Monday, April 11, 2011

Grasping The Growth Spurt

The last few days have been pretty tough for poor Austin.  He has been out of sorts and very emotional.  You would think by now I would know what is going on right away, no, sometimes it takes me a while to recognize what is actually happening.

When Austin goes through a growth spurt (it could be physical or developmental, sometimes it takes a while to figure out which one it is) he is very easily brought to tears.  The smallest thing can upset him.  Like today, Kaleigh changed the channel on the TV and the screaming and crying commenced.  OMG!  I thought someone was seriously hurt with all the yelling and crying.  I thought Kaleigh had hurt Austin.  I put my laundry down and go running.  Austin is sitting on the couch, next to Kaleigh, in full blown tears!  I ask him if he is hurt and he says "No, Kaleigh turned the station!".  "What?  Kaleigh turned the station and that is why you are so upset?"  Austin replies, "YES!".  Okay, time for a little separation to cool down.  Austin is screaming not to put him in time out ... I told him to go to his room, it is the only way I can settle him.  Kaleigh was put in time out too, separately, for changing the channel in the middle of Austin's program.  What transpires next, is tough, really tough.

I have Austin in his room.  I tell him that he cannot scream and yell over something that small, it really is unnecessary and since it is nice out now, all the windows and doors are open, people do not want to hear that screaming.  He is so upset and says that he cannot tell my why he is crying, just that he cannot stop.  (It is so hard for me to see Austin like this ...).  I tell him I will give him a minute to calm down and come right back.  Meanwhile, Kaleigh has made it to the potty and she needs help.  So I go help her.  Austin starts screaming and crying from his room, "MOMMIE HELP ME!  ANYONE, PLEASE COME HELP ME!!!".  OMG!  So I leave Kaleigh standing at the sink where she is washing her hands and run back to Austin, thinking he must have hurt himself or something ... nope, he is sitting on the edge of his bed crying his eyes out!  I shut the door and very calmly (you have to be calm, if you get upset, Austin will get even more upset) and say to Austin, "Please tell me what is going on?  I am trying to help, I am trying to understand, please help me.".  He insists that he does not know what is going on with him or why ... all of a sudden ... I "got it"!!!  A growth spurt!

This may sound a little crazy to all of you, but it is true.  This has happened in the past and someone told me that you think it is regression but it is not, it's progression.  It is true.  Changes in Austin's speech, comprehension or physical development would spark this behaviour.  How did I not know?  This started on Thursday with some acting out at school.  Friday he was really tired.  Saturday he was crying very easily.  Yesterday he was tired and sensitive and today, well, today was the BIG ONE! 

After I figured out what was happening, I took Austin to my room and cuddled him.  He kept crying for a while but eventually stopped.  I asked if he was okay and he said "I am really, really tired.", so I held onto Austin until he drifted off to sleep.  He is sleeping now, peacefully, behind me, in my bed.  Poor little guy ... it is so tough to hear him struggle to explain what he is feeling, it truly breaks my heart. :(

In a few days from now, a change in his speech or a return to his regular sleep pattern should tell me what kind of growth spurt he has just experienced.  Meanwhile, lots of cuddles, kisses and patience will help Austin get through this change.

I wanted to share this story, just in case you experience something like this, maybe it will help.

*HUGS* to all!


Victoria said...

I can relate to this! Sometimes it's hard to tell real change from a simple bad day but she goes through similar spells. If she's eating a lot, it's a growth spurt. If she's sleeping abnormally (way more or less than usual), it's probably a developmental one. The growth ones are funny though because she goes from eating good maybe twice a week to scarfing down everything in sight. I never thought to connect her behavior and emotions to it but now that you've mentioned it, I'll have to watch more closely.

Mommie that Gets It said...

Hi Victoria,

Yes, if Austin is emotional and sleepy it is usually a "development" change. I see Austin eating more too when he is having a growth spurt but if his motor skills are changing he has more of a "development" reaction. Isn't that interesting? He really struggles with colouring, writing and drawing and as these are progressing, he becomes more emotional. When he has to do these activities, he becomes very tired.

If you see her acting differently than usual, watch in a day or two and see if she starts talking or comprehending a little more or her colouring or drawing skills could get better (if she struggles with that). Austin is very cuddly and even more so when one of these spurts happen. Good luck! Please keep me updated!

All the best! *HUGS* :) Heather