Friday, August 8, 2008

A cuppa morning rage

A morning person he is not. Most mornings Hayden wakes with a cry and then needs a good 20 minutes of nursing before he’s ready to face any sort of activity. Usually, after his nursies, he will quietly play and pad around upstairs while we both prepare for the day. But now….oh my.

He’s begun to have what I can only describe as fits of rage. If you ask him to do anything that he doesn’t want to (change his bum, get dressed, brush his teeth), he collapses on the floor and screams, wails and goes completely stiff. He refuses to be picked up, doesn’t want you to even touch him. If I pick him up anyways, he will thrash in my arms and repeatedly hit me until I put him back down and he can bury his face into the floor. There is absolutely no reasoning with him or calming him when he gets into this state. And it’s an instant thing. Like an angry switch has been flicked to full power.

These fits usually last about ten minutes and only end when he’s where he wants to be and has exhausted himself. It seems nothing we do shortens them or stops them. When he’s done, he wants to cuddle me and the switch is just as abruptly flicked back.

I’ve never seen this kind of behaviour in a baby before. Never seen a child who could go from one extreme to the other in such a short time and for such random reasons. I have to admit it sort of frightens me. He never lashes out at others during his fits (unless we interfere with him), but he’s so very angry. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any similar experiences? Why is my baby so full of anger?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are not called the terrible twos for nothing, and some children react more than others. Hayden is just testing his limits and as he learns those, these rages will pass, frustrating and upsetting as they are to you. Children are extremely willful little people and always want their own way and a parent patiently sets the boundaries. Just be ready with reason and love when the tantrum passes. Hayden obviously is not a morning person. Is he better at the weekends when he can go at his own pace? Don't second guess yourself. You are a wonderful and loving mother and these times will pass.
Muma Mugs

cinnamon gurl said...

Don't worry. Swee'pea went through a phase like that too. Once I figured out that nothing I did helped, I just left him to scream until he was ready for a cuddle. Eventually, the cuddles came sooner.

I want Swee'pea to know that anger is ok. It won't make me change my mind but it's ok. It won't make me love him any less.

(I figure people with anger management problems have learned that anger is a bad bad thing and must be squashed down and hidden, until it eventually won't be squashed down and overwhelms them... so I figure I'm doing my kid a service by letting him express his anger?)

The W.O.W. factor said...

I envisioned my daughter, as I was reading this...& then realized I too had been there years ago! You know, Cinn`Gurl has a good point! About the Anger Mgmt thing. Makes a lot of sense. Just remember, we all, young & old, have bad times...they do pass by & life resumes!

wordmama said...

You know, Hayden is much better on weekends when there's no rush. I have to admit that I become a complete bear if I'm rushed in the morning or forced out of my usual routine. Perhaps an earlier wake-up time is needed so we both have the time we need to ease into the day.

And Cinn, we're big advocates of admitting and acknowledging anger in our house. I totally agree that you need to release it as it surfaces to keep healthy and happy!

Thank you all for reminding me that toddlerhood is just another word for testing the limits!

Nick & Ce said...

From my recent studies of Attachment theory, you're handling his tantrums just fine when they occur. Hayden is displaying early signs of secure attachment, which is good! He's also expressing his anger to the person he trusts most. Relax!

wordmama said...

It's so nice to now have an amateur psychiatrist in the family! Thanks Nick!

Nick and Ce said...

I'd prefer the word "trainee"!