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Terrible 2's? Try terrible 4's!!!

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BeyondBreaking posted 7/25/2013 10:15 AM

My four and a half year old has been getting up in the middle of the night and getting into things. Last week, she got into her glitter kid make-up, and got it all over herself and her bed. Last night, she got out her markers and drew a picture all over the wall. There have been multiple times we have gone in there to find her playing legos or barbies... I can't take it anymore!

Both my fiance and I work full time, so being woken up in the middle of the night almost every night to deal with putting her back to bed is really taking it's toll on the two of us. I can't tell you when the last time I had a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Additionally, she is in daycare full time during the day, and she is exhausted in the mornings and throughout the day- and she is a PILL when I pick her up. We have to deal with crabby mcmoody pants all evening at dinner and before bedtime. She goes to bed okay (same routine for years- we brush teeth, get jammies on, read a story, she gets 2 minutes of cuddling, and then I leave her to go to bed). I will check on her in 10 or so minutes and she is asleep. I check on her again before I go to bed (usually 11-11:30pm) and she is out. Then, at some point between 1 and 4am, she wakes up and instead of getting my fiance or me up, she will start playing and getting into things!

Any ideas why she is suddenly doing this? Or ideas how to stop it???

Sad in AZ posted 7/25/2013 10:32 AM

I never had the terrible 2's with DS; he was an active little SOB from 18 months on However, 4 was particularly challenging. Not getting up in the middle of the night; he was a great sleeper. But tantrums happened, especially when he was tired.

Sorry; I have no advice; he did outgrow it by 5.

simplydevastated posted 7/25/2013 10:39 AM

How many naps does she take at daycare? Maybe she's sleeping too much during the day which is why she's not sleeping at night. When my son was in daycare another parent had the teachers hold off on naps during the day, maybe you could try that. Then she'll be more tired at night and she'll sleep through. Then in the morning she'll be less cranky.

Also, I hope those markers are washables and I would have her wash off the marker from the walls. That may teach her her to not do that again.

My kids never did any of this.

Good luck.

[This message edited by simplydevastated at 10:40 AM, July 25th (Thursday)]

metamorphisis posted 7/25/2013 10:39 AM

My guess is the cycle you are on. She gets up exhausted because she got up in the night, she goes to daycare and completely conks out at rest time and then isn't tired enough at night.
I've worked in centres and that's the one thing I really didn't like (full disclosure I do home daycare now). At 4.5 a lot of kids really don't need a nap anymore. But at all the centres I worked at it was a staffing ratio thing more than anything. You had to lie them down for nap because some kids needed it, and staff needed breaks. So for example if I am working with a certain age group we had to have a certain ratio, and if one was off on break or out making the afternoon snack the kids had to be down for rest time to cover our ratios by law.

At home daycare I always stay under the allotted number so I don't have to nap anyone who doesn't need it. When my son was in centre care he hated it because he had to lay down for 2 hours but hadn't been a napper since he was 2.5 and at 4 just laid there and looked at the ceiling.

Now I could be off because you might have a centre that has more staff and different ratios or already be using home care. In which case I would suggest talking to them about the nap and saying it has to go for at least awhile because it messing up your night schedule and consequently the rest of the day.

As for the picking her up in a wretched mood.. that is VERY common here. I can not tell you how many kids are absolutely wonderful for me all day long, laughing and smiling and playing and turn into absolute terrors the second their parents walk in. They save it for you. Interacting with all those other kids, and navigating the rules and structure of daycare is tiring and they hold it in and get their extra attention from you the best way they know how..even if it isn't very pleasant for them or for you.

My son was an absolute angel for half day kindergarten. I heard nothing but praise. But the other mom on my street and I would get our kids off the bus at noon and those two would be having full scale tantrums all the way up the street. They were just plain burnt out.

Undefinabl3 posted 7/25/2013 10:51 AM

omg i am so glad that my kids are the same, I thought something was up with my kids at the sitter.

DS 4 has never consistantly slept through the night since he's been born....4 years of interupted sleep's what seems to work at least partly.

structure works best, but we found that a close second was letting him think he was getting his way. Like, he HAD to get cleaned up - so we give him the choice of a shower or a bath - neither he's really fond of, but since he gets to choose, he feels like he's getting his way.

Same thing with that before bed drink. He has to pee before and after the drink but he gets to choose his drink - so we get what we want, he gets to think he's pulling one over on us because he only has to pee a bit.

Peeing before bed has helped out more then anything though. We realized he was waking up in the middle of the night to pee, and then just staying up.

Another thing that we noticed is that he would get a bit scared, so we got a toddler cot for our room, every now and again, he will just walk in and lay down. I might notice the door opening and stuff, but fall right asleep after he gets settled in.

JanaGreen posted 7/25/2013 11:16 AM

OMG no no no, I heard THREE was bad and then four gets better, LA LA LA I can't hear you!

Undefinabl3 posted 7/25/2013 11:35 AM

Pft....3 was a breeze, i would take 3 any day of the week....

metamorphisis posted 7/25/2013 11:35 AM

omg i am so glad that my kids are the same, I thought something was up with my kids at the sitter

So as the sitter imagine my horror when we've had a perfectly wonderful active and happy day and the minute you walk in they start throwing their shoes, refusing to put their coat on and screaming.

