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Post Traumatic Toddler Disorder

Almost everyday, between the ages of one and two, I had to keep a constant ear out for my daughter’s distress call when she left my sight. I’d barrel forward in my day trying to  accomplish my housework or do anything creative but I was always listening. At any moment I might have to drop my task for that tell-tale scream that meant she’d fallen over and hit her head and I had to run, not walk, to see if she was bleeding out from her head. On one occasion she actually was bleeding from her mouth. The one time you choose not to go and see is that one time you’ll regret it.

Injury is imminent every moment of the day from age one through two. You can not hover and yet you are on alert constantly. And I earned such a good case of post traumatic stress disorder that the twitch has come and gone and returned in my top left eyelid in the past couple months. That feeling of the imminence of the other shoe dropping has made Mommy-hood feel like trench warfare.toddler tantrum

What’s worse is that I’ve got a girl who’s prone to drama. She knows how to lay it on a little thicker to hedge her bets. Good for her. She’s a survivor. Bad for me, twitch, twitch, twitch. Throw in a good fevered sickness which has me waking up several times at night doing the pogo Mommy reminiscent of the good old “trench” days of the newborn’s first three months and I’m beyond exhausted.

I get to feeling a little hopeless. Like this will always be the way it’s gonna be. And I don’t know how I’m gonna do it. Twitch, twitch, twitch goes the eyelid. And then stuff starts to calm down. I get the nap schedule back into place by sitting in her room in the chair until she stops crying at me and passes out. I take a day or two to go out with my friends to chat and do mindless girl things. I get my toes done finally. And I feel a little better. more toddler tantrum

And that’s just enough so that when she starts screaming at 5:30 in the morning, I’m not resentful and know she’s at least safe in the crib. And when she’s begun to cry in the other room with her brother, I wait a beat longer to respond because I know they have to work it out. And when she says Elmo Pooh Elmo Pooh Princess constantly at me to watch a movie, she may need to take a nap or Cookies Candy Cake Cookies Candy Cake at me over and over, you know she may be hungry.

And sometimes the best way to deal with her is just to ignore her however I can. Because it’s a little scary for a toddler to be at the control wheel all the time. Children may become overwhelmed because they have gotten everything they want and will continue to meltdown looking for restraints to make them feel safe. Sometimes she needs her keys taken away. And sometimes she needs to be given a lollipop and plugged into Elmo.

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8 Responses to “Post Traumatic Toddler Disorder”

  1. Suzonne says:

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo!!!! Hang in there, sister.

    • Shalagh says:

      Ha Thanks Suzonne. She’s better in some ways and worse in others. They morph and grow so insipidly right in front of your eyes.
      We could compare notes on our boys surely. But you’ll have to hurry up if you want to do something crazy like me and have another child in your late forties. Oh wait, you’ve got plenty of time.
      Dying to hear if you’ve got that space yet?
      Love,
      Shalagh

  2. Trishia Peerman says:

    Had a good laugh over this one. Brought back memories of Caitlin at that age. I believe girls are more dramatic than boys, or at least mine was compared to her brother. I can remember my eye twitching too! LOL If Fiona starts doing somersaults out of her crib give me a call! Found a good solution for that one. Laugh and enjoy it because you blink your eyes and she’s 15. Your a great mom!

    • Shalagh says:

      I think it’s so liberating to name the spade and then have others chime in with their spade stories Trishia. Yes, the drama is ridiculous. Things have changed and now she emotionally terrorizes and bullies me. I had to sit her in time out for crying at me tonight and commanding chocolate. I fed her dinner and then I gave it to her, poor thing.
      Love Ya’,
      Shalagh

  3. Amy Reese says:

    And if one doesn’t work just try the other. I remember the days well like yesterday! Hang in there, Shalagh. Pace yourself and give yourself those creative and adult moments. 🙂

    • Shalagh says:

      Yes Amy but remember you had boys. These girl beasts are whacko. Thanks for your support and amen to the adult and creative moments. I was completely grateful for three days of childcare this week after my first ever blogging workshop this weekend!! details this Friday.
      Love to you dear woman,
      Shalagh

  4. As someone else commented, girls are definitely more prone to being dramatic! As much as I don’t like to label girls as this and boys as this, there do seem to be some traits that are more prevalent in one gender over the other. As a parent of one of each, I see so many differences that other parents who have both seem to also notice. One occasion springs to mind when my daughter was about 8, I had a small car accident on the way home from work, I phoned my husband and told him what had happened and said that I would have to get the bus home because car was being towed and so would be delayed. He apparently relayed this information to the kids, exactly like that, explaining that I had had a small accident in the car and would be late home as I was having to wait for a bus. When I walked in the door, my daughter threw herself at me, sobbing and wailing “Awww, Mum! It thought you were dead!” Everything is always much more of a drama. She’s 16 now and there are still elements of that, although I put it down to stroppy teen now 🙂 Hang in there Shalagh! Big hugs.

    • Shalagh says:

      Oh Vanessa thank you. You are very kind and all I can think is that when they go ahead and become actresses than everyone gets to say “Aha”!
      Meanwhile, I just conducted a workshop on blogging entitled The Why will tell you the How. Have you figured your why out or has it changed?
      Love to you and yours,
      Shalagh

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