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Please help :( totally broken by toddler :(

(34 Posts)
Fairylea Fri 28-Mar-14 18:39:10

Really feeling at the end of my tether and would like some input. Maybe an external person could see where I'm going wrong!

Ds is 21 months. He is a lovely little boy and I love him to bits, and his sister aged 11 years, but my lord he is driving me to the brink these last few weeks.

He won't stop whinging nearly non stop on and off all day. I am a sahm so try to find things to do to keep him happy - he has lots of toys (doesn't play with any of them), we go to the park and soft play lots (ok when he's there but nightmare screaming when time to go or in the car on way home), he won't walk on the reins without bending to pick up every other leaf and pulling me over in the process, he won't hold my hand instead, he won't sit in a buggy without constantly crying and whinging even for 5 minutes.

I am feeling utterly broken sad every day is a long and constant battle. The only good part being he sleeps for 2.5 hours a day for a nap (which has to be in the cot in the dark, if we go out he won't sleep - another problem) and he sleeps 12 hours a night. So that's good but it's the rest.

How do I get him to walk without picking up all the rubbish in the world or trying to pull me over? My back is done in sad he doesn't listen to no or any kind of persuasion. I've tried wandering off (safely I mean) and saying bye to get him to run after me but he literally doesn't care ! So it takes 3 days to get anywhere and is so frustrating I could cry.

I struggle to cope with the constant whinging and don't know if I should ignore it (stressful) or what really. Just drained.

I have no family help whatsoever and dh works 55 hours a week. So its just me and ds.

Dh has a rare day off tomorrow and wants to go out for the day but even though I know we should I feel like sticking my head in a bucket of cement at the thought of it and all the stress.

Fairylea Fri 28-Mar-14 18:40:33

Meant to add we can't afford childcare and I can't work due to health problems (kidney issues that have worsened since I've had ds unfortunately).

GreatUncleEddie Fri 28-Mar-14 18:42:20

Do you do toddler groups and stuff? How is he there?

Fairylea Fri 28-Mar-14 18:45:52

We live rurally so groups are few and far between. I tried taking him to one which was a sing along thing and he was fine for the first couple of weeks and then he just went ballistic because he couldn't have the main drum (which I thought was a bit silly having only one drum for a group of toddlers) and had such a tantrum I left early and haven't been brave enough to return.

I also struggle because they all seem to be around his nap time and woe betide me if he misses his nap!

I do take him out everyday though - we drop dd at school and then go to the park where he can see and play with other children or I do soft play or we go to tesco etc etc.

Am I doing too much? I really don't know.

pod3030 Fri 28-Mar-14 18:48:45

Oh i hear yee Fairy. This is the most challenging phase for me, the sloooow walking to anywhere stage. I am used to walking quickly with the buggy, efficient, power walking. Now dd wants to walk herself and i could almost cry. If i have to say 'come on then' jauntily one more time i am going to scream.

Plan small 'walking' trips specifically to practice his hand holding/rein wearing/whatever you decide. Then it's not like you're trying to get anywhere, it's an exercise in itself. Praise good hand holding like Katie off i can cook .

Cut down toys to one small box, put the rest away, and rotate them so they are always fresh.

I got dd to sleep in buggy by having a blackout screen, pretending it was her special tent. She also has bribes healthy snacks just to get in the buggy.
I'm dreading the day she doesn't need the buggy. It's just a phase, it's just a phase it's...

mollythetortoise Fri 28-Mar-14 18:52:57

Could your dh take him out for day tomorrow and you go out shopping and lunch with your dd. Not a long term solution I know but would give you a break for day to recharge your batteries. I have an 11yr old dd and younger ds and we often do different things on Saturday s. One parent with each. It works well for us. And 11yr old dds are fun to be with , can do more grown up activities etc so a more relaxing day for you.

Fairylea Fri 28-Mar-14 18:53:24

Thank you pod. Some interesting ideas. I will try them out.

I do wonder how much of it is me getting angry because of my own expectations. I just seem to see red and get so annoyed I could explode. Ds doesn't see this of course. I swallow it well but I do get a bit argghhhhh every time he hangs off the end of the reins like a puppet when he sees a leaf he likes the look of... or dog poo (noooooo).

I have had an awful evening so far. I had to fix a stair gate and popped ds in the play pen for all of ten minutes while I did it, dd was in the room with him and talking to him but you'd honestly think the world had ended! He was so upset, mostly because he could hear me drilling and he doesn't like drilling but obviously I couldn't do it when he was in bed and it needed doing. I couldn't let him watch as he'd be all over me and it would be dangerous.