And I can guarantee you out of the maybe 25 kids I've had here over the years... ALL of them did it at some point in time. I have one right now who I will say "Mommy's here!" and he goes from to putting his pout on and stomping to the door. It's like an INSTANT switch to "Oh.. I'm going to get my super negative attention now. Mom will be worried, I will get a million hugs and what's wrongs?"

The 2-4 year olds are the ones that do it, and there's usually a honeymoon phase of a few months where daycare is fun and exciting and then it's same old same old and the tantrum pick ups start.

You have to remember too that they aren't always getting away with things here that they are with you and that makes them a tad cranky. I mean if I have someone perfectly capable of putting on their shoes, we wait for them to put on their shoes. Sometimes little Joey will throw his shoes at mom, she makes some tsking noises, runs over and picks him up and carries him. Why wouldn't he then? He's just doing what works.

ETA ) and it's really not just your kids because mine is 9 and seeing my face is an invitation to start whining. I swear to you.. he's a good kid but he gives me more trouble than any daycare children combined. Why? Because it works for him and he knows me well.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 11:37 AM, July 25th (Thursday)]

lieshurt posted 7/25/2013 11:39 AM

OMG no no no, I heard THREE was bad and then four gets better, LA LA LA I can't hear you!

Jana, just wait until you get to 16. My son was an absolute breeze until we hit 16 this year. Thank goodness for alcohol

BeyondBreaking posted 7/25/2013 11:50 AM

Terrible 2's means that things just get started at two, and get worse from there. Hahaha

I will try talking to daycare- maybe there is something else she can do at naptime, and that way she will be more tired at night. I think it is a cycle thing, and she is just way off right now.

I think at this point, we need to start putting anything that could make a big mess (markers/crayons, her kid make-up, playdough, etc...) up and out of reach at night. Finding her up at 3am playing barbies is annoying, but at least it's not a huge mess and/or destructive to the house.

I'm afraid that because of all the changes this year (in Sept. I went from being a stay at home mom to working full time...we moved in with fiance in January...and we have been planning a wedding for August 10th...and now we're house shopping as well), she might be lashing out. Maybe she will calm down after the wedding when we get all settled down?

JanaGreen posted 7/25/2013 14:05 PM

Jana, just wait until you get to 16. My son was an absolute breeze until we hit 16 this year. Thank goodness for alcohol

When I was pregnant with my daughter, my sister texted me and said, "I hope that your baby is a boy because I would not wish a teenage girl on anyone."

I wrote back, "LOL - rough day?"

And she replied, "I'm not LOL-ing over here."

I'm not looking forward to the teenage years!

lieshurt posted 7/25/2013 14:06 PM

And she replied, "I'm not LOL-ing over here."

JanaGreen posted 7/25/2013 14:08 PM

I think at this point, we need to start putting anything that could make a big mess (markers/crayons, her kid make-up, playdough, etc...) up and out of reach at night. Finding her up at 3am playing barbies is annoying, but at least it's not a huge mess and/or destructive to the house.

I think this is a good approach. Also, would she possibly come to your bed and sleep? Baby Green knows she has to start the night in her bed, but if she wakes up it's fine for her to come sleep with us.

DragnHeart posted 7/25/2013 14:39 PM

My kids share a room. Dd (5) and DS (3 on Sunday) have been driving me up the wall with their 1-4 am play dates...!!!

We decided since DS was climbing out of his crib we would take the side off to change it to a toddler bed (he's getting an actual Car bed for his birthday).

Can we say HUGE mistake!

Dd is usually good about waking us up, usually.

DS is NOT!

Since he has been getting up he has:
- covered the entire bedroom floor in sparkles. (I have yet to find where he got them from but suspect he used up whatever he found).
- put ALL of his toy cars into DD's fish tank after scooping out most of the gravel and spreading it all over the floor. The fish did not survive this...
- markered the bathroom...
- tried to clean above mess...omg!
- has taken off his pull up numerous times, stood on his bed and peed.
- gone downstairs to get cereal and milk, play with every toy he has them come back up to bed and fall asleep. I actually thought the cats got into the cupboards and knocked over the toys...but DS told me he made a mess web he got up.
- opened the door to our whites tree frog tank and told us he "let it go in grass"... Outside doors were locked so we know he didn't do that however the window of that room was open. Wh and I ave up after four days of looking only to be sitting outside while I had a smoke to hear the frog croak. He was hiding outside in the toys. His tank now has a lock!

I'll stop there. But I think since neither of my kids have understood our rule of staying IN bed or waking us up I'm going to invest in some sort of alarm for when they cross their doorway

lynnm1947 posted 7/26/2013 08:44 AM

I think I may have mentioned my former neighbour who said, "I had no problem with the terrible twos. It was the fucking fours that got me."

[This message edited by lynnm1947 at 8:49 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

lost_in_toronto posted 7/26/2013 09:37 AM

I had a friend who had this problem that bought one of those nightlights that change colour when it is time to wake up. If her daughter woke up before wake up time, she had a stack of books by the bed she was allowed to read. When she was given something she was allowed to do in that time, it became less fun, I guess. She would read herself back to sleep, and eventually the late night wake up parties stopped.

My kid is two; I'm terrified of putting her into a bed she can get out of. She could totally make it out of her crib if she tried, but she hasn't figured that out yet. Maybe she never will!

[This message edited by lost_in_toronto at 9:38 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

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