The Meltdown

Let me just start off by saying that I am still shell-shocked from last night. Isabella had a meltdown like you wouldn’t believe. Both CJ and my nerves were shot by the time it was over. Here’s the background.

Isabella is apparently a child who needs routine. I suppose all kids are that way  but we definitely learned that if her routine gets thrown off too much, we will all suffer. Our holiday weekend was a busy one. We spent both Saturday/Sunday over at my sister’s house having some quality family time. Both days, we had a pretty normal morning and she got her naps and meals in as usual. But then we’d head to my sister’s house in the afternoon. Munchkin had lots of fun playing with her cousins and all the toys they have. So much fun, that she refused her afternoon naps. Saturday we tried 3 different times. I even had my mom try to work her grandma magic but to no avail. Also, we were eating holiday type food (chips, dip, chili, cheese/crackers, cookies, candy, etc.) with very little fruit and veggies. So her diet was thrown off too. By last night and bedtime, she was very crabby and out of whack.

When we got home, Munchkin played with some toys and watched a little bit of The Wiggles. Then it was time to change her diaper and put on her pajamas. That’s when all hell broke loose. As soon as I laid her down on the changing table, she started screaming and crying. She wriggled and tried to get away but I was able to keep her in one spot long enough to do what I needed to do (I’ve discovered that as parents, we come up with all kinds of creative ways to change a diaper when the kid is being less than cooperative). I figured she’d calm down once I picked her up again, because that’s what usually happens.

Um, no.

I picked her up and she kept on wailing. I tried to give her some juice/water/milk and she would have none of it. I offered her a bedtime snack of crackers and she refused. I gave her a woobie and she batted it away. There was no consoling her at this point so I thought, all right, she just needs to go to bed. We went through our usual routine and as I bent over to turn on her CD player, she grabbed my hair and yanked. Hard. I pulled her hand away and firmly said, “No!” She kicked and thrashed. I tried the CD again and she grabbed my hair for a second time. And yanked hard. I was fed up at that point so down in her crib she went. I figured she would carry on for a little longer than tire out and go to sleep.

I figured wrong.

She kept going. And going. After 5 minutes I went back in, with some juice,  and tried to offer it to her again. She pushed it away. I offered a woobie. She threw it at me. Then, she reached out wanting me to pick her up, so I did. She pointed to the hallway and I thought, hey, maybe she’s hungry for something other than crackers. So we headed out to the kitchen and she stopped crying. Oh thank God. I tried applesauce but she didn’t want it. Offered cereal and she refused. When I handed her the juice cup again, she took it but wouldn’t drink. Just  held on to it. CJ came in and we started discussing other options. Then the crying started again. And got louder and louder. I tried to take the juice away and she wouldn’t let go, yet she still wouldn’t drink it. I finally yanked it from her little hands and she freaked. She threw herself back and out came a wail like I have never heard before. I seriously thought she was possessed. I stared waiting for her head to spin around. When it didn’t, I took her to her room, made the sign of the cross over her and left the room. She continued with her meltdown.

That’s when I did the only rational thing any adult woman would do – I called my mommy. I needed more brainpower for this one – and apparently I needed God on my side. Since mon was a nun way back when, I figured she could help on both accounts. She suggested just letting her cry it out. Go in after 5 min to reassure her and then leave. Wait 10 min and go back in. Rinse and repeat until the demonwas exorcised Isabella was asleep. So, after a bit, I went back in. She was still standing up and crying. I told her it was ok and that she needed to lay down and sleep. She kept pointing to the hallway and I had no idea what she wanted. I asked but didn’t get much of an answer other than, “Muahhhuffffsnifffmuuuooooh.” Since I didn’t have my Toddler Speak dictionary on me, I couldn’t translate. I picked her up and felt her tummy, not really sure what I was feeling for but a nurse told me to do that one time so I did. Her tummy was a little distended and hard which I think means constipation. I had no idea how to fix that at 8:00 at night other than to stick my finger up her butt (a guy at work told me to try that). I didn’t find that option at all appealing so I put her back to bed and offered a woobie, figuring the crying was better than poop splatter. She batted away the woobie so I left her alone.

And she screamed.

It was at this point that I raised the white flag and told CJ to take care of it. After waiting for the right amount of time, he went in there. When he came out, all was quiet. I had to clap by my ears a few times to make sure I hadn’t just gone deaf or something. I don’t know what magic/exorcism/ritual he did in there but by golly it worked. He said he just rocked her and gave her a woobie. Gee, why didn’t I think of that.

Apparently, she just wanted some daddy time since they hadn’t had as much time together due to his surgery on Wednesday.

We tiptoed around the house for the rest of the night, deathly afraid to wake the beast. But she was out cold and slept great all night. By the time it was all said and done, she had screamed for about an hour. That’s an hour I don’t ever want to repeat.

I’ve learned a couple of lessons from this:

  1. Isabella needs a set schedule. Missing 2 days of afternoon naps really threw her off and made her super crabby.
  2. A regular diet is important too. She missed out on her normal amounts of fruits and veggies which contributed to the constipation.
  3. You’re never too old to need your mommy.
  4. You find religion real quick when the devil possesses your child.
  5. From now on, CJ is putting her to bed.

I hope and pray that getting back to her normal schedule today will help and bedtime will be much easier tonight. If not, you will find me curled up in a ball under the stairs, rocking back and forth reciting The Lord’s Prayer.

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7 thoughts on “The Meltdown

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  6. That really took me back about 34 or so years! When my son decided he wasn’t going to sleep, that was it! Mind you, back in those days we left them for 30 minutes, not 10.

    I remember one time during the day walking out of the house to the pavement, just to get away from the screaming for a few minutes.

    Loved your 5 lessons!

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