Two kids is no joke!!

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jessianne223's picture
Joined: 09/10/08
Posts: 121
Two kids is no joke!!

I need advice/help. I never knew having two kids would be this hard. Ive heard that going from one to two would be the hardest thing ever. I didn't believe them, but do now. I feel like I am completely out of control. Matt feels the same way.

Sam was a perfect angel when we first brought Judd home. PERFECT. Now, he screams, throws, and is acting out every chance he can. I understand that his life has been flipped upside down, but we just don't know how to handle him. Last night, I had class from 6-11 pm, when I got home, he was still awake bc Matt can't get him to bed w/ Judd. I took him in his room and he screamed for 30 minutes bc he wanted to lay on the couch (just so he could control us). I tried everything, threatening to not take him to the parade, eventually ended w/ a pop on the butt. We had tried everything. This is just one example. Yesterday at Target the whole time he kept saying really loud "LET ME HAVE THAT!!!!" to everything. I know he is just testing us and trying to feel independent, but it's getting bad and I want to have an effective plan in action and a good response. I am fairly patient and calm with them both, as I know that is the BEST way to react-but it does NOT seem to get through to him.

I know I posted about 6 months ago about taking him to the library, and I'm fine w/ the fact that he is not able to be calm for 'storytime', but this is just plain terrible twos. I need a game plan, I need some control over him. I feel like we had a great, stern, effective plan, and it's just unraveling bc Judd is here. Judd is so colicky and takes SO much of my time that I cry sometimes bc I miss the life I had before him. I don't ever get to spend time w/ just Sam, and when I do, he is acting like a crazed two year old. I couldn't even brush my teeth until 11 am yesterday bc Judd screams uncontrollably when we put him down. Sad I realized the other day I had held him for 11 hours Sad I also realized I had not left the house except to go to class Sad or walmart :/ or the ER !!! in 9 days!

I guess aside from just feeling crazy, I need help w/ my two year old. I feel like Judd wouldn't SEEM so bad if it weren't for Sam. Any help or outsider looking in sort of advice would be greatly needed!

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

Obviously, I only have Kaylin but she is a complete handful at times. We've hit the "terrible two" stage head on. I can have a sweet, well behaved child one minute that goes to a screaming, demanding monster within the next. I've learned that battling it out with her makes it a ton worse. So now, I ignore it as long as it's not hurting her...if she's just screaming, I make her go to her room and I'll continue on with what I'm doing. If we're at the store, I finish quickly or take her to an aisle nobody is in until it stops. She rarely acts like that in public, usually it's at home.

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time, hopefully Sam turns around soon and Judd's colic stage ends quickly. Hugs friend!

kjames106's picture
Joined: 09/16/06
Posts: 678

It is hard!!!

Bubbles, playdoh, independent jobs are great distractions. If he is willing try having him help with Judd (get you a diaper, etc.). It will start to work out. The first few months are hard but I promise it will get better!!!!!!

lauriem822's picture
Joined: 11/06/07
Posts: 360

Wow Jessi, thanks for letting me know I am not alone with a little monster of a two year old! Today we had our first in-public, out of control tantrum. After school, we stopped at target. Ev wanted a snack so we got some breadsticks and tried to sit down. The sauce was hot so I asked him to wait. He decided not to and reached out, grabbed the sauce and then screamed because it was hot. He totally lost it at this point, so I decided we had to leave. He got to the point of hitting, kicking, and spitting at me. I have never been so mortified as I was today. I just wanted to cry.

We have been going through a few weeks where Ev is completely withdrawn in any social setting and just wants to stay in the house. He used to love to be outside but not anymore. Today they said he cried at school and didn't want to do anything. When I take him to the kids club at the gym je just sits there and won't play. We can't figure out what has changed but it's breaking my heart.

Big hugs to you! Stay strong amd remember you are a terrific Mama!!

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"lauriem822" wrote:

Wow Jessi, thanks for letting me know I am not alone with a little monster of a two year old! Today we had our first in-public, out of control tantrum. After school, we stopped at target. Ev wanted a snack so we got some breadsticks and tried to sit down. The sauce was hot so I asked him to wait. He decided not to and reached out, grabbed the sauce and then screamed because it was hot. He totally lost it at this point, so I decided we had to leave. He got to the point of hitting, kicking, and spitting at me. I have never been so mortified as I was today. I just wanted to cry.

