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My first "long, sorry" - should I have handled ds 2.6 nap vs. poo meltdown differently? If so, how? Long, sorry :/

(6 Posts)
phdlife Wed 07-Oct-09 13:25:56

Ok so I know two-year-olds melt down, and I know you can't control that, but today I know I made it worse in some ways, and I strongly feel there were moments where maybe I should've made a different decision, only I just can't see it. Or perhaps there's nothing to learn here and I'm just over-thinking??

Playgroup today. Planned to leave early as previous experience shows ds cannot handle the whole 2hrs. Plus if his nap goes later than 2pm he doesn't go to bed til nearly 9 which I can't bear as I'm on my own this week. Otoh if I wake him up early he's grumpy/tearful for a good hour anyway, and maybe still at bedtime.

Fuckup #1 was to not take 6m dd's pram. So when it came time to leave and ds decided he wanted to stay, I couldn't pick him up and head for the door. We ended up staying though he just watched, sucking his tired fingers. On way home he wanted to go "somewhere else" and "noooo" to naps. But he was patently v tired.

11:30 At home, a small snack turned into a big one - he's eating like a horse atm. We often nap on my bed but today he wanted his own room - we sometimes do so I said ok.

Changing his nappy beforehand he suddenly said "poo coming!" and that he wanted to do it in his little potty. Felt like delay tactic, otoh we are training so I said ok. But nothing happened. He kept jumping up, walking around, etc, yakking the whole while about nonsense. Said he needed me to stay, but he couldn't concentrate and finally after numerous warnings and about 15mins I said right that's it, picked him up and carried him to change table. Cue utter meltdown, to the point where I suddenly thought, "fair enough - if I was trying (however hazily) and someone yanked me away I'd be livid too. AND the other night he did do a little poo, faffed for 15mins, then did a big one, so maybe he means it???"

Stopped trying to put nappy on (pointless anyway), picked him up, apologised, cuddles, soothed him, tried to explain what I needed him to do but he just got distracted. He still wanted to try so back we went. He wanted more story so I was just telling him stuff when I realised he was in dozy, pre-nap story mode, on potty. Not thinking about poo at all, almost half-asleep. I checked if poo was coming. No. Tried to explain we had to get nappy on (No.) for sleep. No! Dd fussing - she's hungry. It's 12:07. I am stressing as I know (a) he's knackered, and (b) he needs to be asleep well before 1 or we run into difficulties later. But he's just "no-ing" everything.

So I took him in and forced a nappy onto him. He melted down again, worse. Dd, on his bed (nowhere else to put her) becoming alarmed. Put ds on bed but he hurled himself off, headed for potty. I started to think, "ok then", then "no fuckit, this proves you NEED a nap." So I picked him up, carted him into my room, shut gate, collected dd, cold facecloth and his drink (all v close) then climbed over gate to sit in with him. Ds was so distraught he couldn't move, except when he was so angry he was trying to climb the safety gate because now he wants to go back and sleep in his bed.

I had to feed dd while all this was going on, then put her in her cot (she watching curiously), then settled ds, now yawning fit to split his head, through several aftershocks (and a feeble cry of "hungy!"), then persuaded him to lie down while I tended to dd and he was out like a light. At 12:45.

Fwiw he did do a big poo in the potty, much later this afternoon. And went to sleep at 8:45.

I understand that shifting him from his room to mine messed with his plans and you can't do that to toddlers esp tired ones, but I felt I needed a way of keeping him in range of bed while tending to dd - ie, in the room with the safety gate and the big bed. Was that wrong? Was there any other glaringly obvious error? Should I have just let him faff with potty as long as he wanted? Or am I just being really fucking tired neurotic over-analytical control - freaky?

posting, then bed (it's 10:30 here and dd's squawking), would appreciate your thoughts. Gentle ones especially, I don't seem to have any for myself.

Aranea Wed 07-Oct-09 13:32:20

Oh, poor you. You know, I think some days things just go wrong and you just have to write it off. You do know where it all started to go wrong - he needed to leave playgroup when you said he did. Your first instinct is always right. But then after that you were trapped in the nightmareish netherworld of overtired toddler in the middle of a developmental transition and there was nothing you could have done that would have made it all right. Relax now that it's all over, tomorrow will be different!

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 13:39:07

Sometimes things just don't go as planned. tomorrow is another day, so don't feel bad.

In future you will remember to always take the pram - so that is one problem solved.

I used to pack a picnic for ds1 so that he could have it before we went home from playgroup (he would just get past himself with tiredness and hunger before we got home).

Then I used to barricade us all in one room, feed ds2, and read story to ds1 while he sat on the potty. Or - we would sit in fromt of TV (in those days it was sesame street) ds1 on potty, me feeding ds2.

Their routines will change soon enough - we all muddle through in the end.

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 13:41:59

Ds 2 did have to put up with being plonked in his pram mid feed while I grabbed ds1 to deal with "normous poo" and pooy bottom, but he just grew up into a very easy-going, laid back child.grin

scruffygeek Wed 07-Oct-09 18:29:41

I am not really qualified to answer since my ds is only 18 months, but since I was reading this while bfing him, I felt moved to reply anyway. Hope you don't mind.

Sounds like you handled this well to me. You followed your instinct, listened well to your children and made some pragmatic decisions. I think sometimes we struggle so hard to make things right, but sometimes you just can't.

Sometimes though, I think we just try too hard. Is it worse to have a toddler up to 9, or to send all day stressing because they might be up till 9? My ds missed his nap altogether today, and has just gone to sleep so heavens knows what time he will be up tomorrow, but I have decided to stop stressing about bedtimes altogether. I guess it is more tricky with two though.

One practical thing though. Were you carrying dd in arms, or in a carrier/sling. Have you considered back carrying. I use an ergo, and I love it! This would leave your hands free to pick up ds when necessary without the faff to the pram. Personally, I far prefer to carry where posible.

phdlife Fri 09-Oct-09 12:50:50

thanks for support all. In that nifty way the universe has of telling you to get a grip that tiny little scratch ds had on his cheek on Wednesday morning turned into what looked like a nasty infection by Weds afternoon and had nearly swollen his eye shut Thurs morning so we've had a fun 48hrs traipsing between GP, pharmacy, GP, A&E, pharmacy and home again. And back this morning so doc could decide he was ok after all. (phew!!)

scruffy I do have a wrap and love it, but I tend not to use it in such situations as dd is such a heffalump that I couldn't really manage ds at the same time iyswim. Maybe one of these days if I get the hang of a back carry ...

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