Posts Tagged ‘ hyperactive ’

When To Start Time-Outs?

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

I’ve said it before, but I think I’m going to be saying this for a long, long time. I can’t grasp how the male species has survived. This, after having a boy. An 18-month old boy. A boy who has turned from tame to terror. Albeit, a remarkably happy terrorist.

My friends with boys just laugh it off. They are already in this club and have accepted what it means to have birthed a Y chromosome. For those of us who have girls, it is a rude awakening.

Fia was a wild child. I used to joke she was “like a boy.” I still hear moms saying that about their daughters. Baaahhaaaa. Not even close.

Fia has tons of energy and is still full of spunk. But she isn’t stupid. She didn’t climb up on counters and reach for butcher knives. I wouldn’t turn my back for 3.3 seconds only to find her dangling from a bar. Or climbing in the dryer. Or crawling in a drawer. Or, Or, Or…I could go on and on.

It seems each day I am reaching a new level of madness. It is making me feel like I no longer have control of my house. We are moving and our current place is really hard to childproof. But we are here for 3 more deadly months. Who knows what this tornadic force will do next? I can’t even make supper anymore without him nearly losing a limb. Hello? Calvary? Anyone there?

The thing is, he has about the best temperament of any child I’ve met. He giggles in his sleep and sings in his highchair. And as, um, “active” as he is, he will sit for 30 minutes and page through books. At least he used to do all these things. I’m scared I’m losing that part of him. I’m scared he’s turning into a gorilla.

So what to do? He is starting to get angry when his needs aren’t instantly met. He gets frustrated if he can’t figure out a toy and sends it hurtling across the room. Yesterday I turned my back for 1.3 seconds. He had a glass I had just set down, dumped the water out and as I screamed, “NOOO” he looked at me with that mischievous grin and sent it crashing in a million pieces on the floor. He has discovered that pulling hair makes Fia cry. He thinks “finished” with his food means throwing it all on the ground. “Emmett—NOOOOOO!!!!!” is becoming the dominant phrase in our house.

Oh, but it gets better. He yanked Phil’s prescription sunglasses off his face today and threw them across the room. As usual, we reacted. Phil yelled, “NO EMMETT! “YOU DO NOT DO THAT.” Emmett immediately burst into tears. Wailing. The word NO also equals meltdown. Or, in an act of animalistic defiance, he starts to eat his arm or foot. I am raising a gorilla, a canibal and a crybaby.

My sitter Michele just laughs. She has 5 kids, 4 of them boys. She said Emmett definitely ranks up there as a wild one, but at the end of the day she insists he’s simply “all boy.” She points to how fearless and fun his disposition is. I can’t entirely disagree. My pediatrician has said he is one of the more active babies she’s seen, but the fact that he does (or did??) sit and read and have quiet time made her think he just has a lot of energy to burn. My in-laws say he’s a normal, happy toddler. How can this be? “Normal” is making me pull out my hair. How does the male species justify their insane behavior as “normal???”

I know I’m probably painting a terrible picture of him and it sounds contradictory when I say he is almost always in a great mood. But these little snapshots happen throughout the day. What do I do? Should I start putting him in his crib for a timeout? I feel like he’s too little to “get it.” Am I being had?  Will he begin to understand consequences and boundaries at 18 months? Fia is 3 1/2 and I honestly can’t remember when she had her first time out. But it definitely wasn’t this young. She was far tamer. To date, she’s probably had less than 7 time-outs.

When he turns 2, I’m planning on putting him in preschool 2 mornings a week. I think some structure will help. But that is still 6 months away. A lot can happen.Maybe I just need to embrace this chapter. Let it pass. Or maybe I should find a different preschool… one that will take him now.

Looking for advice, tips and a survival timeline. Please.

 

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Emmett in Action: Do Boys Ever Slow Down?

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

 

I’ve put it out there that I have the most active mini toddler in the world. He has been since he came out giggling and mischievous 14 months ago. Thank god he’s also the happiest. But I am in a tough stage right now if I’m out and about with them both. Thus my no-guilt revelation this week in hiring help. Here’s a few pics of my little man on the move.

