Category Archives: Anger Management
Since being driven out by the hurricane, this is about the longest stint Maddie has had away from home. She is in good spirits, but is definitely falling victim to the night crazies.
Maddie has also come up with a new move for her grandfather – it’s called the HULK! Her eyes bug out, she makes two fists and strains like she’s turning into the Hulk.
This is great entertainment for all who witness the transformation.
Maddie is also taking time to rub food in her hair and fire her sippy cup across the room like a missile during dinner. We have tried reasoning with her and disciplining her, but when the mood hits – there’s no swaying her from course of craziness.
Of course Maddie manages to be sweet even during her most ridiculous outbursts, but it’s important to record this behavior so we can share it with Maddie when she is a little older.
Maddie was up at the crack of dawn to take care of her morning schedule that was packed with stair climbing exhibitions and multiple steps around the house. She was definitely very crusty and even her morning walk could not break her out of the funk.
Surely a little breakfast would help her turn the corner. Nope, not happening. Maddie was extra-crispy with two sides of attitude and had no interest in eating. We wondered if those baby molars were ready to make a push.
We got to lunch with the grandparents with the hope that Maddie could keep herself together during the meal. That apparently was wishful thinking. Maddie started crying as soon as we sat down and wasn’t interested in being comforted by either parent. This is also when we realized that Maddie’s back teeth were knocking at her gums.
The restaurant staff and patrons seemed quite relieved when we began packing up our gear to roll. Once we were in the car, it didn’t take Maddie long to pass out. Once she was asleep, it was time for a stealth mission to Target. The only problem was that Maddie was awake as soon as we pulled up.
We popped her in a cart and she was ready to roll. She had a great deal to say to her fellow shoppers, but at least the crying had stalled. We hit the baby wagon wheel snacks first and Maddie was happy to partake.
We made the rounds and somehow, some way – the baby was at peace. The shopping trip must have been just what the doctor ordered because Maddie spent the rest of the evening laughing and playing with her parents without a care in the world. We are delighted that this put Maddie in a great mood, we just have no idea why it worked.
Even though Maddie is just a few days short of her first birthday, there are already a few characteristics that have really taken root. One of those traits is a complete lack of patience when it comes to unraveling how things work. Today’s flip phone temper tantrum seriously left her father shaking his head.
For weeks now, dad has foolishly let Maddie mess with his flip phone. Flip phones are relatively tough and if they stay closed, the baby doesn’t accidentally get into a long drawn out conversation with “Peggy” in the Ukraine.
The trouble began this afternoon when Maddie spied the open flip phone laying on the couch. I snapped the phone shut before the little NASCAR princess could close in on her conquest. This has never been an issue before, but today was obviously a different story.
Maddie snagged the phone and immediately went hard to work on the task of prying open the phone. No big deal, she would either snap it open or she wouldn’t. I was hoping to keep it closed for another couple weeks, but if she opened it, so be it.
For three steady minutes, Maddie studied the mobile device from every angle. She combed the phone buttons and releases. She even whapped it on the ground a few times, but the magic communication shell would not yield its secrets. Suddenly Maddie popped on to her feet, stuck the phone in my face and started screaming.
I calculated that this outburst would last for about 2-3 minutes and fizzle out due to lack of interest. I was far from correct. This went on and on and broke down into a Mexican standoff. I was not opening the phone and Maddie was flabbergasted that I was not following orders.
The fact of the matter is that the next 15 minutes became a contest of wills. Would I let the baby ravage the phone or would I listen to her forlorn cries of desperation? In the end, the baby finally yielded – but not before she burst my eardrums and exhibited a temper tantrum that would make Mt. Vesuvius green with envy. It becomes a little more apparent each day that I’m in serious trouble.
Maddie’s short fuse grew a little shorter tonight when she demanded an immediate release from her high chair. Dinner hadn’t been over for more than a minute when a squeal erupted from my precocious soon to be one-year-old daughter.
Maddie’s parents were shocked to see that the baby was trying to tear off her shirt as a show of civil disobedience. Once she discovered she couldn’t free herself from the chair, she knew she had to do something radical. Moments later, the topless protest was on.
However, pulling her shirt all the way off was not as easy as Maddie had anticipated. She succeeded in getting the shirt over her head, but was not able to free her arms.
All three of us found this predicament especially entertaining. Maddie started laughing her head off. We couldn’t tell if the baby was stunned by her own ridiculousness or entertained by the fact that her parents were cracking up. We freed Maddie from the chair and fixed her shirt before she was off on her next adventure in the kitchen.
Along with Cabinet Opening 101, Maddie is taking graduate level courses in “Pulling over Trashcans” and “Opening the refrigerator and resting her arms on the bottom shelf. She’s already looking at next month’s syllabus that includes a course on Parental Coercion and Terror.
My 11-month-old daughter Maddie has been in the process of finding new and creative ways to express herself. If you periodically read about the baby or if you have met her, it’s quite obvious that she does not like to be ignored. When you combine these two elements together, you have a potentially explosive situation on you hands.
This afternoon at brunch, Maddie had quite an adoring crowd surrounding her. Parents, grandparents and even Aunt Joni and Uncle Tim were showing Maddie the love. The restaurant was packed and Maddie was in high spirits.
At some point in the next ten minutes, the adults must have become involved in a conversation where Maddie’s opinion was not being sought at the time. We were sitting there chatting when a high-pitched screech split the air. Every single head in the restaurant swung in our direction.
