Payback, thy name is Rosalyn

7 Apr

Did something just break? Is someone sitting on the stove? What’s that smell? Why won’t the screaming end?

Welcome to my day with a 2 year old.

I’ll admit it. I was quite smug after Vivian. While she’s quite talkative, and intelligent (Look Mommy, I’m a bird! she yells while flapping her arms, holding two little feathers),  she’s also very cooperative, and was highly verbal from a very young age. We never had any real screaming matches because she was able to tell me what she wanted.

Rosalyn is her polar opposite.  If she doesn’t get what she wants, she throws herself down on the floor, and screams bloody murder. And I mean scream. (Think Banshee or Black Canary) She will scream for as long as it takes, and will do so at full power. She won’t stop until she’s good and ready. She also gets triggered for no apparent reason, and has begun to refuse to nap, except for this afternoon when she surrendered to exhaustion on the couch with me.


It drives me nuts. To be honest, as much as I can stay calm and quiet, it takes every bone in my body to not scream my own head off and then run up to hide in my bedroom. She is totally unreasonable-Vivian you could negotiate with-Rosalyn, well, she won’t stop until she wants to, even if you give her what she was trying to ask for. It’s like she enjoys it.

Any suggestions for rising out the 2 year old storm? I know it will end, and get better as her communication skills do and as she grows up a bit more. But my ears are bleeding….

It also doesn’t help that she is cute as all hell, and knows it. My father tells me she’s just like me at that age. But WORSE.

10 Responses to “Payback, thy name is Rosalyn”

  1. sweetsalty kate April 7, 2007 at 7:31 pm #

    Okay, someone, please, pipe up with some advice. I will be checking religiously.

    Thordora, I am with you. When it gets like that, so illogical and so button-pushing, I just want to be elsewhere. Like mexico, perhaps. Evan was so ‘TWO’ today.

  2. sweetsalty kate April 7, 2007 at 7:36 pm #

    Let me add: if somone out there comments, please cover this – do you ignore, or scold?

    When we scold him or get angry (i.e. if we speak sharply to him or try to manhandle him when he starts getting destructive during a tantrum), it only seems to make it much worse, like he feeds off it. Like he’s thinking, “Okay. Now that I REALLY know you’re watching, and paying attention, I’ll do THIS!!!!!” (thwack/crash/shatter)

    Is it time for time-outs? How is this done at two? If ignoring it is the way to go, how do you manage this in public or when it just goes too far and the behaviour needs correcting?

    Uhh.. okay. Clearly I need to do a post fishing for advice as well, rather than piggybacking on thor. 🙂

  3. thordora April 7, 2007 at 7:47 pm #

    Vivian didn’t do any of this. I’m sure if we put Evan and Rosalyn in a room together, it would combust.

    For the most part, a gentle ignorance works “sorta” on Rosalyn. If she pushes us far enough, daddy screaming at her works.

    I dunno. I see why you’re so paranoid about the new arrivals if you have a “twofer” on your hands. 🙂

  4. Jennifer April 7, 2007 at 9:46 pm #

    You know what? I think it’s second born syndrome. I’ve found that Screech/Squeak/Evil Incarnate, whatever acts like this because that is one of the only ways she can get attention. It’s not like I ignore her, but she BECOMES the center of attention when she behaves like that. So, we ignore when we can. I KNOW she is going to be a temper tantrum throwing drama queen soon.

    Goddess help me.

    I hear duct tape works well on toddlers.

  5. Jason Dufair April 7, 2007 at 10:13 pm #

    We are in the same. exact. boat. right now with Emma. Screams even when she gets what she wants. I just try to ride it out. It’ll pass. Not that it’s easy.

  6. katsplace April 8, 2007 at 11:17 am #

    Let’s see… mine who was the most like you are describing down to the langauge delay is L. Maybe you have figured it out but I am still wrangling with her. Sorry if that doesn’t make you feel very hopeful.

    She still completely loses it sometimes. People still remember her 18 month old tantrums at Pre-K (before she attended). They remember her refusal to wear snowpants. They remember her darts across the parking lots. They remember me being afraid to leave the house. Now it’s better – honestly – but when she loses it, she LOSES it.

    Nothing that worked for C worked for L. In fact if possible it made things worse. She couldn’t care less if Mommy is disapproving, scolding, ignoring her, etc. It’s completely self-motivated. And stopping has to be also. Oh and she also has to figure out what’s in it for her before she agrees to rules. Oy…. I am going to be bald before the kid is grown. Hopefully I can laugh at her when she’s a mom.

    What works NOW (she’s 6) is that I completely isolated her when she’s melting down. She goes to the garage stairs or the basement stairs. There she can scream to her hearts content and come talk when it’s all over. As long as all she has done is scream, we just talk and it’s over. If in her frustration, she has thrown something, etc – then we have a consequence – but not until AFTER she is calm. If I try during the meltdown, she just ramps up until she literally could be naked in an empty room and grounded for the rest of her life. She can’t hear me then and can’t reason.

    When she was 2, I seriously picked battles. I avoided situations that were near guarantees for her to cause me grief. I used timeouts – mostly for me. There just wasn’t any reasoning at all with her at 2 and though I made sure I never lost a battle I chose, I surrendered quite a few before the battle began.

    The good news. I go into her teachers and they tell me what an absolutely wonderful child she is, nurturing, loving, a leader, respectful, responsible… and I want to know if it’s really L or they have me mistaken for someone else. (This started at just shy of 3) She’s bright and charming, doesn’t test limits, is content to play with herself or with a crowd. The teachers swear that it means I have done something right that I never see this kid while they never see the banshee. I still would like to meet her but I am beginning to think that it probably means that she is going to be a great adult.

  7. thordora April 8, 2007 at 11:19 am #

    I read somewhere that the REALLY trying children are very intelligent.

    I’m hanging onto that hope to make me feel better with this.

  8. Marcy April 8, 2007 at 6:09 pm #

    I appreciated what Katsplace had to say.

    I think I was like Rosalyn — at least I know I would throw tantrums, and I’m intense, willful, AND sensitive, which is a difficult combination.

    My dd is not quite five months old yet, but I have discovered that earplugs can help me tolerate screaming a little better, so that my anger is less likely to escalate out of control and I can still be with her and treat her compassionately.

    When I think about how I would have wanted others to respond when I threw tantrums (I think I was more likely 6 than 2), I think I would have wanted to be acknowledged and sympathized with and assured of discussion / attention after I’d calmed down — “I’m sorry you’re feeling so lousy; go ahead and work these feelings out, and when you’re calm we can talk about it if you want.”

    Being absolutely ignored would have infuriated me and started a battle of wills. So would have being absolutely engaged during the tantrum. But being compassionately yet firmly (“stay safe — respect our property”) acknowledged during, and engaged afterwards, I think would have worked well with my temperament.

  9. venessa April 8, 2007 at 10:42 pm #

    Em is driving everyone in our house nuts right now. She tortures everyone. When she starts to throw a fit, I tell her “You are free to do that in your room and come out when you are finished.” I pick her up, carry her to her room, and close the door. I do that many many times every day. Eventually she will stop it, until then, at least she isn’t screaming in the same room as me.

  10. thordora April 9, 2007 at 7:32 am #

    I noticed that she doesn’t nap when I’m around, which turns her into a hooded fang. So I figure I just need to never be home.

    She had a nap yesterday because I slept in, and she was a sweet child. I guess I’m just too much excitement for her.

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