Down the slide in gymnastics:

In Griffith Park biking. We have a great contraption for the kids where they can sit in the front:

Watching the LA Marathon:

About to get scratched by Wayne Sanchez…

First horse ride in Griffith Park:

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Why I Feel No Mom Guilt Right Now…

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

I wrote my post this week about having this nagging sense of guilt whenever I leave my kids.  I had some great comments from moms who validated how I feel. Whether right or wrong, it’s nice to know you’re not the only insane one.

Then this morning I think I figured out how to NOT feel guilty: Push yourself to the absolute limit of supermom. Then your psyche won’t f–k with you and throw guilt your way. Instead, it will tell you to flee as soon as the sitter arrives. Don’t look back. Go! Which I did.

Now I am sitting here having my haircut and colored. The gray is out of control. The back looks like a mullet. After this, I am going to get my hooves–the thing most people call feet–pedicured. My hands will get a much-needed manicure. Then my husband and I are going out to dinner and to our favorite massage place. I don’t feel badly at all. The reason? Because when you spend almost all week with your kids, culminating in today’s cluster-f–k you are so ready for a break all guilt goes out the window.

We started the morning off as usual: Up at 6:30. I made eggs for them; Emmett splattered his on the floor. Fia started coloring and Emmett tried to take her crayons. He pulled her hair (his latest thing). She started wailing. This is in addition to the usual 7 head bumps he has from knocking against our table, the face plant that inevitably leads to a bloody lip at least 3 times a week and the screams of agony from them both for taunting the cat to the point of getting scratched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around 10, I needed to get out. We live right near Griffith Park that has just about everything. I figured the little train and pony ride would be easier than the massive zoo. We loaded up and drove down the hill.

A lot of it was great. Emmett had his first horse ride. I walked beside him, stepping in horseshit with my flip-flops. 

Then we went to ride the train. The ticket line was a mile long. We waited. And waited. We were getting close when Fia said, “Mama I have to go to the bathroom. I can’t hold it.” Crap. We left the line and ran across the parking lot so she could go pee. I dangled Emmett in one arm so he wouldn’t lick the bathroom floor. The kid is a menace. A cute one, but good god he never stops. He is into everything. This is what it means to have a boy. I had no idea.

After the bathroom Fia decided she wanted something to eat before the train ride. We stood in the longest, most inefficient line run by the Parks and Rec department. We finally got our turn. All she wanted was cheese fries. While they were apparently growing and cutting up the spuds to fry, Fia took off running and did a face plant right on the concrete. Shit. She starts bawling. My sciatica has been acting up. But being supermom, I had no choice. I picked them both up and walked back across the parking lot to the car.  I grabbed the stroller and plopped Fia in. Though Em is the one I really need to chain down.

Throughout this I remained calm. Even chipper. I deserve an Emmy.

We went back to get our food. I sat down and took a bite. The cheese fries were spicy. WTF? The sign didn’t say “spicy cheese fries.” But they are. You know, that fake nacho kind? Maybe they won’t notice. Wrong. “Mama, it’s too spicy!” Fia screamed. Emmett just threw his glob on the sidewalk where it won’t disintegrate for a century (did you know Velveeta can survive a nuclear attack? And that when they make it in the factory it’s a big gray gelatinous rectangle? In case you weren’t sure, the yellow color is fake.)

I’ve been trying to do this Mediterranean diet to keep healthy. Gloppy, goopy fake cheese is definitely not on the list. But what can I do? I sit there slowly licking blobs of cheese off, handing them the fries. It may have been the best part of my day.

Time for  the trains, then home. The ticket line is gone. Thank god. We  go up to the window. “Closed for lunch.”  Cue the wailing. I drag my now overtired, still hungry, hot, injured daughter and son to the car. I sit down as pain shoots through my lower back. I text my sitter. “Can you come tomorrow morning?”

Oh, I broke down and also got an ice cream sandwich. Emmett’s first. What a milestone!

 

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Is My Boy More Active Than Yours?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

 Emmett never stops. He is a tank, a brute of boundless energy.  At his 1-year check-up the pediatrician, who has been with him since birth, reiterated again that my dude may need Occupational Therapy to find ways to Slow.Him.Down. He is the most active child she’s seen that’s not on the spectrum or that has any mental or health issues.  Even changing his diaper has been a challenge since he was, oh, 5 months old. Thank god for his amazing temperament or I might consider selling him.