He was stressed. I was stressed. Toddlers are hell aren't they sad I had forgotten all this.

LiberalLibertine Fri 28-Mar-14 19:40:56

Hi Fairy I sooooo feel your pain

My dd is the slowest walker in history I swear, we walk ds to bus stop, I've found her trike with the parent bar at the back is an excellent way to get anywhere faster, and she's always keen to get on, she might ask to get off st some point, but gets back on, have you got one?

And yes, I'm a sahm too, some days I feel like flinging her at dp when he walks in! Today had been one of those days.....

This too shall pass, repeat!

LittlePink Fri 28-Mar-14 19:53:58

Oh we are going through the same! I feel so utterly drained with it all at the moment I could cry. I have severe anaemia and have been feeling so low with this and her abysmal behaviour towards me. I went away for 2 days to see my family while my in laws had her and I felt so much better physically and mentally being away. Then I came back and I dipped right back down again. I realised that her behaviour is zapping me of all my energy. Im a sahm too and her behaviour with me is appalling most of the time.

I always promised myself (before she pushed me to the brink of despair) that I would never use the word naughty but the "thinking corner" has now become the "naughty corner" and this week I've threatened it and put her in it I don't know how many times. She hates it there so more often that not she says sorry unprompted and gives the cuddle and kiss unprompted. Im finding the threat of this works a treat. For how long, that's the million dollar question! When she wont do as shes told eg refuses to come in from the porch and i cant get hold of her because shes thrown herself on the floor and gone rigid, I just say "ok then bye" and close the door which makes her shout and scream and come in and a second later shes forgotten all about it and sits down to take her shoes off. Its just one battle after another from morning to bed time. Anything I want her to do, she wont do. Even tonight I put her in her fleecy onesie for bed and ive just looked on the monitor and shes ripped it all off, so ive had to go back in, wake her up and put it back on. Our heating has broken so she has to have it on. Sigh. Its so knackering having a toddler and although its lovely watching her develop and all the new words, im not really enjoying this age which makes me feel so sad as I really want to.

So you're not alone!

Eyelet Fri 28-Mar-14 19:58:02

How often do you get a break?

Toddlers are bloody hard work

Re going places could you buy an all in one warm waterproof suit ans just let him roll ans tumble ans explore outdoors? Fine weather or foul we have to get out every day.

Fairylea Fri 28-Mar-14 19:59:05

Thank you. I've been looking at the trikes and been tempted. . I guess I'm worried that I'll get one, spend the money and things won't be any better. I am being defeatist I know. Just so drained sad I've gone round in circles wondering if I should get a bigger / comfier / all singing all dancing buggy that he might be more comfortable in. I am watching about 20 on ebay deliberating about all of them!!

I have a feeling that he just hates the buggy full stop so even if it was the chariot for caesar he'd still hate it. Who knows.

I will look up trikes and see what I can come up with second hand ish.

Thanks for the idea about handing him over to dh and going out with dd. I do this sometimes but dh is working so much overtime at the moment I know he'd feel upset that on a rare day he has off I don't want to do something as a family.

Right now if there was a sausage factory for toddlers I'd be packing ds off to it.

The thought of having to get up tomorrow and deal with another long day of grizzlies fills me with dread.

The only thing he is happy to do is sit on my lap and watch the vamps, elyar fox and other teenage song shit on the I pad!

Fairylea Fri 28-Mar-14 20:01:26

Cross posted with replies, thank you very much for all of them and the ideas. It's nice to have company in the grumpy toddler corner !

Eyelet Fri 28-Mar-14 21:31:05

What buggy do you have?

We have a mammoth mountain buggy which both DC love

SavingMyselfForLukePerry Fri 28-Mar-14 21:38:11

Here to share your pain too. Have 21 month old DS too and it's bloody hard work. I work two days a week which is a holiday compared to the daily grind of whining and insisting that I dig in a mud patch in the garden for hours on end all day, every day, whatever the weather. That or watching Thomas whilst shouting at me to get him biscuits.

YouHaveBeenOutbid Fri 28-Mar-14 21:44:49

"That or watching Thomas whilst shouting at me to get him biscuits."

Sorry but that's made me laugh out loud. This is my life too, I kid you not. Want Thomas! Want biscuit! AAArrrgh.