We have been going through a few weeks where Ev is completely withdrawn in any social setting and just wants to stay in the house. He used to love to be outside but not anymore. Today they said he cried at school and didn't want to do anything. When I take him to the kids club at the gym je just sits there and won't play. We can't figure out what has changed but it's breaking my heart.

Big hugs to you! Stay strong amd remember you are a terrific Mama!!

Kaylin has started the hitting, too. The other night, I wasn't fast enough in handing her something so she came over and pushed me. She's kicked me in the stomach and I keep explaining to her that she will hurt the baby, but it only lasts for a few minutes.

As bad as this sounds, it's nice not to be "alone" with this.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

((HUGS)) friends. I'm sorry ya'll are struggling.

Hang in there. I hope you find a strategy that works for your family. We've learned that our kids' behavior is really heavily tied to sleep, nutrition, and activity level. We are very strict about naps, bedtime, food, etc....only to maintain our sanity! Wink

It will get better as time goes on (though, admittedly, then you just have different problems-- they don't kick you, but they get their hearts broken at school or struggle with a mean kid on the bus and it is just as hard, just different....)

AK2663's picture
Joined: 09/03/08
Posts: 710

I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time. Dh and I are having a bit of this too. Every Wk night esp. She is so tired that she couldnt be more cranky if she tried. We just get everything done as quick as possible n get her a$$ to bed. Em is super fussy at night too and I've staring putting her down at like 645 then G at 715. It's helped bc I don't have to get them down at the exact same time. Dh and I tag team the kids so that we can get dinner made n eaten, baths, jammies, teeth, medicines/vitamins, lunches made for the next day and bottles fixed, then bedtime routines with them each. Many nights I put them both down but a lot of the time h does too. G has also stopped going to bed easy which makes it very difficult to put her down w out a fit each time. Worst of all, she figured out she can get out of her room n roam the house at all hours. We had to put our bubble cover on it. **sigh*** neither of us sit until like 8pm then I usually go right to sleep.

kirsteng's picture
Joined: 10/19/02
Posts: 644

:bighug: Jess - I can feel your frustration and exhaustion! It sounds utterly, completely, exhausting just to read it. Sad

I'm not sure I have any great ideas to help, as I've never dealt with a colicky baby, so I have no idea what you're up against there. But a few things came to mind when I read your post:

* Is it possible even once a week to get a family member/sitter to come sit with/hold/rock/babysit while sleeping.... Judd? EVen for just 2 or 3 hours? That could be your special time with Sam so that HE feels like he's still important and you feel like you get a little break from Judd.

* Getting Sam to sleep - if this is a regular issue, he could be very sleep deprived, which would bring with it all those terrible two's behaviours all by itself. Can you get one of those door lock thingies so that Sam has to stay in his room? Then you could get him in early, give him permission to read or play a little, and when he feels sleepy he can get in his bed. That way he feels like he's in charge of when he goes to sleep, so he won't fight you for control over it. And don't open the door after you put him in.

* The store - diversion, diversion diversion. I always pack (or buy and open the package right away!) snacks for when we're shopping. Especially in a grocery store, Grady sees the food and is always hungry. So I get rice crackers (or have them along in a baggie) and let him happily work on those while I'm shopping. If it's not a food store, we have our problems too. Running away, hiding under clothes etc. My only strategy there is to tell him that if he can't behave properly while walking around like a big boy, then he'll have to go in the stroller (which I always have with me). If he does whatever it is once more, then in the stroller he goes. If he kicks up when I put him in, then I make a beeline for the exit.. pay and get outa Dodge. I think you have to be able to be mobile with kids this age - you just never know. I personally hate having Grady in a store shopping cart full of merchandise - it's too hard to get out quickly while still controlling him. I much favour the stroller, for all shopping except groceries. I also always make sure I have a few of his favourite small toys along in my purse to divert his attention. Grady loves animals so I'll pull out a couple of them if he's starting to get cranky and make them say something funny. Buys me a few minutes... to start moving towards the checkout! Wink

* Are there any preschool programs in your area that Sam could attend even 2 mornings a week? Gives you a little breathing room to concentrate on yourself and Judd.. and Sam would probably enjoy the stimulation of being around the other little ones. Might just tire him out enough that your bedtime would be less of a struggle too! Wink

Good luck Jess, I hope any of those ideas help.. and other than that, just good old time will do its wonders. In a few months all this will be history (the terrible twos as well as the colic). Hang in there, mama! :bighug:

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

I understand where you are at! At times I feel like things are nuts with both of them. Sometimes having DSS (12yo) is a help, sometimes he's just another 2yo in the mix. And when it's just me or DH, bed time can be just nuts.

