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[personal profile] morleyroarly
The newest "joy" of parenting, which has been unveiled this week in spectacular, snotty, tearful fashion, is the daycare pickup meltdown tantrum. The last two nights I have picked up Eleanor she has cycled from excited to see me (10 sec.) to wailing and sobbing (30 sec to 5 min) to insisting on a snack or another ride on the slide (2 to 10 min) to finally collapsing and begrudgingly agreeing to have shoes stuffed on her feet before we leave. Somewhere in there is some nursing, maybe, if she's not cramming snacks into her mouth or trying to run back to the art table so she can smear herself with markers.

In thinking / reading about this behavior, it's pretty clearly a sign of trust and exhaustion. She spends all day being "good" (and has a fantastic attitude all day at daycare, according to her caregiver) and when Mama shows up, she can finally let it all out. She also plays hard (she's the youngest kid in the daycare, and tries to keep up) and doesn't get the most robust nutritionally sound meals when she's there. Come 5:30 or 6pm, she's exhausted and ready to get home, and that exhaustion manifests as tantrums.

Key things I've learned help:
1) Mama has a good snack before leaving home to get Eleanor from daycare. Cannot stress this enough. Happy well fed mama = more patience for tantrums.
2) Patience and consistency in response to tantrums. It's a well-worn mantra of parenting, especially with a young toddler - give them structure and boundaries, and they'll respond far better than always being "off leash."
3) Don't drag out the pickup. Don't wait for her to have all those snacks, play all those games one more time, and climb into the crib to show Mama where she naps. Allow her to get ready on her own, don't drag her kicking and screaming, but also make it clear that it's time to go home.
4) Umpteen rounds of Old McDonald Had a Fortified Bunker on the car ride home can stave off the worst of the ugly-cries. Seriously. Did you know that Old McDonald has, in no particular order, zombies, elephants, Black Lives Matter activists, ducks, cats, robots, reggae musicians and vaccum cleaners in his bunker?

Parenting. Never a dull moment.

Date: 2017-01-22 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To be fair, there could have been zombie duck reggae musician Black Lives Matter activists there. Intersectionality!


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