Tantrums before two

Our little miss has been a feisty one from the start, very much liking to do things at her own rapid pace. So it should have been no surprise that at fourteen months we saw the first glimmers of tantrums. It’s probably more surprising that I’ve managed to remain in denial about it for two months now.

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For two months the frequency has slowly increased and the triggers have started to become obvious.

Wanting something she can’t have: Usually elicits foot stomping, pointing at what she wants, scowling and high pitched indignant screams. Future benefits possible stock market trader skills.

Wanting to go somewhere she shouldn’t / or to not hold hands: A generally more quiet form of tantrum this is a combination of going limp, stiffening her whole body, laying down in the middle of the street, and faking you out by distracting you and then twisting and running in the opposite direction of the distraction. Future benefits handy for protesting / resisting arrest.

The Hangry or Tired tantrum / Otherwise known as mini meltdown: All the delight of the first two combined with, slapping, squirming and a noise not unlike the legendary banshee. This sound is also a siren call to those adults who love to dish out ‘you’re a shitty parent’ looks. Sometimes can be solved with food or tricking her into going to sleep. Future benefits self defence.

What can I say? I’m trying very hard to find the humour in it and see that it will pass. The worst of these happen when we’re out and about thankfully I have a good friend who helps me get my grocery shopping done or we’d all be going hungry! I’m trying very hard to believe that because the tantrums are early they might not go right through past 3 years but we’ll see. For now it’s lots of deep breaths and avoiding the judgmental gaze of others.

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Tantrums before two

Our little miss has been a feisty one from the start, very much liking to do things at her own rapid pace. So it should have been no surprise that at fourteen months we saw the first glimmers of tantrums. It’s probably more surprising that I’ve managed to remain in denial about it for two months now.

For two months the frequency has slowly increased and the triggers have started to become obvious.

Wanting something she can’t have: Usually elicits foot stomping, pointing at what she wants, scowling and high pitched indignant screams. Future benefits possible stock market trader skills.

Wanting to go somewhere she shouldn’t / or to not hold hands: A generally more quiet form of tantrum this is a combination of going limp, stiffening her whole body, laying down in the middle of the street, and faking you out by distracting you and then twisting and running in the opposite direction of the distraction. Future benefits handy for protesting / resisting arrest.

The Hangry or Tired tantrum / Otherwise known as mini meltdown: All the delight of the first two combined with, slapping, squirming and a noise not unlike the legendary banshee. This sound is also a siren call to those adults who love to dish out ‘you’re a shitty parent’ looks. Sometimes can be solved with food or tricking her into going to sleep. Future benefits self defence.

What can I say? I’m trying very hard to find the humour in it and see that it will pass. The worst of these happen when we’re out and about thankfully I have a good friend who helps me get my grocery shopping done or we’d all be going hungry! I’m trying very hard to believe that because the tantrums are early they might not go right through past 3 years but we’ll see. For now it’s lots of deep breaths and avoiding the judgmental gaze of others.

Sibling spacing

With the decision of whether to have just one more baby hovering in my mind, my thoughts have turned to the “ideal” space between children.

My older two are three and a half years apart, this wasn’t the original plan. I’d originally aimed for closer to two years apart. One month after miss P turned 2 I was pregnant with twins, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as one was ectopic and the other miscarried. It was a traumatic time both physically and emotionally. I didn’t expect to have more babies after that. So when I was pregnant again within a year it was a wonderful surprise even if it did mean a larger gap than I had planned.

My preference for a closer gap (and a strong vote in the pro column for having another) is due to the five year gap that was between my brother and I, which was hard for me growing up, being the unwanted annoying little sister. That bring said as a parent the huge gap between my first two and Eve has been a blessing as the older two can be very helpful when they want to be.

I do also feel that too close a gap gives the potential for too great a toll on me physically and a potential competitiveness between the children. For me personally (this has no bearing on what is true or right for other families) anything under two years apart is too close, and not particularly likelyriven we aren’t trying yet. I’ve also seen research that says a minimum gap of 26-27 months is ideal for the benefit of the older child. This would mean for us beginning trying early next year, possibly earlier to factor in removing our current contraceptive choice.

There are just so many factors in the decision though that the ideal might change.

