Subject: Exhausting 14 month old
Question: Hello there,
Thank you for taking the time to listen!
I am the mother of a 14 month old boy (well, turning 14 months old tomorrow) and I am exhausted and at my wits end. I am so tired of the constant battles all day everyday. I am double thinking myself all the time, questioning my parenting, questioning if my son is normal or not. I just feel it is all too hard.
The battles are always over eating and sleeping. Or him wanting something he cant have - ie: the kitchen scissors. Why do they always want the most dangerous thing in the house! Look at this lovely rocking horse, oh no, I'd rather play with daddy's razor please.... sigh....
Food - to say my son is a fussy eater is the understatement of the century. He pretty much survives on fruit and yogurt, with the odd bit of scrambled eggs or weetbix. Vegetables, what vegetables! I cant even hide them in things as he only want so eat sweet, not savoury (ie: spag bog etc). Honestly, I don't know how he gets by on the amout of food he eats. Perhaps that is why he is constantly whineing? Because he is hungry but doesn't want to eat what I am offering??? I don't know whether to give in and just give him what he wants (ie: fruit and yogurt 3 times a day...) or if he doesnt' eat what is offered, he goes hungry until the next meal.
Also he has started screetching... Really loud, high pitched screams when he wants something. He will just point at it and screetch and if I don't get it for him, the tantrum will ensue. This happens all day. I can't take him out anywhere. For eg: Today we went to the fish and chip cafe for lunch. I popped him in the high chair and offered him is lunch, which he threw on the floor. Then he wanted the water bottle that was on the table. Obviously he couldn't have it as he just would have spilt it everywhere and broken it by dropping it on the floor so he screamed. I hid it under the table, but then the attention just got shifted to something else he couldn't have. Honestly, I was so embarrassed as all he did for the 30 mins we were there was screetched.
Then there is the matter of sleep. He fights everyone sleep. I am currently rocking a squirming, struggling 11kg 14 month old to sleep in a rocking chair. I have tried control crying. He gets so distressed that he vomits.
Some background - he is an EXTREMELY active boy. Walked bang on his 10 month birthday and is almost running now. No words yet, except "ta", doesn't sit still from the minute he wakes until the minute he sleeps.
I am truly not enjoying parenthood at the moment.
Does this sound like normal 14 month old behavious to you?
I worry so much that he has something wrong with him to cause him to act this way? Am I expecting too much of him?
Exhausted mum, Mel.
Answer: Dear Melissa,
I can hear your pain and your exhaustion in your writing of this e-mail. First I suggest you get him to his doctor and have him screened to determine where he is in his developmental progression. See if he is approximately where he needs to be and also to determine if there is a problem such as autism. If he is a first born child, no this should not be this hard. I am concerned that he is not verbalizing more of his wants. The struggle sounds to dramatic.
Please Melissa feel free to follow up after the doctor's visit with me on my blog site where you can continue to ask questions. You will find many resources to support you as you learn what is happening with your toddler.
Thank you for writing to me I am here to support you in whatever manner I can. Please do request a screening from your family doctor as soon as possible.
M Kay Keller