I feel like we're losing control of Caleb and his temper. Once we combine his temper with his young age, inability to communicate, unusual strength and his inkling for hurting himself...things are getting dangerous.
He is often such a happy kid - very affectionate and full of smiles. But when he doesn't have things exactly his way he explodes in a fit of rage. He usually resorts first to throwing something within reach: his soother, a toy, a book, his plate. He has even thrown a laptop computer and small chairs. It then escalates to finding a pile somewhere and tossing each thing one by one. All the while he glares defiantly at me. He is completely aware he is not allowed to throw things. He is firmly and sternly told to stop throwing or he will go to his crib. You can guess from his defiant nature that it only eggs him on further. Here he usually looks for something that will be more destructive - something heavy or large or glass. Having continued, I follow through with my threat and put him in his crib. Then he explodes in a fit of screaming tears. That wouldn't be bad - I could handle hearing him vocally express his anger. But he starts to bang his head. He bangs it against the wooden crib over and over and over.
In fact, the head banging is not limited to the crib. If I ignore the throwing, or am occupied, he head bangs wherever he is. Or, sometimes when his fit of rage begins he opts against throwing something and erupts immediately into the screaming tears. He looks at me and bangs his head on the floor. We have mostly carpets, which wouldn't be so bad. But this behaviour also escalates. He knows that the carpet doesn't do much, and so he moves himself to something harder: first a piece of furniture, then the wall, then our appliances. If I ignore him, he just goes on banging, harder and harder. If I pick him up or try to restrain him, he bangs his head on me. I've had bloody lips and noses, he's had bloody lips and is constantly bruised on his forehead.
He doesn't seem to have the ability to calm himself down on his own, and any attempt I make to help only makes things worse. I dissolved into tears at church yesterday after he spent an hour screaming and banging his head. We came home halfway through the meeting, as his behaviour was simply too disruptive. Once we arrived at home, everything abruptly turned off and he was all smiles.
I'm aware of the manipulation he is using, but feel totally at a loss. Any form of discipline or intervention only results in him harming himself. I know (hope) he could never do any serious damage, but I'm terrified would just take an odd angle or an extra hard crack and I could lose him. It's a scary place to be as a mother. My baby isn't even 18 months yet and I feel as though I'm losing control of him already.