Broken. Tried. Emotional.
Lets go back to the start of the week. So, on Saturday last week we went to our local shopping center and he was such a good boy! Didn't moan that he was bored or try to get out of the buggy or anything! I was actually a little surprised as we were there for quite a long time and I really expected him to get a little restless but I was wrong. Sunday, he started to feel under the weather and had a bit of a temperature. He was really cuddly and off of his food which was very unlike him. This continued into Monday so I took him to the doctors. He was given some antibiotics and I thought this would perk him up within a day or so. Oh how very wrong I was!!!
Prior to last week Bubba was generally a good toddler. Yes he had his moments where he would have a tantrum but it was forgotten quickly and they were few and far between. I don't know what has happened but since he woke up on Friday morning, he has been like the devil child.
Friday, he literally tantrummed all day! I'm not talking about little tantrums where he has a cry or moan and it's over within 10 minutes...Oh no! I am talking full blown screaming, hitting himself, banging his head against the floor, hitting us, crying, rolling around the floor, throwing stuff..THE WORKS! And what seems to make it even harder is that nothing that we used to do to calm him down seems to work anymore. If we ignore him he just does it even more. If we walk away he will follow. If we try to speak to him or calm him down he will hit us or scream even more. It is draining emotionally and physically and by the time it had got to Friday dinner time, I didn't think he could get much worse. I very quickly found out that he could get worse and things could get even harder!
Bubba loves his food and we have never had any problem with him eating. Since Friday he has screamed at every single meal time and reached up to the snack cupboard refusing to eat anything but snacks. If we take the food away, he doesn't care. If we shove a spoonful in his mouth mid scream he will just spit it out everywhere! An hour into trying to give him some dinner on Friday I was in tears and Hubby was at the end of his tether. I didn't know what to do and I just felt stuck. I wanted and needed him to eat as otherwise he would have been hungry in the night time but I couldn't give in and give him snacks or biscuits as this whole vicious circle would never end!!
This whole tantrumming and refusing to eat thing has got better gradually but I don't think we are out of the woods yet. Yesterday he only had 1 tantrum during the day and ate 2 out of his 3 meals with no fuss which is MAJOR progress from where we were. If I am being honest, I think this is happening as when he was poorly I just wanted him to eat and drink anything that he wanted as I just wanted to get anything into him. Now that he is better I think he expects this to continue and thinks that if he has one of these tantrums then we will give in and give him snacks and biscuits rather than him having to eat his dinner. It is so hard when he has this tantrums as I hate having to watch him hit himself in the head or scream so much that his little face turns bright read and tear stained but I know that we are doing this for the greater good.
What we have done to combat this is to stop snacks that aren't fruit or bread sticks or something like this and also to not let him have anything in between meals if he doesn't eat his breakfast, lunch or dinner. It sounds really harsh but it is the only thing that seems to be starting to work. I have even had to go to the extremes of removing all biscuits and snacks from his changing bag and from the normal cupboard they are in. This means that when he takes me into the kitchen and reaches up to the snack cupboard, I open it and he finds that there aren't any snacks in there! In fact there are mixing bowls and pots that he then sits and plays with or a while so the tantrum is averted! Mummy win!!! :)
I don't for one second think that this is going to be the end of the tantrums as I sure once they have stopped for a while they will come back with a vengeance but for now we seem to be finding a way to manage them which means we get through the day with my sanity in tact!
Do you have any top tips for a tantrumming toddler?? Please let me know :)