As I sit, Charles is moaning in the bathroom, refusing to use the potty, though he clearly needs to go. He has been doing so well lately, but his refusal right now is more due to temper than a denial of bodily function.
It has been quite a day.
One thing I try hard to do is use plausible consequences as threats with Charles. I can’t threaten that I’m going to go somewhere without him if he won’t get his shoes on – one can’t leave a two-year-old alone at home. But I can threaten that we won’t go. The unfortunate part is that I then have to follow through, and often I really wanted to go wherever it was we were meant to go. Like today, the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island was celebrating 100 years of Naval Air Force with a fly-in. Military helicopters and airplanes on display and doing demonstrations. It’s been a beautiful day, not too scorching, but clear and sunny. We would have had so much fun.
Unfortunately, Charles took every opportunity to throw a tantrum. He didn’t want to eat his vitamins, which, fine, I don’t care, but we took them off the table to put away and he freaked out. He didn’t want to get dressed and ignored our requests until he got a time out. He refused to go potty before getting in the car. He didn’t want to brush his teeth. After and hour and a half of fighting with him over many, many stupid little things like this, I called it off. No helicopters, no airplanes.
The worst part is, I don’t know if we will ever get another opportunity to see some of these cool machines up close and in action. They were going to have the Growler on display, even, and we know a pilot; we were hoping to see him there and get special treatment.
The afternoon has pretty much continued apace. He’ll be fine for quite awhile and then something will set him off and he is out of control. He refused to nap (though we did spend a nice couple of hours playing in the backyard while Tony got a nap, until Charles didn’t like the way I set up the sprinkler and proceeded to go out of his mind with rage and anguish).
I’m beginning to wonder if this is normal or if Charles has some issues we need to address. Change, unless we properly prepare him for it, sets off attacks of temper. And by change, I mean, taking his plate of food away when he has said he is done. I move the plate after he says he’s done, and he freaks out. If I ask him if I can take his plate first and he says, “yes,” then everything is fine. Everything is like this. He cannot stand it if Buster east anything he drops on the floor. If I ask him to open the door or do some other small task and he refuses and I do it instead, he loses his shit, screaming “mine turn! mine turn!”
I can’t get a handle on this behavior, because it is just so irrational. And yeah, toddlers are irrational, but come on. If you drop food on the floor (the dirty, dirty floor), the dog is going to eat it. That’s just how it is. If you don’t want to dog to get it, don’t drop it on the floor.
Is there anything we can do, other than what we’re doing? I admit that I need to be a more attentive parent sometimes – we should have asked him to go potty earlier, instead of letting him get to the point where he had to go, but was in the middle of a tantrum about something else. I also should have rallied the troops earlier this morning, but it is Saturday, and I love sleeping in (finally, I have a good excuse with James – he eats and sleeps with me in bed in the morning, so I get to sleep with him). If I had gotten everyone out the door before Charles’ blood sugar crashed, things would have been better. Hell, if I had monitored his breakfast instead of sleeping, I would have known that he didn’t eat and then would have prevented a blood-sugar crash that only made the tantrums worse.
Gar. Sometimes I think everything comes back to my failings. This day of trials, combined with the fact that I purchased the largest pair of jeans I have ever owned in my life last night just to have something other than yoga pants to wear, has got me pretty low.