Friday, July 31, 2009


Yesterday, late afternoon I made a run to the happiest place on earth - Sonic Happy Hour. When I returned home with my Diet Coke in hand I noticed Nick was playing outside with Jackson and Chase and Tyler was crying in his room, while the counter on the microwave ticked down. 10 seconds later the timer went off and I told Nick I'd grab Tyler for him. I walked down the hall, opened the door, took one look at Tyler, turned around, headed to the back deck and had the following conversation with Nick....

Me: Did you by chance put Tyler in his crib without clothes on?

Nick: No!

Me: Well he's naked now. Completely. No shirt, no shorts and no diaper.

Nick: He definitely had clothes on when I put him in there.

Seems our little tantrum thrower is now a pro at removing his clothes in under 2 minutes. That's right, I called him a tantrum thrower. What's that? You thought the afternoon tantrum was supposed to stop now that we stopped potty training him? Yeah, we thought that too. Apparently this horrible afternoon tantrum is something different.

So let me break this down for you and share a theory my sister in law has and see if you all have similar or different theories.

  • The afternoon tantrum is hugely different from the normal tantrums he throws for not getting his way.
  • The afternoon tantrum always happens sometime between 2 and 4.
  • Sometimes he starts the tantrum as soon as he gets up from his nap and sometimes it's 30-60 minutes after he wakes up.
  • He gets plenty of sleep so I do not believe this is sleep related (11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day).
  • The tantrum is between 30-60 minutes long, often times on the longer end of that range.
  • During the tantrum there is no consoling him: he does not want to bed held, he does not want a drink, he does not want to eat.
  • He is often violent towards me (or Nick) during the tantrum, trying to bite, kick or hit us.
  • He has adjusted just fine to being back in diapers, so I don't believe he's "holding it" anymore.
Ok, so my SIL's theory is that it's blood sugar related. Her nephew went through a similar thing until they figured out his blood sugar was crashing (which was when he'd have the tantrum). Now that his blood sugar is regulated by regular snacks and meals he's better. She could be right about this being Tyler's problem, except that we do offer regular meals and snacks (7:30, 10, 11:30, 3 or 3:30 and 5:30). However, lately the boys (Ty included) have been eating less at meal times. For example, yesterday Tyler wolfed down his grapes at lunch time but hardly touched his quesadilla.

So what do you all think? Could SIL be right? Any other theories? If these continue through the weekend I will strongly consider a call to our doctor early next week to hear her thoughts.


brocks*mom said...

My son used to always wake up very cranky. That was my first thought was he just woke up in a bad mood.

Then I thought maybe his stomach hurt from lunch.

I think the Blood Sugar thing is a good thought, though. Think about how cranky you get (well, I do) when you are really hungry/shaky feeling.

Hope you figure something out soon.

Anonymous said...

Yes- she might be onto something!!! EACH grape counts as 1 carb "point" for diabetic kids, so it would make sense that they could trigger a sugar crash, even in a non-diabetic kid- especially if he didn't eat as much protein from the quesadilla to balance it out. I've seen firsthand the head-spinning reaction a sugar episode can cause in a toddler and it's not pretty! (on a totally unrelated note- my son LOVES 'Baby signing time'! Thank you so much for the suggestion!!)
-Laurie Garrett

Kesler Crew said...

Your SIL may be right. I wonder if it would be worth a try to feed them in "sections" today at lunch to see how Tyler would react when he gets up from his nap. For example, try just giving him his veggies and/or proteins first then when he is done offer him some dessert with lunch.

I'm sure your little guys are perceptive, so you may have to "hide" their dessert from their sight until they've gotten through "most" of the rest of their meal.

I hope this afternoon and weekend get better for you and little Tyler!

Missy said...

It could definitely be his blood sugar. I know my daughter is pretty cranky when she wakes up until she has a snack.

kdliberty said...

I would keep a food and behavior diary for awhile.It could be his blood sugar dropping or a nasty food allergy. In children food allegeries can often cause weird behavoir problems especially allergies to food dye. Have you added any new foods to his diet in the last month or so?

P.S. If he has a food allergy then his brother's may develop it too (about a 75% chance)!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Watch out for food dyes too. I think you're a pretty healthy eater, but you'd be surprised some of the foods that have dyes in them. Red dye is a big one--if my son has red dye he's a maniac. But, yes, my first inclination was hunger--I do think your SIL is on to something. I also agree with kdliberty--I think you should keep a diary.

Anonymous said...

My Owen has horrible blood sugar related tantrums! We eat regular meals, but snacks are random. I need to remember to give him a snack around 10 or 10:30 so he can make it to lunch at 11:30, otherwise he is so distraught that he can't eat his lunch.

I love the food diary idea! I wonder if it is something he is eating that sets him off?

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