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Can this be normal at 13mo or is it because I'm back at work?

(13 Posts)
MsPea Wed 19-Sep-07 15:53:59

Sitting at my kitchen table feeling miserable. DD1 was driving me crazy this morning. I lost my temper with her a couple of times and told her to shut up. One time I had to put her down and leave the room for a few seconds.

Over the past couple of weeks she has become increasingly stroppy. Now various things will reliably cause screaming, kicking, arching of her back eg. getting into buggy, nappy change, getting dressed. She also does this whenever something eg a toy doesn't please her and when she gets fed up of whatever we're doing. She might have eight or ten of these "strops" in a day.

A month ago I went back to work in a really stressful environment, working shifts, after 14 months off. Struggling to cope with the stress both at work and at home and sometimes feels like she is punishing me for leaving her. I think -and DP agrees- that her behaviour is worst when she's with me. Yet she never wants to be/go with anyone else if I'm around.

She has got a lot more mobile over this period too so sometimes I think, perhaps she is just feeling more frustrated in a normal-development kind of way. But she's only 13mo which seems very early for the 'terrible twos'.

When I first went back to work I used to look forward to seeing her afterwards all shift. Now I dread coming home because experience suggests she will be difficult and I am afraid I won't be able to keep my cool. I feel I'm doing really badly by her at the moment. And poor DP takes a lot of stressed-out phone calls from me.

When I'm with her I feel permanently tense because I have the sense that it is only a matter of time before things kick off. I no longer enjoy taking her out to playgroups etc and we used to have such a lovely time together. We still do in between the strops but they cast such a shadow.

What do you think? Any thoughts appreciated.

Elasticwoman Wed 19-Sep-07 16:02:05

Don't know whether you'd call it terrible 2s or not, but it sounds normal behaviour to me. I well remember that arching of the back when dd1 was being put in the buggy or carseat - esp when I was collecting her from the childminder!

Is picking her up from childcare a particularly bad time? if so, maybe you can organise for dp to do it sometimes?

yogimum Wed 19-Sep-07 16:06:54

ds is almost 14 months and is exactly the same. He has started screaming at the top of his voice for no obvious reason then is perfectly happy seconds later and then having a strop again. He is also very clingy and screams if one of us leaves the room which never happened before. Am hoping its just a stage of development.

MsPea Wed 19-Sep-07 16:09:53

That's reassuring... Thankyou.

Unfortunately most of the time it has to be me that picks her up- but DP is freelance and his current contract ends soon. So if he is off for a while we can take it in turns.

SittingBull Wed 19-Sep-07 16:14:30

Message withdrawn

SittingBull Wed 19-Sep-07 16:16:50

Message withdrawn

MsPea Wed 19-Sep-07 16:46:08

Feeling better. And less lonely. It helps so much just to hear that my experience is normal. I'm pretty much the first of my friends and family to have kids so sometimes I'm a bit short on people to compare notes with. Thanks again.

Ok so plan is- 1. distract, 2. do something fun after something she doesn't like, 3. keep calm and cool, 4. hold onto idea that all kids go through this and that at some stage it will improve.

Elasticwoman Wed 19-Sep-07 16:47:49

And if you don't keep quite as cool as you'd like, don't beat yourself up about it.

margoandjerry Wed 19-Sep-07 16:49:54

Also (something I learned on here), tell her what you are going to do several times before you do it. My daughter is only 11mo but also started arching her back and screaming when I tried to put her in the buggy or change her nappy. I started saying "ready to go in your buggy" or whatever and it really helped.

Sure you do that already but just thought I'd chime in to say you are not alone. My daughter won't let me leave the room which is pretty annoying. I only have two hours with her when I get home but sometimes, I'm counting the minutes to bedtime!

olivo Wed 19-Sep-07 17:20:04

you're definitely not alone mspea! my dd is nearly 13 months and has been having several strops a day for the last 6 weeks or so. i just try to distracther but she regularly does the back arching thing, she hates having her nappy changed and the car and buggy always instigate back arching -she just wants to wlk everywhere. i've learnt not to ever be in a hurry with these situations as if i'm late, i dont stay calm.
i'm sure she'll get over it soon.

lemonaid Wed 19-Sep-07 17:24:40

DS started terrible twos at 11 months; it's fairly normal. Fortunately it improved a lot as he became more verbal. In your case, adjusting to your being back at work probably isn't helping, but she will adjust to it.

MsPea Wed 19-Sep-07 17:41:49

Thank you all.

Margo, I don't think I do tell her what we're about to do enough actually. Will try doing that more.

Elasticwoman your last made me smile. When I was pregnant I planned to be this saint of a parent! Had no idea what hard work it would be!

Elasticwoman Wed 19-Sep-07 18:43:23

Friend of mine has child this age. Caught her today carrying child away from childminder's, and pushing an empty buggy at the same time. Said baby likes to be cuddled for a long time when picked up after the working day. Makes sense.

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