I'm taking a mental hygiene day, but I don't feel very clean in the brain. Couldn't make my nap work, so I'm swilling coffee. The child has been possessed by snot and some kind of malicious entity that has turned my zOMG sweetest natured baybay ever into a hysterical, rabid little mess. Sleep the past nights has been teh bad.
I have (so far) less frustrated burned-out mom feelings and more heartbreaking empathy and that thing where she pulls my heart out with her tiny fingers and opens it right up and it bleeds all over the place. I cannot stand to see her so raw and freaked the fuck out. I think I'm chill enough to project the idea that one of us is in a place of stable normal function. I am not entirely sure, though. She looks like a feral kitten plunged into ice water, and her big blue eyes that look into my soul on good days are full of this mad, fearful spazziness searching me for answers I can't give.
Her triggers seem to be sleepiness, including the everyday waking in the morning kind, which means that every weekday there is a massive nuclear meltdown on the changing table; bathtime, until I climb in with her and hold her tightly for a long time, and then another one when I take her out; overstimulation, which paired with her cold and naplessness yesterday for the worst freak out to date.
Tactics attempted include:
-desperate boobie offers, rejected out of hand by the child who is now apparently totally weaned during daylight hours but MUST have nummins if she so much as stirs during the night.
-The Dr. "Happiest Toddler" Dude caveman approach. Not working. I might not be trying hard enough to match her intensity. I still feel a little nuts doing it. (The speak Toddlerease thing did, however, totally pwn a tantrum thrown by E, the Birdy's BFF.)
-gentle, hippie mama chanty soothingness
None of this seems to diffuse the worst part; I am unconvinced that anything could. (Or should? Does she need to vent this rage? Is it natural as a hurricane?) After the really bad part passes, I am very good. The aftershock involves a request to "hold" and/or "rock" and songs and stroking and whispered shhh's and all the newborn stuff I was so good at and crave like comfort food. (I seriously will have to get a lapdog or a new cat if she gets non-touchy as she grows up. I am a big cuddly kissy touchy person, and new babies are the best snuggly thing in the world. I should hire myself out as a babywearing nanny.)
I haven't tried ignoring her- shocking, no? I am not sure I am capable but it seems rationally to be a good strategy, if coupled with lots of loving attention during non-tantrum times. Bu wants to spank her. I can't believe we are still discussing that as an option. I can't write about that without coming across as insanely pissy and maybe elitist or something, and spouting terms I hate to use like "redneck" or "white trash" so I'll spare you the ordeal and just say that I take issue with aspects of my husband's upbringing. My opinion is also colored by my brother's being spanked in anger and arguably emotionally abused. I'm not calling spanking abusive across the board but my momtuition rankles.
Open call for advice! No flames allowed or expected. Suggestions to lock her in a dungeon or duct tape her mouth shut will be considered delightful black humor and dismissed, but seriously... has anything worked for you? Does she just need a Roary?