Practicing his temper
As I’ve mentioned, Jenson is all about daddy right now. He gets tired of being with me all day long, so when Lo gets home, he doesn’t want to leave his side (“daddy, daddy, daddy” anytime Lo walks out of the room).
Lately, he’s been having a 4 p.m. witching hour, and I think it’s because he’s just ready for Lo to come home and get a break from me. The first day of this we were just playing outside – in the water, on the slide, blowing bubbles – all of which he loves, and he just laid down in the grass and started crying. He wasn’t hurt – I don’t even think he knew why he was crying. I picked him up twice and he wanted down and just laid back in the grass and continued. He fake-cried like this for about 15 minutes. I was talking to him the whole time, asking him if he wanted water, wanted to go outside the fence, wanted to go inside – all to which he replied very sadly “no”. Towards the end of this, he started crying with real tears, so I finally got him to go for a walk in the unfenced yard and he got over it. We went in and he had a snack and was back to being happy. Maybe he was just hangry.
The next day he had his witching hour around the same time – he was getting whiny after we got home from being in Columbus, and he saw his crayons and decided he wanted to color. I put him in his highchair and gave him his crayons and wipeable coloring pad case. He was mostly fine, but he kept getting a broken crayon stuck horizontally in the box and would get really upset about it. He’d put his hand in the box and his hand would get “stuck” (except it really wasn’t), and he’d have a complete meltdown. He didn’t want me to help, but I’d finally take his hand out and dig out the broken yellow crayon and he’d be fine for 3 more minutes (repeat). Don’t even suggest that I just take away the broken crayon – there are only 4 crayons and he’s very concerned about having them all. If one falls into his lap or on the ground, he cries “Oh noooo, oh noooo” until I get the rogue crayon for him. To be fair, this is the day he was carsick in the morning, so who knows how he actually felt.
I think he’s just practicing his temper. I try not to encourage/reward the behavior by showering him with attention or giving him anything he wants, but also don’t laugh at him (it can be pretty funny) or get irritated with him because he may actually be upset about something and I don’t want to negate his feelings entirely. I just try to redirect his attention so he calms down on his own. And luckily it usually happens shortly before Lo gets home, because that makes everything better for Jenson. I know I can resort to Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger, but I don’t want him to learn that he can throw a temper when he wants to watch tv. I try to save those for when it’s raining, too hot, or we are just bored…sometimes after a rough waking from a nap.
It’s kind of funny, because he started doing this a few days after we watched a Daniel Tiger episode where DT was throwing tempers and his mom would sing some song about talking about his feelings or whatever. I text my SIL (whose daughter loves DT) and said “Daniel Tiger is really a whiner”, to which she responded something like, “yeah, he can be an a-hole sometimes”. True story.