Over the last week, I have been struggling with hysterical tantrums from my little sweetie. I know this is nothing new in parenting, and maybe my memory is worse than I think it is, but I think my last two year old is the most terrible in his tantrums. He gets so out of control, he seems to surprise himself. It really worries me he is going to hurt himself, hurling himself around with so much drama. It really is a sight.
Today was a day of extreme highs and lows. He was so happy and involved making valentines day cards for his dad and sibs. He painted with water colors while I cut out hearts. He took a break and happily had a snack. Then he used markers to color the rest of the cards, using each color on each card just once. We took another break. He was so well behaved I decided it was time to let him try glue sticks. I know what you are thinking: disaster happened with the glue - but it didn't. He was very interested in putting glue on the hearts and was careful to flip over the hearts and put them on the cards just so. No problems with art time - he even alerted me immediately when he noticed paint spilled and accidentally went out of the lines with the markers.
It was a great day. Fantastic, really. Until I tried to change his diaper and he kicked me in the face, not once but twice. When I put him in a timeout, chaos ensued. He refused. I insisted. He was prepared to fight me to the death. Eventually, I carried him upstairs, where his hysteria got worse. I really hate to fully paint the picture. I took him to his brother's room - he was home sick - hoping a change of venue would calm him down to the point where he wouldn't crack his head on the wall or fall off the bed trying to defy the time out. Eventually a diversion worked. We went downstairs and I sat with him while he took his two minute time out. He laughed when the timer went off really quickly - he seemed to agree with me that a time out would have been a lot easier than all the hysteria plus the timeout, which was more like a quiet long hug than a punishment. Two minutes was nothing.
The rest of the day was the same - wonderful moments and uncontrolled hysteria. During his fourth fit of the day I said, "I am going to check my emails. Let me know when you are done." Within thirty seconds he was over it and I complimented him on the way he calmed down so quickly and agreed to play with him if he was going to remain calm.
Later, he hit his brother. I asked him to give his brother a soft touch just to be smacked. The kids and I picked up and went to the other room. I told him he could join us when he was ready to apologize and give a soft touch. He did in about a minute and gave his brother the sweetest petting on his head and a kiss right on his lips followed by a sweet, "I'm sorry." His brother reminded him he hit mommy too - so I got some of the same. It was wonderful. I hope it doesn't come to this tomorrow.