I’d love to hear from others on their experiences as a parent, as a sibling, or as an only child or someone choosing to not have more children. It’s such a complex subject and I truly feel that shared experience really helps us to navigate these things.

Sibling spacing

With the decision of whether to have just one more baby hovering in my mind, my thoughts have turned to the “ideal” space between children.
My older two are three and a half years apart, this wasn’t the original plan. I’d originally aimed for closer to two years apart. One month after miss Aînée turned 2 I was pregnant with twins, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be as one was ectopic and the other miscarried. It was a traumatic time both physically and emotionally. I didn’t expect to have more babies after that. So when I was pregnant again within a year it was a wonderful surprise even if it did mean a larger gap than I had planned.

My preference for a closer gap (and a strong vote in the pro column for having another) is due to the five year gap that was between my brother and I, which was hard for me growing up, being the unwanted annoying little sister. That bring said as a parent the huge gap between my first two and Eve has been a blessing as the older two can be very helpful when they want to be.

I do also feel that too close a gap gives the potential for too great a toll on me physically and a potential competitiveness between the children. For me personally (this has no bearing on what is true or right for other families) anything under two years apart is too close, and not particularly likely given we aren’t trying yet. I’ve also seen research that says a minimum gap of 26-27 months is ideal for the benefit of the older child. This would mean for us beginning trying early next year, possibly earlier to factor in removing our current contraceptive choice.

There are just so many factors in the decision though that the ideal might change.

I’d love to hear from others on their experiences as a parent, as a sibling, or as an only child or someone choosing to not have more children. It’s such a complex subject and I truly feel that shared experience really helps us to navigate these things.

Daddy’s girl

Eve has recently become acutely aware that once P & T have left for school and Daddy has waved goodbye she’s stuck home with just me for company.

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Poor thing has realised she wants dad more than mum at the moment, we have an hour or so each morning crying for daddy and bits and pieces of going to the window calling for daddy throughout the day.

She seems to have hit the phase of separating from mummy, including breast refusal. I thought it would be nice when she wanted me a little less, but really it’s not. The sadness of the beginning of weaning is it’s own minefield emotionally but coupled with her now wanting daddy instead it’s emotionally exhausting.

Hopefully it’s just a phase, but at the moment I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to gently distract Eve from her distress with games and books and songs. So far she’s responding some of the time by bringing me books to read her and other times by yelling and kicking. I’m still figuring out what works best for Eve.

You’d think Eve being my third child I’d have this stuff sorted, but each child (for me) has been so wildly different that it’s like starting anew each time. Each little person is just that a person, with their own personality and the different needs because of that individuality. It’s funny how when you’re pregnant people are obsessed with the sex of your baby when really its their unique personality that has more impact on your parenting.

When I’m having a hard time bringing my parenting in line with these different little personalities, especially one in this case that is such a little but powerful force, I try to remember to slow my step down to her pace, I try to remember that just as much as I am still learning who she is Eve is learning what everything is. That’s a whole lot of learning to fit into such a small being.

Papa’s girl

Eve has recently become acutely aware that once Aînée & Tarrant have left for school and Papa has waved goodbye she’s stuck home with just me for company.

Poor thing has realised she wants dad more than mama at the moment, we have an hour or so each morning crying for Papa and bits and pieces of going to the window calling for papa throughout the day.

She seems to have hit the phase of separating from mummy, including breast refusal. I thought it would be nice when she wanted me a little less, but really it’s not. The sadness of the beginning of weaning is it’s own minefield emotionally but coupled with her now wanting papa instead it’s emotionally exhausting.

Hopefully it’s just a phase, but at the moment I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to gently distract Eve from her distress with games and books and songs. So far she’s responding some of the time by bringing me books to read her and other times by yelling and kicking. I’m still figuring out what works best for Eve.

You’d think Eve being my third child I’d have this stuff sorted, but each child (for me) has been so wildly different that it’s like starting anew each time. Each little person is just that a person, with their own personality and the different needs because of that individuality. It’s funny how when you’re pregnant people are obsessed with the sex of your baby when really its their unique personality that has more impact on your parenting.

When I’m having a hard time bringing my parenting in line with these different little personalities, especially one in this case that is such a little but powerful force, I try to remember to slow my step down to her pace, I try to remember that just as much as I am still learning who she is Eve is learning what everything is. That’s a whole lot of learning to fit into such a small being.