“This is just like that twilighty show about that zone” – Homer J. Simpson
Did you ever see that Twilight Zone episode (or the movie) where creepy six year old Anthony Fremont has used his God-like powers to remove his hometown to some other dimension and holds the townspeople hostage as his playmates? Everyone is forced to tiptoe around the boy, submitting to his every whim and saying only nice things, lest they tick him off and meet a horriying fate. The premise for the show seemed rather fantastical to me. Well, until today.
After spending this past three-day-weekend with my son, I now know how the characters felt.
My son, E (as I call him in this blog to protect him from future embarrassment of being associated with me), had a cold Friday. I took him to the doctor, who prescribed an oral steroid for his cough. She warned, “the medicine might make him a little cranky.”
A little cranky? I beg to differ, doc.
For three days, my son has been the Crankiest. Toddler. Ever. You know, the kind you see on the TV show, SuperNanny – an emotional rollercoaster. Everything was making him angry and frustrated. He responded by screeching, crying, throwing food, throwing toys, and things he’s never done before.
My wife, who is a lot more patient than I am, said he is simply frustrated because he isn’t able to communicate yet. As if to prove the point, he walked around baby grunting and pointing to things he wanted , er, HAD TO HAVE!
Ironically, during this crankiest of times, (when I just wanted to get in the car and drive really really far away) he was also especially needy for attention. If either my wife or I left the room, you’d think we left him alone with a meat necklace in a room full of dogs. And here’s the weird part – even though he wanted us BOTH in the room at all times, he didn’t necessarily want to interact with us. He just wanted us around.
Here is a glimpse at today’s madness:
- 4:51 p.m. - My son is racing around the living room while I crawl after him making monster sounds. He is giggling hysterically as he circles the dining room table, his head bobbing side to side, eyes squinting in excited glee. He loves this game, we play it almost daily, even when Monster Daddy is too tired to chase, so instead kinda’ lays there making growling sounds as baby races around the house.
- 4:52 p.m. - As E comes towards the sofa, where Monster Daddy is hiding, I spot a streak of cat hairball goo (the damned cat coughs one up every day, it seems). I call a time out so I can clean up. Mommy grabs E up so he won’t step in the cat goo.
- 4:52:30 p.m. - E starts crying, wanting to resume play.
- 4:53 p.m. - Mommy is struggling to hold E as he squirms and kicks, attempting to break free. His crying has turned into a screeching yell.
- 4:58 p.m. - I finish cleaning the cat goo and am ready to resume play.
- 4:59 p.m. – E is inconsolable, face red, tears streaking down his cheeks, snot running in streams from his nose. I try to hug him. He reaches for mommy. He buries his head in her shoulder, still crying, and not relenting. In fact, he gets louder. “What’s wrong?” mommy asks.
- 5:00 p.m. - “Maybe he has PMS,” I joke.
- 5:00:10 p.m. - For some reason, mommy is not laughing.
- 5:01 p.m. - Mommy is still rolling her eyes and shaking her head.
- 5:02 p.m. - I rush to get E a bottle of milk. While he doesn’t normally get like this, the few times he’s come close to this level of crankiness, a bottle of milk has served as the antidote.
- 5:04 p.m. - E is drinking milk, sitting on mommy’s lap, tears starting to subside.
- 5:05 p.m. - E jumps down from mommy’s lap, looks around the living room and is amused by something that apparently only toddlers can see and he starts laughing. Yes, laughing!
- 5:06 p.m. - E is suddenly in a GREAT mood and running around the house again.
- 5:07 p.m. - My wife and I are staring at our son as if he’s just pulled a rabbit out of his diaper. I will not lie. I am terrified. We don’t know what set him off, why he reacted so badly, and we are both walking on eggshells not to have a repeat performance.
This was but one of several examples during the three day weekend of what I can only call episodes of Psychotic Toddler Syndrome, or PTS. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the medicine, as it happened at seemingly unrelated times, or if it’s just because E was not feeling well, or…. if this a sneak preview of the dreaded Terrible Two’s you hear so much about (even though he’s only 16 months old).
So, if any of you parents out there feel like sharing similar stories (you know, like a PTS support group), know of ways I can avoid future PTS episodes, or have dire warnings of what hell I’m in for as a parent, please feel free to comment.
On unrelated notes:
Writer Dad was kind enough to send some link love my way and detailed the story of how we met online. He also mentioned an upcoming collaboration we are working on, which you will hear more about on Friday. So, big thanks to Writer Dad and welcome new readers.
On another unrelated note, you can now subscribe to BloggerDad via email. (just plug in your email address in the box to the right and get BloggerDad delivered to your inbox for free every day)
And yet on another unrelated note, I’ve discovered a LOT of great blogs since I started this thing a few weeks ago. I’ll be adding them to my blogroll this week and spotlighting them in future posts.
as always, thanks for reading,