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My Day–the Tot’s Tantrums–I need a do over!

Tantrum Tot is getting worse,; I think. But there are some oddities to his tantrum-ing behavior that really has me raising an eyebrow.

Today, I kept him home from daycare because for some reason he has gone from loving the place to begging me to stay home, and my heart can’t take it. Plus if I try to force him into his clothing and out of the door he loses it; full out war ensues. He screams, kicks, pulls his clothes off, holds on to the door frames, throws his shoes at us, and now–drum roll please–bites! Biting is a new development.

Then if I get him out the door, he runs from the car, or fights me to get him in. He needs to be physically picked up, and restrained to get him into a car seat. Needless to say that by the time I get him to daycare I am a wreck, and it was sooo not worth it for me to do it because I am in meltdown mode for hours afterwards.

Keeping him home isn’t any better because any little thing can set these wild violent tantrums off! Today we had a great morning. He was so happy playing with his new IPad apps that we purchased yesterday after I finally updated the operating system. He got himself a sippy drink out of the fridge and kept telling me, “Mommy, I want to stay here, I want to stay at the house.” I let him; big mistake.

I say big mistake because of how the day proceeded after this point, but really I feel like I am damned if I do, and damned if I don’t here. I cannot win. Anyway, he was happily playing so I went to my computer to “try” and get some work done. That is when it happened.

“Mommy, come back!”

“Wait one minute”


He kicked over the little portable “tray” table that he was playing the IPad on. The IPad slid to the floor (usually no big deal since with the case and all it has been thrown across the room, and against a wall by the Tot) , then the table folded on itself and came crashing down on top of the screen. The screen shattered! Little shards of glass everywhere, even in my fingers when I tried to pick it up.

The next 45 minutes were spent vacuuming like a mad woman because that glass looked like shimmering powered sprinkled in some places, that’s how tiny the pieces were. The Tot was still fairly calm at this point. The kick and crash, was not even an angry one–not as far as the Tot goes, he wasn’t even screaming. A tip for all parents, make sure you have a heavy duty vacuum cleaner (visit All Great Vacuums to read some reviews) in case of glass breakages, as they can be so dangerous if they’re not cleaned up properly.

So when exactly did he lose it? When did the screaming begin, and why? I am not really sure–I think it was when he tried to use Aspie Teen’s computer like an IPad. He was expecting his “choo choos” and his “trucks” to be on there, and playable. They were not and when the thing wouldn’t work the way he wanted he began to hit Aspie Teen and then bite him!

The next 2 and a half hours were spent in a whirlwind of screams, tears, and flung items. The problem I am finding is that when he starts to have a tantrum, it goes so far, and so out of control, that he goes into total and utter meltdown mode. Then nothing you do can help–even if you give in and give him what he wants it does not help. He cannot stop these “tantrums” once they begin–thus MELTDOWN.

I have a full length mirror in my room; one of those mirrors that are on a stand and swivel up and down. The Tot went into my room and stood in front of that mirror rhythmically slamming it against the wall, and intermittently letting out huge screams. Then I noticed something I found odd. He began to hit the reflection of himself in the mirror and say, “Stop it, stop it” and he would keep slamming the mirror, and then yell at himself to stop it. He was getting so frustrated, it seemed at himself, that he would intermittently scream at the top of his lungs.

It was almost as he desperately wanted it all to stop, but it would not. Finally, I had to hold him in a bear hug and sit on my bed rocking back and forth until he calmed down. It took a long time, but he did stop fighting me and said he wanted to lay down. We both lay there on the pillow exhausted for another half hours.

So upsetting, so frustrating, and so defeating.

Then after the day I have had, I go and bust my butt outside my house falling on god only knows what. I skinned my knee (without putting a whole in my jeans), wretched my back, and twisted my ankle. So I am sitting in bed with a laptop and a heating pad wrapped around my foot–what a sight.

I think I want to go back to bed and start this day again–I need a do over.




Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.