OMG, I just figured this out as I started typing the headline. Growth spurt = lots of eating + lots of sleeping + (get this) SUPER cranky mood swings! I’m talking about Jack, heh heh. But seriously. I never put it all together. Jack gets WICKED moody at certain times of the month. And he’s a boy. It comes and goes just like the weather around here. I never matched it up to coincide with a ginormous growth spurt until just now.
We had a biggie tonight. Meltdown that is. Everything was fiiiinnnnnneee. We went to Tae Kwon Do after school, and Jack was very proud to show off his new white belt. Then we came home to play while Dennis made dinner. Then the attitude started.
Jack: I’m not eating dinner.
me: You don’t even know what it is yet.
Jack: It doesn’t matter, I’m not eating it.
me: Well then you won’t be able to have a snack later. I’ll save your dinner for snack time.
Jack: No you won’t. I’ll have a snack if I want to.
me: If you talk back again, you’ll go have a seat for 5 minutes.
Jack: (grumpy silence, but he couldn’t hold out for long) I’m not eating any crap!
me: Go sit.
After 5 minutes, Jack reluctantly came to the table. Proceeded to get another warning for being rude, and then promptly ate everything on his plate.
Jack: Mmmmm, hey that was pretty good! (now he’s all sunshine and lollipops)
me: Not worth all the drama was it?
Jack: What does that mean?
me: Drama is all the acting up and fussing around that really didn’t need to happen.
Jack: No, I meant what does “worth it” mean?
me: Oh. It’s sort of like “did you get what you wanted out of that whole argument”? You didn’t really win anything since you still came in here and ate dinner.
Jack: Well, sometimes it is worth it.
So this was the tame part that led up to the giant meltdown. We played for a bit. Jack didn’t even want a snack after all that fuss. Sigh. We went up and started getting ready for bed. Jack was being a minotaur at the time. All was well until I asked him to do his inhaler. He said he needed to pee first. Since I was using the toilet as a seat, I told him to wait a sec. Cue meltdown. Complete with tears, thrashing and much hitting of my arms. Dennis stepped in. Jack ramped up. Much snot ended up on the rug. It was a whole scene. Then, as soon as it began, it was over.
Jack: I’m sorrrrryyyyyyyy (pathetic red watery face looking up at me)
me: We do NOT hit in this house Jack! You got 3 warnings and lost all 3 bedtime stories.
me: Let’s get in bed.
Jack: I’m soooo tired! You don’t love me!
me: Daddy and I both love you very much, but you can’t hit. It’s okay to be angry. Everyone gets angry, but we don’t use our hands on anyone. Leave the room if you’re that angry.
Jack: But I had to go to the bathroom and you wouldn’t let me!
me: You also have to learn patience. All you had to do was puff on your inhaler. It would have taken 2 seconds. But you carried on and got all upset and still didn’t pee for like 10 minutes. I guess it wasn’t that much of an emergency huh?
Jack: Sniff. Well I’ll do it again if I want to.
me: Here’s another chance for you. Say instead “Sorry Mom, I won’t do it again.” That’s what I’d rather hear.
Jack: (sort of mumbly and soft) Sorry. I won’t do it again.
me: Much better. Like I said before, hardly worth all the fuss was it.
Jack: But I don’t know how to stop.
And that there folks is the truth. Kids sometimes don’t know how to control themselves, and we know when Jack gets ramped up, he needs to cool down. I will now be on the lookout for the new growth spurt combo. Add it to the list of things we “look out” for, when trying to avoid tantrums. Is Jack too tired, hungry, had enough free time to play, been given enough notice to switch activities, sick, having sensory overload. Etc. We need a database to cross reference all the things that can set a kid off. But hey, after 5 years, I learned a new combo! Growth spurt = potential meltdown! Alert the media!