I called my sister and Mother last night in hysterics. One has raised five children, the other is raising six, and both are educators with masters degrees in child development and early education. Naturally, I felt that they should be the first to hear the news that I feel that my son needs a psychiatrist and may be headed toward a future as a psychopath.
OK. So that statement is ludicrous and far from any realm of possibility, but I do feel that we are at a pivotal stage in which our proper handlings of his recent behaviors are monumental in his understanding of what it means to make a loving and positive impact on society as a human being.
Zachary is pushing three and a half and spends one half of the day completely out of control. He seems to have two personas. The one that wakes up in the morning, happy, calm and perfectly lovely – “Mommy, I love you.” “Can I help you with that? I would really like to help today, Mommy” “Isabelle, would you like me to hold your hand?” This child walks with a steady gait and exhibits manners that would earn us a “Parents of the Year” certificate.
Then there is the other, who rips through his clothing and transforms our perfect child into the Incredible Hulk. This horrifying transformation is somewhat predictable, and while we do see glimpses of his green eyes throughout the day, he mostly lies dormant until around 4 pm. He tears through the house singing like a 70-year-old chain smoker in a way that causes polyps to grow on my vocal chords just by listening, tackles his sister to the ground in the name of “play”, grabs toys, barrels into us with a force that has knocked the wind out of us on several occasions, (or, has left my poor husband doubled over in the kitchen for at least ten minutes trying to ease the excruciating pain with happy thoughts that perhaps he is now infertile), and throws us all into a black hole while trying to get out the door to run errands. Dressing him is like trying to shimmy a unitard onto a baby donkey, and reasoning with him is like begging an intoxicated person to stop slurring his speech and bumping into walls.
During these bouts of complete and utterly painful chaos, there is absolutely nothing that works but waiting it out. We have tried time-outs, taking toys away, going into a dark room, away from stimuli and holding him, and deep breathing (the last one is for us). I have even gone as far as to lock Isabelle and I in her room as a way of removing ourselves from this behavior (because I can’t in good conscience lock him in his own room). While that does seem to be the only consequence that actually seems to bother him, it still doesn’t exorcise the demon. He falls asleep exhausted at 8:30, after umpteen “Zachary, you are too smart and wonderful, and have too much to offer the world for us to allow this behavior” talks (all of which go right over his head, of course. He’s three for heaven’s sake), and wakes up in the morning, fresh and lovely again as if his alter ego didn’t have his mother up all night crying the evening prior.
The obvious issue here seems to be that there is a food allergy of sorts. But anyone who has tried to pinpoint a food allergy causing something short of anaphylaxis, knows that this can be a wild goose chase of frustration and confusion. But, we will continue to look into this theory. The other is that he is extremely over-tired. Try as I may to get him to nap, he refuses. If we are in the car at 4:30 or 5:00, he is out within 30 seconds. But, napping this late and going to bed at 10:00 p.m. is not an option. We are strict about bedtimes and covet the post-8:30 hours that are OURS. We are not forfeiting those.
So, while I do encourage thoughts from all of you on this, I also encourage you to read this article that my blessed sister sent to my inbox at 1:00 a.m. This is comfort to anyone in the midst of the “half-years”, or anyone experiencing PTSD from living through them years ago.
This article describes my son to a tee, and gave me much comfort this morning as I read it and thought perhaps he is not going to become a mass murderer after all.
How many months until age four?
*Fact Check- All statements are true and correct….Unfortunately