Friday, 1 April 2011

Temper, temper...

How does an even-keeled mother raise two boys with tempers that go from zero to a hundred in 0.2 seconds that subsequently blow the roof off your house?

I'm not sure I'm going to make it. Or they won't. Or all three of us will go down in a blaze of glory.

Benjamin has followed Caleb's habit of throwing himself to the ground when he is angry. Before he always would sit on his bum, then bend over and lie on the floor. The other day, he did the full-on "Caleb Collapse" where he just falls over face first, without even bending at the knees or waist. It's like a plank of wood that tips over. Then he lay there, arms and feet outstretched, face firmly planted in the floor, bawling.

Caleb seems to be losing it to tears more and more often these days. He spent over an hour solid sobbing today. It began when his fingers got pinched in the screen door (after the fifth time I told him not to open and close it.) Okay, so that maybe warranted a few tears, although he's usually tough as nails when it comes to physical injury. But the tears did not stop! And not just tears, but all out sobbing, to the point that every word that came out of his mouth was completely unintelligible. He cried because I asked him to go upstairs. He cried harder when I asked him if he wanted a bagel for lunch. He cried because he wanted to spread something on the bagel himself. He cried and cried and cried...

I couldn't help him even if I wanted to, because I couldn't understand a word he said. When I told him that, he cried harder. Eventually it got to the point that he moaned that his stomach hurt and he couldn't make himself stop crying. I tried to help him through some calming exercises we have (like blowing out birthday candles) but he was so far gone I had no doubt that he really wanted to stop and couldn't. He gulped for air and winced at the pain from his stomach and just kept crying!

What was different about today (it wouldn't normally go on this long) was that he had chewed through his soother last night and couldn't use it. That thing is a miracle for him. Once he starts crying he usually takes himself upstairs and lies down in bed with his soother and is calm in less than 5 minutes. I have no idea what I (or he) will do when he's truly too old for that soother. I had previously told him that he would not get another if he chewed through the one he had, but after today I think I have to reconsider.

And to think that Benjamin is hot on his heels...

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