It sounds, however, like Sam is a little more rangy, and Judd a little more needy than Leo right now, not that that's much of a consolation.

We started organizing things a little more, and it changed everyone's attitude very quickly. One thing we did was take everyone for a walk after dinner. The dog thought this was great. DSS got some family time that was focused on him. Leo (15mo now) got some one on one time since he was in a sling. Ivy got some one on one time with Dad (while in a sling), and play time with the dog and Skyler. Then getting everyone home was great since they were all a little more tired out. After just one night of that everything was so much more calm. I highly advise that!

Ivy is also at the stage where she will have a tantrum if she doesn't get what she wants. Consistency is key here (and DH isn't quit there, but better), and prevention is the only thing that works. For example, I make sure the kids have been fed before we go grocery shopping. If they are too tired and we have no food, we just get enough for dinner and go at a different time. I pick up groceries before picking them up from the day home.

In terms of Ivy having a fit, if she has one at home, she goes to her bedroom. Getting angry at us because she doesn't get what she wants is not an option. Yelling and crying because she doesn't get what she wants is not acceptable. DSS still does this at 12yo (and he only pulls it with DH or his mom) and I can't stand it. Funny, despite everything his dad says about the reasons, DSS doesn't pull it with me.

Yelling and crying just for control drives me nuts. I just react calmly (unless I've absolutely had it). "Ivy, if you want to scream and cry, you can go to your room. You can stay here and use your pretty words. Do you want to go to your room?" That usually does it. My SIL laughed because at their place I asked if Ivy was done screaming and crying and wanted to come back out and she suddenly stopped and nicely said "Yes, I'm done screaming and crying Mommy."

As for Sam coming back out after being taken to his bedroom I simply take Ivy calmly back to her room and say "I understand you don't want to go to bed, but it's bed time now and that's where you need to be." I've taken her back bunch of times in the same night. She rarely pulls it anymore, but in the past I've taken her back 2-3 time in the same night. On rare occasion when she is over-wrought she has a screaming fit. I remember distinctly an evening like you described. I ended up, after 1.5 hours of her screaming and crying at me giving her a pop on the cheek (not that hard, but a surprise). Not even a minute later she was sound asleep. At that moment it dawned on me that as much as I don't like it, there is the rare occasion where a light smack may be the best way to get a child's attention. (I'm not going to debate it.)

Other than that, my only advice is that threats don't work unless you follow through. Case in point: My husband threatens Ivy with going to her bedroom but never does. He threatens many times and then yells at her. She just keeps screaming and crying at him. If I she yells and cries at me, I give her one warning and she either stops (usually), or goes to her bedroom. If she doesn't, then I simply tell her "You had a choice, and now you go to your bedroom." And then I take her to her bedroom. She yells and screams at me, sometimes she comes out of her bedroom, but I simply state the rules and put her back in, or say "are you done?" If she is, she can come out.

As for a melt-down in the grocery store, I must say that I have only had one once, and it was after we waited in line for 30minutes in line and we were all a little weary of waiting in line AND she was hungry. I didn't blame her. I don't give the kids anything to eat in the store. I feel that they will come to expect it and it will cause tantrums. I will give them a treat before we go, or after we get back to the car, however.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

*lurker from June/July 2009 & Dec 2011*

I hope you don't mind me posting!

PP had great advice for dealing with you 2 1/2 year old. No one mentioned anything that will help with the baby so I wanted to give you a couple ideas just in case you hadn't considered them:

* Try wearing him in a sling, moby wrap, or other carrier of some kind. That way you will have your hands free to deal with your older DS and the baby still is being held

* have you considered that the colic could be a food allergy? My DD was extremely colicy. I was breastfeeding, cut out all dairy for 2 weeks and she was a different child. Happy, quiet and content. She still needed to be held 24/7, but at least she wasn't crying all the time anymore! DD can now tollerate most dairy so it was a temporary sensitivity which is much more common than pediatricians believe.

