Anatomy of a Meltdown

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IMG_20140223_2003156001How and why does a meltdown occur? It could be that a nap was skipped that afternoon , that they are not feeling well or maybe it took too long to serve dinner that evening. Either way, there is something that already has your little one agitated.

The Trigger: This evening we served our daughter one of her suppertime favorites, cucumbers and ranch dressing. I poured some dressing on her plate. “More dressing, Mama?” I add more dressing to her plate. Then the unthinkable & tragic happened, some of the dressing… (brace yourself friends) touched the cucumbers. OH NO! Mommy you really dropped the ball with this one.

The Gibberish: “Noooooo, da ba da dr dr dreeeeeesssssing. Cucumber on the dressing. “
Me “Do you want me to wipe the dressing off the cucumber?”
“Noooooooooooooo, ab ba da Ranch … cucumber”
Me “Do you want the dressing? What’s wrong, baby? Use your words”

The Tears: Now starts a fit of screams and tears that probably only lasted for about 5 minutes, but feels like five hours. My daughter hysterically gasps for breaths while pointing at the ranch dressing.

The Reasoning: “Mai Mai, mommy will clean the dressing off the plate.” I say to my daughter as I quickly fumble to wipe away the dressing from the cucumbers. This makes her cry even more. Come sit with mommy.” I still am not sure why she is crying.

The Calm: After a few minutes of hugging, humming and rocking, our daughter starts to calm down. Daddy burps a couple of times and it makes her laugh. Aaaaahhhh! Finally a happy baby again.

The Relapse: Daddy in a moment of pure insanity, eats a cucumber. How dare he? Doesn’t he know that we can not talk, eat or breath until the meltdown has run it’s course completely. As the storm rolls in again our daughter turns and looks at me “Dada ate the cucumber!!!” “Dada!! cucumbers, Ahhhhh, Noooo Dada.”

The Switch: After a few moments she shuts off her faucet of tears and reaches for a cucumber & dips it in the dressing. “Mmmm. so goood. More Ranch dressing?”

The Confusion: ?????? What? … Honey, can you hand me the Ranch dressing?

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  1. We totally have had food meltdowns here, usually from my younger daughter and you are a better mama then I. Last time she indeed had one a few weeks ago, I ended up going into the other room and couldn’t help, but laugh, because i was something so harmless as just not putting enough butter on her bagel. I kid you not and once I returned to the room, she went on like that for about a little less then 5 minutes until she realized she wasn’t getting anywhere with me on this behavior.

  2. Yep. This sounds just like our house. It’s REALLY tough to deal with sometimes, but nice to know that there are so many others out there who understand. 🙂

  3. Sooo recognize this! Very frustrating, and wish I can skip this period too. But och well, I guess we will laugh at those moments afterwards (when?!) LOL. By the way, I have linked my recent blog post to your previous one. Thanks for the idea! 😉

  4. unfortunately we don’t have nearly enough words at present to figure out what most meltdowns are over, but boy do we have meltdowns. this morning i think it was because i poured the milk in the cup before she chose which of the identical cups she would have today… life must be hard for toddlers when so little is in your control and so much of the world is out of reach of explanation.

  5. Hope you don’t mind – thought I would nominate you for one of these awards called the Sunshine Award – sounds like a bit of fun – it helps to get more people reading your blog and celebrates the wonderful encouragement you bring to others through your writing. Don’t feel you have to participate, but if you are keen, follow the link and there are instructions in my blog post. :)

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