Tuesday, April 9, 2013

CD24: A Hard Day

This morning was just so hard.

Little K had an appointment to have two teeth removed as a part of her orthodontic treatment. I gently prepped her for two weeks, explaining the procedure and using kid friendly words to help her understand what would happen. She even had a children's valium to take one hour before the appointment. We planned on using nitrous once she was in the chair. I really thought we were prepared!

Instead, she went into a full-on raging tantrum for the entire 45 minute drive to the pediatric dentist. It was so bad that I didn't even take her in to the office for check-in; I left her in the car and went in to tell them we were there. The dentist ended up coming out to the car and talking with me for about 10 minutes. In the end, he decided that it just wasn't safe to move forward with today's appointment. He gave us two referrals to oral surgeons who would fully sedate her for the procedure.

During the talk with the doctor, Little K continued to rage in the car. Once the dentist went back inside, I tried to get her seat belt back on so we could drive home. She ended up opening the car door while I was trying to pull out of the parking lot.

Once I was able to get back in a parking spot and set the child locks (something I haven't had to use since she was 5 years old), I kept her in the car while I paced along the side of the vehicle, calming myself down - I was in tears at this point, completely beyond done with the whole situation. It took another 30 minutes for her to quiet down enough for me to drive us home.

There are days when this child is just SO. HARD. Our pediatrician asked us a little over a year ago if we wanted to have Little K evaluated for ADHD. For now, we are resistant to pursuing that particular course of action. In reality, Little K is fully capable of concentrating, sitting still, accomplishing multi-step tasks, being respectful and compliant... She can do it all! But, when she decides that she doesn't want to do something? WATCH OUT. Nothing helps.

My mother was wonderful enough to talk me down during those 30 minutes. And to do some online research for us.

We have decided to eliminate the small amount of corn syrup in Little K's diet; luckily most of her favorite foods are already corn syrup and artificial dye free. We are also starting her on a DHA and Omega-3 chewable supplement which should arrive early next week. We are hoping that these changes will make a big difference. We are also considering going gluten-free but her limited palate would make that very challenging.

In the mean time, we are looking at some consequences, etc. that are appropriate for this age. Little K is too old for anything like spankings and I really don't want to encourage violence in our family.

Our go-to move is situation removal: when she gets like this, she is placed in a separate space without an audience. (We've noticed that having someone who can see her during the tantrums just makes them last longer.) Once the screaming and/or violence has stopped, I go in and cuddle her until she finishes calming down.

We are considering putting a hold on her orthodontic treatment until she is at least 10 years old. She has a sweet smile and we've made some great progress in making room for her adult teeth over the past year. That may need to be enough for now.


No cute wrap up today - just a long sigh and opening up the comment section for your experiences, thoughts, etc. We could really use your prayers.


  1. Sending you ((hugs))...I hope that tomorrow is a much easier day!

  2. Hoping that with time K is able to more fully express without a tantrum her feelings.

  3. This to shall pass- sometimes it's that one sentence that gets me through something! Big hugs!!! You're doing a great job! I think sometimes Mom's don't hear that often enough so I just wanted to remind you! You ARE doing a great job!

  4. So sorry that you had such a hard time. It sounds tiring and exhausting. I am going to try to answer this in my personal identity and not my professional identity as a child psychologist, but sometimes I merge the two...so I'll do my best.

    I just want to commend you for your patience and creativity in approaching the problem. The best way to handle things is to try to think about what is driving and maintaining the behaviors (like you did with taking away attention during a tantrum). You need to be creative and see what works for HER!

    Also, i will say that an evaluation by a psychologist can be a really therapeutic experience. You may find it's not ADHD at all (pediatricians always blame things on ADHD), but you would get solid information about her strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for how to help her move forward.

    Damn, I think maybe I sounded too much like a psychologist? I feel like I should disclaimer this or something. Ha.

  5. I'm sorry it was such a rough day and Little K had such an epic meltdown. I hope things are better today and that she finds a way to express herself minus the tantrums soon.

  6. This sounds so tough. My little one is only 16 months but is definitely showing some of these tendencies too. I have no idea how old Little K is but I have really liked the books The Happiest Toddler on the Block and also Parenting with Love and Logic. Thinking of you as you try to navigate this tough spot.