“You are going to have to run him twice a day. For at least an hour each time. He is the kind of kid who will need to be worn out. Every-single-day,” she said.

I pictured a horse let out to pasture. Or a dog during off-leash hours in the park. I then pictured Emmet’s face on both beasts. Yup. That’s my boy. I decided I needed to find an activity for us to do together. One that wasn’t awful.  Or disastrous (like Fia’s ballet class).This time I was smarter. I decided on Toddler Gymnastics. I should have thought of it sooner, since Fia goes to the same gym. I know the coaches, the facility, the drill.

He was the youngest one but kept up with the best of them. He loved the trampoline the most. He giggled incessantly. Of course he wouldn’t sit still and wait his turn. I had to pull him away and run him (yes, my horse) until it was his time. He hated the balance beam. It took both me and the coach to try and hold him upright. He kept doing the “baby flop”–you know, when they go limp. I’m sure because it would take too much concentration to walk slowly. I had no time to stare at the clock or dream about my lunch like I did in other mommy and me classes. But that’s a good thing. I hate being bored.

I took him early and we left late. I really thought I “ran” him good. Then we came home and he slept for 30 minutes. Should I put up my For Sale sign yet? WTF??

Three nights this week he has shrieked off and on for 3 hours. Phil and I have taken turns going in when we can’t take it anymore. He’s not sick. He’s not teething. He just wants to be held. He is one strong-willed little dude. And he knows it. I think in a test of wills he will win. Actually he already has. But man, he’s so damn cute and snuggly at times. He knows just when to turn on the charm to keep that For Sale sign at bay.

You all know I am a sleep training guru, but even I know when to throw in the towel. Since he won in the cry-it-out category, last night we switched tactics. I went in on the first wail around midnight. In less than 20 seconds I put his paci back in and laid him down. I said in a fairly stern voice, “Emmett, it’s night time.” I closed the door. He didn’t peep until around 3 am. I did it again. He slept until 7:15.

I think he just needs reassurance that we are there. Even when he’s running he pauses and looks back to check that I’m still with him. I’m usually a few paces behind, sweating. I am soon going to need a cane. Boys. Men. It’s hard to keep up with them. They are needy little f–kers. But impossible to resist.

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Emmett’s 6-month Check-Up. Is He Too Hyper?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Emmett had his 6-month appointment this week. I told the doctor about how hyper/active he is. It’s even hard to change him or put on pants. She observed for a few minutes as he kicked and laughed and did his high pitch cooing. God he is cute. I’ve said it before, thank the universe that at least he is happy with all his hyperactivity or I’d be committed.

I also explained how nights have become horrendous, or I should say, horrendously funny. He wakes up, starts to kick around, typically seems to have a gas bubble (I wrote about his 31 farts in a row), then starts to laugh and laugh and laugh. But without holding him or swaddling him, he won’t calm down on his own.

She was somewhat concerned with his extreme level of activity. Not only from a sleeping standpoint, but also weight. He is dipping back down again, off the curve. She isn’t overly worried, but suggested I take him to an occupational therapist to see if there are some things we can do to calm him. She used the word “sensory” which of course scared me. When I hear “sensory” I think “spectrum” and “autism”. But she reassured me that I need not worry. He is so alert, makes eye contact, loves to be held and hugged that perhaps we just need to work on ways to calm him more.

I spoke to the OT and they can’t get us in until end of August. But she did recommend the swaddle and baby massage. My pediatrician said the swaddle is okay too, as long as he can’t get out of it. Her main concern was if it was a loose one, he could wriggle out and get the blanket over his face. I told her about the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle I have that is zippered, as well as the miracle blanket. As long as he’s in a swaddle that he can’t get out of and that won’t tangle him up, then he will put his head to the side.

So we’ll see. In the meantime, here are his 6-month stats:

Weight: 15 lbs, 13 oz (18%)

Height: 26 inches (40%)

Head Circumference: 17.5 inches (70%)

(By the way: isn’t the kimono hilarious? It’s from our good friend Delia who buys all our stuff at Lucky Wang.)

 

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