I See Toddler Rage on the Horizon

A little development seems to have taken place over the past few weeks. I’m pretty sure we saw it coming, but we were hoping that we were mistaken. I don’t think there’s any question, however, that we are raising one of those babies with “fit” problems.

I wasn’t around a whole lot when Addie was in the stage where Vivi is now, so I don’t recall any temper tantrums that ended up with Addie lying on the floor kicking her feet and banging her head on the ground. I’m sure there were times where Addie threw a fit, but I doubt it ever got to that level.

Addie has always been a pretty laid back kid. She can be impatient, but that doesn’t result in fits. It usually results in her taking things into her own hands. Like the time she helped herself to the Kit Kat bag because she didn’t want to wait for me to get home from work to give her a Kit Kat. Or, there are all those times she has sneaked into the top of our closet searching for her Christmas gifts. Which reminds me of all the times she has sneaked into every single package that has come from any delivery service before Casey can get to them.

With all that impatience, though, Addie just hasn’t seen the need to throw a fit.  Well, now that I think about it, there was that one birthday where I’m pretty sure Casey either wanted to leave Addie in the mall or give up on Birthdays forever, but that’s another story for another time.

Vivi, on the other hand, has taken quite kindly to fits.

Not just screaming and breaking down into uncontrollable sobs, but bang her head on the ground, smack a wall type of fits. The type of fits that cause me to duck for my own safety.

On Thanksgiving Day, Vivi wanted to go upstairs to play with all the kids who were running around in our toy room. Vivi decided to head up the stairs on her own, but I caught her in the act and told her to stay downstairs. Vivi immediately started climbing to the top of the stairs as quickly as she could. To be honest, I was pretty surprised to see just how fast my kid could climb stairs. I caught up to her about half way up snatched onto her.

Before I could lift her into my arms to carry her up the rest of the way, Vivi started smashing her own head against the wall. What the heck, who does that? I wondered if maybe my holding onto her caused her to turn into the wall as part of her frantic attempt to get up the stairs.

Yesterday ended all doubt in my mind. I don’t remember what it was that set off the temper tantrum, but Vivi lost it. She threw herself down to the floor and started kicking and screaming with all her might. When that didn’t get a reaction from me, she started to bang her head against the ground. We’re not talking about a soft-carpeted surface either. We’re talking about a hardwood floor and a very deliberate smashing of her own forehead into the ground. Not just any ol’ hardwood floor, either, a hardwood floor that is so hard that I cannot kneel on the floor because it hurts my knees.

I’m not sure what to do about this problem. How do you teach a toddler that it’s not okay to bash his/her head into walls and floors when they’re upset? Is this a sign that I should fear for my sanity (or life) when Vivi becomes a teenager? I grew up with sisters, so I already know how difficult teen girls can be, but a teen girl who is prone to smashing her head into hard objects in fits of anger?  <shiver>

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