Holiday Weekends and the Overstimulated Toddlerby Elizabeth MacDonald
Holy hell; what just blew through? The toddler tantrums from I don’t know where… Oh, Hello Tuesday-After-The-Long-Holiday-Weekend. You greet us with all of your reality and glory, expecting us to jump back into the swing of life as if we didn’t just indulge in the excuses of holidays to forgo real life for three days. Not only did we indulge in it all, but we stupidly allowed the children to follow suite. What’s a few scoops of rainbow colored ice-cream? Sure, you can have that sixth cookie. Bedtime? That doesn’t exist on holiday weekends. Truth be told, the kids can’t hang – even though we think they can. We think a few late nights won’t be the end of the world, and neither will the abnormal sugar intake. And then there are those of us with strong-willed and sensory children.
CUE THE EPIC MELTDOWNS and crazy ass comments from friends, family, and strangers about how unruly (and undisciplined) your child is… According to pediatric therapists, the following are all signs that a child is becoming overstimulated:
- Tantrums for no apparent reason.
- "Shutting down” by refusing to participate in activities or interact with others.
- Avoids touching or being touched by objects and people.
- Gets overexcited with too much to look at.
- Covers eyes around bright light.
- Poor eye contact.
- Covers ears to close out sounds or voices.
- Complains about noises, such as vacuum cleaners, that do not bother others.
- Inability to focus on an activity.
- Jumps from one activity to another, never fully being able to complete a task.
- Irritation from shoes, socks, tags, or different textures.
- Over-sensitivity to touch, movement, sights, or sounds.
- Difficulty with social interactions.
- Unusually high or low activity level
We tried to monitor the hours and the foods and the situations our toddler experienced, but DAMN, sometimes we just want to BREATHE a little.
Today, today is rough. While most adults work off their hangovers and catch up on their laundry, we will be calmly and quietly detoxing from all the fun and handling this tiny human, who does not understand why his body feels like it does this morning. Work will be delayed another day, as will most of the laundry and errands.