We went to the doctor yesterday to try and gain some insight on the tantrums and Sophie's overall health. In addition to her not urinating as frequently as she should she is also very irregular with her bowel movements. Last Friday she was "crapping up the back" and now hasn't had a movement all week. She has had this issue for nearly a year. I think it could contribute to her overall disposition.
The doctor listened to us describe the fits and tantrums and also inquired how we deal with it. I admit I'm the weakling. I would often rather give in to make it stop than stand down to teach her the lesson. I don't always do this but I know that I'm the weak link.
She encouraged continuing some of our current practices-taking toys/favorite things away, putting her in time out in a graduated way (minutes/age or offense) and something that works well with her step-kids...putting them in the shower fully clothed! Her husband uses this tactic with their 7 year old. It totally changes their frame of mind from the bad behavior to "I'm getting wet, and I have all my clothes on." I don't feel quiet comfortable doing this with Sophie just yet. Another suggestion was once a tantrum starts to divert her attention to something else. Helping with something or another activity that will calm her down.
We also had blood drawn to test for lead. We are renting an older home and if you look at all the symptoms differently -not eating regularly, the potty issues, tantrums, etc...it could be a possibility. Yeah! Needles in a 2.5 year old's arm. Not fun. But she actually was a champ.
So we took her back to daycare after the appointment. Gave her and her daycare lady a milkshake. Phillip picked her up after school she was happy and had a good report from daycare. She was pleasant, funny, loving, and cooperative. It was a complete 180 from the previous night and felt good. Then bedtime came.
We read books on the couch and I announced it was time to go to bed. She wanted to sleep on the couch. She wouldn't follow me to her bedroom. We tried the "distraction" method. Phillip came and laid down with her on the couch and was joking with her about squirrels living in his year. They kidded as Phillip pretended to sleep on Sophie and take up all the space on the couch. She calmed down and enjoyed the play. But then really...it was late and time for her to go to bed.
We had to pick her up, screaming and kicking, and bring her to her room. We told her it was time for bed and she wasn't having it. She tried to escape the room. We shut the door and tried to keep her in there but I head stuff falling and didn't want to get hurt. I went back in to try and calm her down. At this point she knocked over her lacrosse sticks, dumped a bin of baby hats and socks waiting for Emma, ripped my glasses off my face and then lay prostrate on the floor on her stomach kicking her legs, flapping her arms and BANGING her head on the hardwood floor. That's when I started crying.
I just grabbed her and hugged. I wouldn't let her go and also pinned her arms down in my grasp so she would stop flailing. After about 15 minutes she calmed down enough to say her prayers and get in bed. She still was protesting having to go to bed (at 9:15 pm!) but she went.