bout a year ago, I wrote a blog post about those words that most of us parents hear on a frequent basis “It’s just a phase.” Whether you’re in an early phase of being woken every night with a new born, you’re dealing with a toddler phase where your two year old is exerting their authority by tantrumning all over the place, or maybe you’ve got teens and you’re trying to survive a grumpy, hormonal phase. Whichever particular phase you might be living through right now, you probably have a good idea why. Little Johnny is playing up because he’s teething or Elsie’s grumpy because she’s missing her dummy. But what about those phases where you have absolutely no idea what’s going on and why?
Take our youngest – Eva. She’ll be five in July. She went through a funny phase when she first started school in September, but after a few weeks, normal service resumed and she seems to truly love going to school. But for the past three weeks there’s been some weird behaviour, and I can’t work out what’s going on.
- She’s always needed far less sleep than her older sister, but she has now started refusing to go to bed. Every bedtime has become a game / torturous exercise in getting her into bed and then making her stay there. Like many kids she tries every delay tactic she can think of, but then she sings, talks, gets up and runs around until almost nine o’clock every night. It’s driving me and my (shredded) patience to distraction.
- You think this would make her tired, but no. Every morning she comes into our bedroom at six o’clock bright and breezy. This morning it was five. I don’t know where she gets her energy; I’m exhausted.
- She’s gone back to wetting the bed. Every single night.
- She’s become exceptionally clingy to her old toy bunnies that she’s had since she was a baby. If she loses sight of them at all when she’s at home there is a massive emotional meltdown.
- I could perhaps cope with all of this but what I’ve found hardest to deal with is her level of anger. She’s so cross all of the time! She flies into a rage at the slightest thing and will stomp off to hide in her tent if she doesn’t get her own way.
I’ve tried talking to her about what’s going on, but she gives me no reason or can’t articulate it to me. I went to see her teacher last week who was astonished to hear about her terrifying rages and could only offer the possibility that she is being pushed and challenged at school and that perhaps she is taking it out on all of us at home. I felt like asking the teacher to put her to bed that evening!
I appreciate that we are going through yet another PHASE, but I’m praying that this one ends soon. I know that the twos are supposed to be terrible and that thirteen is fuelled with hormones, but I never knew that four going on five held such terrors!
Any advice to save my sanity and my washing machine would be great. Thank you!