Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I'm convinced that toddlers are bipolar.
I don't mean to make light of the actual mental condition--I know it's very real, and very serious--but SO ARE TODDLER MOOD SWINGS. Dear lord.
Nora was such an easy baby. Seriously, she almost never cried. But then she turned one, and went all crazy. The tantrums were moderate at first, but they have slowly progressed to be the most ridiculously dramatic episodes of all time.
No such luck.
It was nuts.
No matter what we did--pick her up, put her down, give her toys, give her milk, give her books--she just kept screaming. We finally got her to calm down by putting on a movie for a few minutes, and then she went to bed without issue.
We've been assured by the pediatrician that this is all normal, especially considering that Nora does not have more than a few words. I've done some reading on "manipulative" tantrums vs. "frustration" tantrums and I am damn sure that I can tell the difference.
The frustration tantrums are a whole different story. Sometimes, they are easy to solve because she'll come running up to me, arms outstretched, just wanting me to pick her up. And when I do, she calms down. We talked to our pediatrician about this, and she said that in these cases, we SHOULD pick her up, because when she's coming to us like that, it's her way of asking us for help. But there are times when picking her up doesn't help, and she just gets completely out of control. I've been reading about ways to deal with this, too, like holding them tight to help them regain that control. We've tried to just let her cry it out like a manipulative tantrum, but it just doesn't work--that's when we end up with her rolling around on the floor for 15 minutes, or charging at me like a crazy person (and when I pick her up, she just keeps screaming).
But today? Today was a good day. We have good days (or at least parts of days) frequently. That's the funny thing: As challenging as she has been lately, she's also been the most fun that she has ever been. As I've mentioned, we've been outside a lot, and she is just eating it up. She loves to swing and play with chalk on the driveway. She walks around aimlessly, and points at all of the dogs in the neighborhood while saying "TESSA!" (Yes, she thinks all dogs are "Tessas.")
In short, she is amazing in every sense of the word. Amazingly difficult. Amazingly smart. Amazingly sensitive. Amazingly beautiful, inside and out.