Good luck! it's difficult, but does get easier!

Joined: 06/10/07
Posts: 1692

:bighug:

Jessi - I have zero experience with a colicky baby. And you've already received some great advice. Sam could be so overtired it is making things worse than they'd normally be. I bet after some good night sleep again he'll be better. Also, someone suggested him helping. I'm doing this all the time with Michael. Sometimes I even do this asking him to help me get something that I don't even need so that I can complete something with Matthew. Is that nuts? lol

Also - you need a break. For you. Even for two hours. Go to the mall, to barnes and nobles, pack a book and go to a park, get a massage or something. Do this SOON. You deserve a break too. And going to the grocery store by yourself doesn't count.

Keep us posted on how things are. I wish I had some suggestions for you.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Giving Sam something to do works WONDERS with Ivy. She WANTS to help (as PP said). I ask her to take forks to the dishwasher, one plate, put them on the table, or "wash" some (plastic) dishes in the sink. That keeps her occupied for ages, she feels useful, and she's out of my way. Then I can compliment her on what a good job she's doing too.

As for the Colic, have you tried allergies (a PP mentionned it)? It is actually quite common. There is usually a reason for colic. If you can figure it out, then Judd could be a completely different kid.

Are you BFing? (I can't remember) If so, simplifying your diet by removing the major things that babies can be allergic to will help hugely. Remember, it can take up to 2 weeks before it all leaves your system so you need to stick to it. Then, reintroduce certain items one at a time. Again, some things can be tolerated on an occasional basis, and others not at all, so if you re-introduce something and Judd is still OK for a couple days, it may be that he can deal with a little, but not a lot.

Slings, Mei Tai, Moby Wraps, and a million other carrier types are amazing for helping being able to get things done. Definitely try to use one. My kiddoes always preferred the sling for household stuff, but if going shopping, the Mei Tai was good too (on my back).

Give us an update!

jessianne223's picture
Joined: 09/10/08
Posts: 121

Every bit of this information is awesome, thanks to all of you, I have gotten some good ideas for our situation. I do agree that its going to just take time, as it has gotten better w/in the last week. Judd is 12 weeks today and I feel like we are hitting a stride.

I do have a good bit of help. We actually had a night away for the whole night w/o the boys Saturday night. I am back to work 1 day a week and that is helping.

I do know that Sam gets enough sleep, and can be cranky when hungry. I need to keep the food in mind bc he won't tell me when he's hungry--and If I can nip the fit in the bud before he gets hungry I think that would help.

I love Sarah's idea of absolutely not allowing certain behaviors. This sounds crazy, but I am going to make that rule when the boys are old enough to fight, I won't allow it. Sam is not allowed to scream and yell for what he wants, and if he does, he will go to his room. DH and I have to enforce this better, we are becoming lazy bc it takes so much time w/ Judd.

I do have a $100 gift certificate to the spa here in town, I think I'll take it. We actually have another night away from the boys THIS saturday night!?! Crazy how it worked out, but I have two sisters that have no kids and a mom that has only my boys for grandchildren. I feel like even after just this past Sat. night, I felt more human. Also, Judd slept from 1130-6 last night! No bottle! I woke up and thought OMG he's not breathing!

I do get Sam to help A LOT. He gets every diaper and every wipe. He holds Judd's bottle and give him his paci. It does help. Today he was screaming to play in the yard and I told him MIMI needed help changing Judd and he stopped, and walked inside.

As, far a Judd, he is already on Nutramigen w/ rice cereal, Prevacid and Myelcon. We use Dr. Browns bottles and burp him every ounce. He is just fussy, and I hope w/ the '12th' week sometimes being the magic week, that we can have some relief. If last night is any indication of how it will be, then I'm ok!

I guess what it boils down too is it's never 'easy'. You can do all you can, and they will still act how they want.

It does make it easier to know what I'm not going through this alone! I never thought Sam would hit his terrible twos, I thought we would breeze right over it Smile lol. If he says NO to me one more time!!!!! Mornings are always the WORST too! And, to make it worse, I am the only one that can get him to sleep on his own. Matt just goes in there and lays down w/ him! I don't want to start that.

All in all, it's getting better, and I hope that it continues to. I don't know how you girls do it w/ more than two!