Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hunger Strike

I started the morning today dealing with roughly fifteen tantrums in as many minutes.  One ran into the next as my little one ran through the house finding more and more things that upset him.  It was 8:30 AM and I just wanted them to play a little bit by themselves before we had to leave at 9:00 AM.  I needed to put away the dishes, clean up a bit and, honestly, just get a few minutes of quiet.  I had just told my husband that I needed prayers for patience that day but I wasn't expecting such a big test so soon.  I was very close to throwing my own tantrum.

This child is generally so quiet and easy that any break in that demeanor sends me reeling.  He usually putts around the house swinging his little plastic bat or pushing a car.  Every once in awhile he will send me a quick, "Mama!" so that I can watch something cool he has come up with.  He rarely throws never ending fits.  Except when he is hungry.

I picked him up this morning and said, "Are you hungry, love?  Would you like more breakfast?"  He had already had an english muffin but I was desperate for some easy fix.  He threw his snotty, red, tear filled head backwards.  "Noooooooo!!"  he wailed.  I wasn't dissuaded.  Once he gets this hungry, he won't say he wants a thing until it is in a bowl in front of him.  "I'll just grab something for you to try," I told him."  "TRY!  NO TRY!!" he said escalating his sobs even further.  I grabbed a box of cheerios and some berries from the counter and threw it in a plastic cup as fast as I could with my 25 pound crying machine on my hip.

"Mommy, you spilled," my oldest chimed in helpfully.  But I didn't hear him until the third time he said it.  I was in the zone.  I thrust the cup at my youngest as I dropped his little butt on the counter.  He grabbed a handful, shoved it in his mouth and said, "Tank you!"

Sometimes I forget how important it is for us to be attune to their needs.  As my youngest is getting more and more verbal, I am counting on him a bit more to tell me when he is hungry or tired.  But he is still a baby in many ways.  When he gets too tired or too hungry, he just can't communicate with me anymore.  He has reached his limit.  It is my job to be the detective and get to the bottom of the problem.  I firmly believe that children only cry for a reason.  Even if it isn't obvious, we have to find out and help them solve it.  Even when we're frustrated.  Even when we feel like throwing ourselves on the kitchen floor kicking and screaming. They are counting on us.

How do you help your children (of any age) figure out what is truly bothering them?  Do some techniques work better for one child than another?

1 comment:

  1. My youngest can get a little crazy when he doesn't eat also :) I think his blood sugar can get low. Your little man is adorable!

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