Where oh where did my sweet baby go? She seems to have been replaced by a slightly demonic, manipulative, demanding, stubborn, MUST GET HER WAY OR ELSE little girl. Aren’t we a little early for the terrible two’s? This past month has been rough.
About a month ago, Peanut started waking up almost every night at 3am. She cries and cries until one of us goes in there and then when we pick her up out of bed to comfort her, she just wants to play. Or read books. Or pet the cat. Or anything that will keep her out of bed, really. And then when we try to put her back to bed she wails like she’s being tortured. Big fat tears stream down her face and I feel like the worst parent in the world. One of us usually ends up being awake with her until about 5am or so until she finally gets so tired she doesn’t have the energy to fight it anymore. Is there such a thing as a 19-month sleep regression? I googled it and there does seem to be an 18-month sleep regression that many parents complain about but I’m not entirely convinced that’s what we’re dealing with.
Beyond the ridiculous lack of sleep we’re all getting now, Peanut has learned how to throw a complete and totally effective temper tantrum. First she starts out by pointing at what she wants, looking at me with her big, adorable eyes and saying, “Dat. Dat. Dat.” (“That. That. That.” for anybody who doesn’t speak baby-ese.) She’ll say this over and over again in rapid succession until she either (a) gets what she wants or (b) I tell her that she can’t have it. If we go with option b then she cries like I just told her the cat had run away. (She is obsessed with the cat, by the way.) The crying will go on for far too long unless we can distract her with something else which happens about 25% of the time. The other times we’re in for a meltdown. If we try to pick her up, she goes limp (does every child learn this at some sort of ‘torture-your-parents’ class?) or kicks her legs furiously.
Here’s a short clip of how we started Christmas morning, complete with crying for no reason we could see (please pardon our mess, it’s not normally that bad!):
So, yeah, this happens multiple times a day. Add in the fact that she now hates having her diaper changed (see above re: going limp or kicking), taking a bath, eating a meal, putting on pants, oh I could go on forever. Suffice it to say, it’s bad. How did this happen? Are we doing something wrong? Is this normal or are we not disciplining correctly? Anybody have suggestions for how to avoid epic tantrums? And is there such a thing as a 19-month sleep regression. We need help badly!