Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Meltdowns of all kinds

It's a blazing 89F right now and only projected to get hotter over the next few days. The sun is shining and even at night our usual Seattle cool isn't returning. This combo is proving to be a deadly mix when combined with a toddler who is touch-and-go on the early morning sleep. Peanut was awake at 5am this morning after a short-ish night. We had a pretty good morning tho she didn't eat all that much for breakfast, but that's par for the course these days.

By 8:30 am I had packed her up in the car and off we went to participate in a research study at the local children's hospital. Peanut is part of the control group which means that we go in for 3 different visits during the course of the first several years of her life and they have her play games (like peek-a-boo, doing puzzles, naming objects, stacking blocks, etc.), and do various tasks in order to get an assessment of how she's developing (can she figure out how to get the duck out from under a piece of clear plastic with one side open?). Then, similar aged children with plagiocephaly are given the same assessment and the two groups of kids are compared in order to learn more about the causes of plagiocephaly as well as the development of kids with plagiocephaly. Peanut seemed to really enjoy her "assessment" last summer and we were looking forward to more games today. She did really well for almost 2 hours and we were close to wrapping up when the meltdown occurred.

I should have been prepared for it - less sleep than ideal, hungry baby (despite the snacking she'd done all morning), heat, and then just the exhaustion from "playing" and "working" so hard with the doctor. But when the doctor kindly took away the piggy bank and coins that Peanut had been playing with (not before allowing her several chances to play with it and not before offering her a fun alternative) my daughter snapped. She pitched a full-on temper tantrum the likes of which I have never seen. She cried, she crawled on the floor, flailed on the ground, whined and refused any solution I might offer "Do you want me to hold you? Do you want to nurse? Water? Toy?" Everything was no- no- NO! The poor thing was in total meltdown mode and was sweating despite the A/C because she was so worked up. Needless to say we stopped for the day, I finally got her calmed down and we came home ASAP. Our participation was really conditional on her enjoyment of it and clearly the fun was over!

I would say that she is finally, *really* starting to assert her independence and wanted to be very clear that we understood how angry she was that she couldn't play with the piggy bank anymore. I brought her home, fed her a big lunch and put her down for her nap. Would you be surprised if I told you she passed right out?


  1. Oh no! Poor mama, I'm sure that's a really tough stage, even if it's a normal phase of development. :P And poor baby, not getting enough sleep in this horrendous heat. :( It really is brutal. I am ever grateful for our air conditioning! Even with it, it's hard to cool the house at the hottest time of the day. Luckily Bean's room does get pretty chilly at night and he's been sleeping through.

    Hopefully it will cool down soon!

  2. Dontcha just LUUURVE those lovely toddler meltdowns? :) As frantic as they get, I sometimes think it's kinda cute when they're THAT spazzed, especially when you know what it is they really need - food, sleep, or just some cuddles. I get frazzled when they're inconsolable and NOTHING you do seems to make an impact. Usually that means SICK.

    I couldn't help but laugh at 89 degrees being considered steamy. Down here where I am, we start thinking 89 is "cooling off," lol!

  3. Oh no! Public meltdowns are terrible. You seem to have handled it really well though. I am sure some Mums would be tempted to yell and get cross since the doc was wathing. Good on you for keeping your cool.

  4. I'll never forget the first time Jun melted down. In the middle of the asile of a bookstore here in Japan. I was so shocked I wasn't sure what to do at first! But, yep, she was overtired too!

  5. Ahh the infamous toddler meltdowns! They are less then fun! Poor little thing was just DONE! Glad you calmed her down and she was able to sleep it off.

    Have fun with Sunny! Enjoy a cupcake for me, please!