As someone upthread said, this too shall pass!

Yika Fri 28-Mar-14 21:46:08

Would he go on a bike do you think (I mean in a bike seat?!) don't know if cycling is feasible where you are?! Or one of those croozer-type pull along things? Maybe even a toddler hiking style backpack carrier?

I bought a big comfortable buggy at around that age and still occasionally use it now DD is 3.6. Britax b-agile.

I'd have gone mental if I'd had to walk anywhere with her at 21 months. It's still pretty painful.

If he doesn't like toys, does he like games? Can you help him build a den, fill up a box, do play acting type of games like sitting on the sofa pretending you're driving a bus, pretend camping, pretend rowing, what have you?

I found some excellent no-cost games and activities on baby centre.co.uk, if you're signed up on there they send you games and activities for each month of age.

Does he like to help with little household chores and tasks? Putting things in the washing machine, 'sweeping', wiping.

Marcipex Fri 28-Mar-14 21:47:56

Could he go to a preschool? I know one that takes children at 18 months.

The stopping at everything, he is exploring the world. I know it's tiresome.

Could you borrow a trike and see if he likes it?

Totally agree about one big drum for a group of toddlers, how silly. Biscuit tins are good drums, do you have a garden?

Yika Fri 28-Mar-14 21:48:38

PS I would have hated to be a SAHM when my DD was that age. It's such hard work. Perhaps try some playdates at home?

WhatAHooHa Fri 28-Mar-14 21:49:58

I feel your pain, I have had some terrible times with ds. He's a month older than your son and I think we've just come through the buggy hating stage. Perhaps the novelty of walking has worn off. I have found that when he's really bad it usually turns out that he's hungry or thirsty - where he used to just have a morning snack he now has two, and an afternoon snack as well. So a promise of a banana if he sits nicely in the buggy has really helped.

Re walking, I've had to change my way of thinking... rather than a quick walk to the shop I have it in my head that that walk will take an hour and that is the afternoon's activity, rather than trying to rush it through. If I let him push his own little plastic shopping trolley he is so focussed on that he forgets about all the leaves, stones, sticks etc and that makes it faster.

We also have a 12 year old and I do feel bad that she often gets 'just distract your brother for 20 minutes while I cook dinner/tidy up/sob quietly' most days when she gets in from school but I guess that's all part of being a family... hmm

Marcipex Fri 28-Mar-14 21:51:48

I used to sit on the doorstep for hours with a book, while DS dug up the foundations of the house or attempted to domesticate creepy crawlies.
'Here Spider, here Spider.' I could hear him saying deep in the hedge.

WhatAHooHa Fri 28-Mar-14 21:53:52

Oh, and a big yes tomwhat Yika says... my ds doesn't really like toys but loves games of hide and seek, chasing, romping, jumping from the sofa onto a pile of cushions, doing jigsaws with me, looking at books and so on. He just wants me to interact. Which is hard at the end of a 12 hour stint when all I want is for him to entertain himself!

wherethewildthingis Fri 28-Mar-14 21:59:16

That sounds really hard OP, I feel for you! Something I thought of is that when he turns two, you may be eligible for fifteen hours free nursery time a week. The criteria for this normally relates to being on certain benefits, SEN or other issues but I think it could include your kidney problems? Anyway I think if you liked the idea of nursery maybe it would be worth talking to the health visitor about this. It could give you a break and help him with his social skills?

Um. Well what I do with incredibly slow toddler is a) reins so you're not breaking your back, and b) Candy Crush on your phone. blush

Oh yes, DS, a brown leaf, that's amazing! [ooh, colour bomb!]

Lottiegal Tue 01-Apr-14 14:09:57

From the sounds of your post you are really fed upsad please don't despair it will pass soon. I have three kids 6,4 and 2 so this is my life too. I know they can be horribly irritating, but that's their way if testing you. Decide on your rules and stick to them if you can, but also build in time during the day for you ds to decide what he wants to do. I'm a Sahm too and agree with the others who say that walking with toddlers takes an age!! I just let my ds pootle along on the way back from the school run, it can take 40 mins to do a 10 min walk. Try reading Buddhism for Mothers, that changed my mindset and stopped me rushing around so much!

Do make time for yourself though, can you go out at the weekend alone or pop to a class/gym in the evening to refresh your mind?

Oly4 Tue 01-Apr-14 14:18:26

My son is 23 months and is a nightmare to walk with but I have readjusted my thinking. He w

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