Like a Switch

July 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

Eldyn has been having outbursts that don’t seem like they’re related to anything. Usually, they’re in the morning and happen when we’re all trying to get ready and out the door. They’re accompanied by needy-ness, whining and incessant (incessant!) crying. And they start out of nowhere. Needless to say, these episodes are frustrating and we’ve been doing what seems like *everything we can think of* to get them to stop.

Some people are quick to classify certain behaviors as “a phase.” I don’t like to do this. Not for some ideological, soap box reason. More, because a phase implies that there’s nothing you can really do but wait.

I don’t wait.

As irrational as it may be, I would rather spend an entire “phase” trying to solve whatever symptom is presenting itself.

So, when I tell you that I had very nearly decided that Eldyn was in a “phase” shows just how far into the depths of despair I was. I had tried coddling, ignoring, playing, dancing, singing, reading and more. I had given up. I even had this line drafted in a post that will now never see the light of day:

“Apparently Eldyn’s decided 19 months is close enough. He’s rounding up to the terrible twos!”

But wait! Just a few days later and I think we are on the road to outburst recovery. The answer is obvious. And simple. And a little bit sad. And very sweet.

Last weekend, Hiram and I got into what I thought was a small disagreement about swim goggles. As can sometimes happen, this disagreement escalated to the point of (Hiram’s) tears. Then, Eldyn started crying, too.

Even after Hiram stopped crying, Eldyn continued. He was inconsolably sad and nothing I could do would distract him or cheer him up.

“Ni-night” he sobbed between hysterical inhales as he started up the stairs. Hiram and I followed close behind expecting him to look for his blanket in its usual spot. Nope. He was looking for Hiram’s blanket. Once Eldyn got that blanket into his big brother’s hands, he stopped crying. Like a switch.

Oh.

Eldyn doesn’t like it when Hiram is sad.

Which explains why Eldyn doesn’t like mornings.

Because Hiram hates mornings. He hates his clothes. He hates going potty. He even hates it when my hair is wet. Mornings are an exasperating time for Hiram which is not good news for Eldyn.

So there you go. Want to cheer Eldyn up in the morning? Make Hiram happier.

We’ve been testing this theory by taking steps to cheer Hiram up. Primarily, this means making an outfit plan the night before and mustering up extra patience despite being tired — things we should have started doing long ago anyway. So far, Eldyn’s outbursts have subsided. Like a switch.

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