My First Toddler Meltdown Experience

03 August 2012

Toddler meltdowns! I'd heard of them but always thought the reports were exaggerated and it could never happen to me. Until it did. Here's my first toddler meltdown experience in 12 steps

Step 1, the trigger: I thought it would be nice for the girls' bedtime milk to be a bit warmer (warm milk makes you feel all good inside right?!) so I put an extra 5 seconds while warming in the microwave. One baby did not mind. The other took a sip and blew a gasket.
Step 2, health check: The milk was not hot. It was just warmer than lukewarm. When she sipped and screamed, I thought there had to be something wrong with her mouth or throat and she was in excruciating pain. I looked in her mouth and saw her gums were swollen.
Step3, panic: I tried to give her an ice cube to relieve "the pain" and she screamed louder. She saw the advil on the spoon and gave me the evil eye. I called TwinDad and told him to come home ASAP as our baby needed to go to the ER. He hopped into the nearest taxi
Step 4, reality sets in: A little voice in my head said "this baby isn't sick. She's throwing a tantrum". There are no signs of illness and teething pain does not cause this much sudden screaming
Step 5, disbelief: I could not believe that the toddler who scratched, pinched and tried to bite me while screaming and thrashing on the floor for over 20 minutes non-stop was birthed by me. 
Step 6, safetify: That's not a word except in twintopia. It means if toddler is thrashing around on the floor, move her away from the staircase; move all pieces of furniture away from her radius and if all that isn't working, put toddler in crib
Step 7, deTwinify: With my twins, one can ignore the other crying for 7 minutes but not 20. By now twin 2 was also crying and dinner was totally ruined. I put twin 2 in the crib as well and that made it worse because she started crying harder. Took twin 2 out of the crib. At this point, twin 1's cries were getting less as she was starting to get hoarse. Twin 2 was happy to be carried by mommy and so shocked by her sister's behaviour, she gave me a pass for the evening and stopped crying
Step 8, pacify: By this I mean bring out the big pacifying guns. All my previous attempts - cuddling, kissing, tickling, grapes, my phone, the pacifier - had failed. The last line of defence was a "COLD" cup of pediasure with the advil from step 3. She tasted. She sipped. She liked. She stopped screaming to start drinking. They love their pediasure, that's for sure
Step 9, distract: While she drank I quickly picked her up, took her back to the living room and put on the "Cat in the hat DVD". This is no time for "Signing times" or "Your Baby Can Read". I confess my hands shook as I tried to play the DVD. I was petrified that she would finish her drink before the DVD came on and all hell would break lose again
Step 10, recover: TwinDad came home and the "little angels" laughingly ran to meet him like the last 45 minutes did not just happen. I couldn't look my baby in the eye as I was still on Step 5 disbelief. Recovery involved a glass of wine or some.
Step 11, breathe: Deeply! Welcome to the new milestone. I'm officially a mother to toddlers
Step 12, repent: I will NEVER warm their milk for 50 seconds again. EVER! 

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