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February 04, 2013


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She sure looks like an angel. I'm sorry it's so tough lately. Your theory about chubby cheeks grabbing the toys makes sense...but I'm sure it's hard not knowing what it is exactly that is bothering her. I sure know that when my boys fight (which is, um, everyday), it drives me bonkers. No matter how hard I try to teach them to share, give time outs, etc, they still pull out the whup a$$ on each other. I just tell myself they'll outgrow it. They gotta...right?

Stacy Ross

Violet has been so perfect with Piper...I guess it was bound to happen. I hate that she seems sad. Tantrums are one thing, sad kiddos are another.

The minute that Violet snaps out of this phase then it's Piper's turn. It's always like that. At least it was like that with mine. They were never horrible at the same time and they were never happy at the same time. They're still like that.


I don't have any mom-type advice (obviously) but I feel for you. Three hour tantrums ahve got to be exhausting for everyone.

Laura Irrgang

Lord I hope so, Marty.
To be honest, though--I was terrible at sharing.
Your boys always LOOK so deceptively good.
Then again, its not like your posting photos of the Time Out corner.
Maybe we should.

Laura Irrgang

Couldnt they all get it out of their system at once?
I guess that would upset the cosmic balance of things.

Laura Irrgang

Did I say three hour? I meant one.
But it feels like three, Maria.



I know nothing about kids, obviously.

But, from my own very clear and vivid memory, when my mom brought my sister home, it really really affected me. I was older, 5.5 years old.

It was really hard, and I didn't feel like the cetner of attention anymore, and my sister was a nuisance to me.

Our lives revolved around this baby, and I hated it.

Also, when she got bigger and started doing things, like grabbing my stuff, I never had the perception to see her as a baby.

I saw her as an enemy.

And I fought mean with her.

And when she got older (5ish), she fought even meaner with me, and wailed those mean punches around. And kicks. We fought a lot, and there was always division and tears.

Now I look back, and feel sad in my gut, and think, wow she was so cute and I was so mean. But I was a kid, I couldn't see it any differetnly.

Not saying Violet feels this way, but this is what I went through.

I felt very alone when the baby came home, and I was used to having Mommy and Daddy all to myself, and now, they were actually defending my sister - a stranger to me.

So she became my enemy right away.

So, now I had to share and live and be with this stranger baby nightmare.

I tried to play with her as we got older, but we were so different, and she never wanted to do what I wanted to do.

We just didn't like the same things.

It's so hard. I am sure Violet is feeling all kinds of feelings right now.

Also, are you certain there isn't something else wrong, like an ear ache or infection of some sort? I always used to get weird in such instances.

Poor Violet.

It's so hard for her right now I am sure.

I feel her pain, especially if it is sister getting used to. I feel it so much. I tell you. I can conjur those childhood memories to easily.

I think my sister and me fighting all the time was a huge strain on my poor parents.

My sister and I would beat eachother up, and we would scream hatred at eachother.

It wasn't until very recently (last 8 years), that we didn't live together anymore, that we started to appreciate eachother more. Rescpet eachother as adults.

Anyhow, it might be nothing.

But you are wise to be alarmed.

I am sending gobs of fairy kisses.

Sharing a mother's love is the hardest thing in the world for the kids.

Love, Vanessa


ps: my shameful typos, oy vey! PLUS, my pet peeve, to and too - and I missed an o there. EGADS!

Laura Irrgang

Thanks, Vanessa. Im going to write you a longer private letter.


Don't give the tantrums any attention. If you can, send her to her room until the tantrum is over. Otherwise, you leave the room. No audience. After it's over with, calmly ask her why she is upset. And, make it clear that your family doesn't behave like that. The less attention and affirmation for the tantrum the better. It's tough being a kid!

Laura Irrgang

Thanks for the advice!
1. I do send her to her room, but she tries repeatedly to get out.
When a tantrum can last up to an hour, I have to go do other things.
Pee, take care of the baby, not let things boil over on the stove.
2. I aim to not be an audience. Since she wont stay in her room
(unless Im physically holding the door shut) she follows me.
3. We DO ask her, when she has calmed down, why she was upset.
She either says, I dont know, or something small.
Like, I wanted the blue cup not the red cup. Or...I wanted Daddy
to unbuckle my seatbelt, not Mama.
We explain that this is unacceptable, and that small things like that
are not worth throwing a fit over. We try to give her many choices
during the day, especially small choices.
Like---which cup do you
want? Red or blue? Then, the tantrum will happen because after
the meal is over, she decides she wanted to OTHER color.
4. We make it VERY clear that kind of behavior is unacceptable.
We TELL her. We also explain how we expect her to behave.
We tell her what she is doing that is inappropriate, and how we
want her to behave instead.
5. We give her age-appropriate punishments. Like...since she loves
to color, she wont get to color for 3 days. Or no desserts for a week.
Or no shows for x number of days.

Were consistent, and dont EVER give her a way during a tantrum.
If it happens in a store, I take her out of the store and we leave.
Even if were in line at the grocery store.

Argh! I feel like weve done everything youre supposed to do.

Laura Tieri

Sorry you're having this rough patch. It is funny though, she looks likes this sweet innocent angel in the pictures. :o)
Unfortunately I'm an only child & I don't have any kids so no sage advice here. I can see where Vanessa's coming from. When I go to someone's house where everyone is fawning over a baby, I tend to go & play with the older child that's there. I always feel bad for them. They're usually standing in the background, almost invisible to everyone.
Even though she's not being ignored, she still might be feeling a little jealous in having to share you. My husband's nieces were always at each other until they were in their late teens. The older one always seemed to be irritated by the younger one.
It's probably not very encouraging when everyone says that it gets better when they enter early adulthood. How many more years is that for you? :o)

Laura Tieri

I just noticed Violet's clear shoes in the picture.
I know she's a beautiful little princess...are those her glass slippers?
I love the frilly pantaloons!

Laura Irrgang

They light up, too! With every step.

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