 'spirited' child seemed like a good match for Jackson. It seems like a positive angle on something that I'm sometimes not so positive about. But, I didn't find enough in the book that I could take and use in my interactions with Jackson.
Here we are at three and next to me is the most recent attempt at understanding my son's temperment, The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. The subtitle is, A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children. Hmmm...that seems like a match. A friend recommended the book and went out and bought it for me; we spent Thanksgiving together. I'm game for trying something else. I feel like I need some sort of road map for dealing with the non-stop explosions that occur over the just about anything and everything.
This morning I opted out of heading downtown with my husband and son to check out the parade because I just needed a break. It made me sad that I did not want to spend time with my family. I know that's normal; but, I wish that it wasn't because of the fact that I just didn't think I could deal with another meltdown over the way the ice cream sandwich was divided, or the grape was being offered, or the way the sock was on his foot, or the fact that my hair was wet, or because the play glasses were not staying on, or the way I played the mama deer, or because he couldn't fold the clothes the way he wanted to, or the way the mittens fit on his hands..
Do other mamas feel this way at times? What have you found that helps in these situations where tempers are flaring? Any recommended reads? Is it sensory overload, cognitive inflexibility; or, do I just need to ride out the 3's and hope for better times come 4?