This is not an exaggeration. Every person in that place was momentarily stunned into silence by the sheer volume and intensity of Maddie’s eruption. Some people were confused, some irritated and others just amused that a baby could stun such a large group of people into submission like that. The lull of silence lasted almost an entire two seconds before everyone resumed his or her previous activities.
As for our table, nobody really knew what to say. We exchanged some nervous glances and went on with our meal. Maddie’s parents are all too familiar with this type of outburst. However, it was fascinating to see the stinging reactions it produces in public. It appears that Maddie is not quite polished enough for the outside world, but we will keep trying.
Maddie obviously has a little too much on her plate right now.
Her mom is on the road – New teeth are breaking through – And she’s racking up the miles. Factor these things together and Maddie is running on a short fuse.
She’s actually dealing with the stress quite well. Most of the issues are once again surfacing during the clothing and diaper changes. It seems like every time we have to change one or the other, Maddie is fighting mad.
She actually screams as if she is being interrogated underneath a long-forgotten Gulag. When other people hear these crazed protests, they worry that the baby must have fallen off of the changing table.
It doesn’t last long – once the change is completed, the baby is all butterscotch and ponies again. We have theorized before that it is always better not to mess with Maddie, but she can’t wear the same clothes all the time.
So, the question is, how do we alter Maddie’s perception that changing her clothes somehow violates her life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? There must be a way to distract her, but so far nothing seems to work.
We’ve gone through this stage before, but her protests have never been so over-the-top as they are now. As always, all suggestions are welcome!
Maddie and I were playing strong well after her bedtime last night. It was just 15 minutes before eight pm and I knew we were playing with house money. Surely just one night of staying up late wouldn’t have any serious repercussions. I had the baby in bed at eight, just one measly little hour past her bedtime.
I went to bad that night with the satisfaction of a job well done. It never occurred to me that I was setting myself up for a beating the next day. However, as soon I got to the crib this morning, I could tell little Miss Sunshine was far out of sorts. OK, so she was a little bit snippy and a tad whiny, but surely that would pass – or would it?
It turns out that Maddie had a great deal to say about not getting enough sleep the night before. Every time it seemed like Maddie had turned the corner, she was bent out of shape again. She had some jovial stretches in there, but for the most part, it was a rough day at the baby office.
During mealtime, Maddie’s patience would dry up the second she did not get something she wanted. Even our outdoor time was a bit sketchy. Naps also helped for brief periods of time, but Maddie made today’s lesson very clear. Get me in bed at a decent hour or you will pay the piper!
In the last two weeks, Maddie has mastered the commando-like maneuver of flipping from her back to the standing position. The flip is not a gentle or subtle action, it’s a flash of movement where the baby goes from being on her back to standing right up there in your face. This two-count process starts with the flip to her knees right before she stands straight up.
Maddie really shows off some great athletic potential with this action, but it is no fun at all on the changing table. Whether it’s a diaper change or just changing clothes, this wild bucking bronco is creating PURE HAVOC on the changing table.
The second I lay her down on her back, she takes that as her crazy cue to spin into action. I’m fine with all of that, but when I gently restrain these wild rolling tendencies, she goes absolutely insane. She starts screaming and crying as if she being lowered into boiling oil. This pattern took hold about three days ago and shows no signs of abating any time soon.
I love the enthusiasm associated with her stand and roll, but don’t really understand the temper tantrum that comes with it. I have tried multiple strategies to reduce Maddie’s mayhem including humor, distraction, soothing and restraint. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, Maddie flatly refuses to sit still for any changing table activities.
Like anything else with the baby, you just have to ride the phase out to its completion. However, it would be nice if I could find a way to reduce the stress for Maddie. The baby really seems to get desperate, but once the diaper is changed or the new outfit is in place, she is all happy and bubbly once again.
We’ve gone through a few phases like this one in the past, but I’m really hoping for a speedy resolution. This behavior does not seem to be linked to hunger or sleep, for now it appears to be another control issue. So for now we are in the grin and bear it stage until little Maddie Sunshine decides that it is ok to have her diaper changed again.
Until this week, Maddie’s bedtime bath had always been full of smiles and splashes. But during this particular trip, bathtime has been a bust. Maddie has kind of spoiled us with her lack of fear for new experiences. She hit the pool for the first time yesterday like Michael Phelps. That’s why this sudden anxiety surrounding bathtime has taken her parents by complete surprise.
We’re not sure what the issue is, but Maddie seems to be afraid of the blowup tub. Bathtime has morphed into sheer chaos complete with screaming, crying and multiple early exits from the tub. Bathing the baby before bed has always been a way to soothe Maddie. Now bathtime is revving her up like a honey badger trying to remove the head from a live snake.
Take away the hard edges and confines of the hard plastic tub at home and the baby is obviously breaking down. As soon as she hits the water, she’s like a cat on the hot tin roof. She doing all she can to pivot and claw her way away from the water. The cushiony feel of the tub has Maddie believing that it might swallow her up at any moment.
So this evening we applied Jedi mind tricks to lure Maddie into the tub without having her erupt into hysterics. First we ran the tub before bringing the baby in. Second, we brought her into the bathroom with her clothes still on. And finally, once we got her undressed, I let her stand in the tub instead of lowering her into the water.
Once her feet hit the water, she went right back off the deep end. However, I kept just her feet barely in the water while assuring her that everything was under control. Realizing that she didn’t have to sit in the tub provided a great deal of relief.
The crying stopped, but she remained standing for almost a full minute. It was a very gradual process, but the baby finally trusted the tub enough to continue her normal bathing routine. She reverted back to the baby who loved bathtime right before our eyes. Hopefully we turned the corned on this little speed bump, but with Maddie, you just never know.