View Full Version : How did you survive the toddler years??

05-31-09, 09:12 PM

I have been saying my son has adhd since he was a couple of months old. I have ADHD, as does one of my two younger brothers, also about 60% of my mother's side of the family has been diagnosed having ADHD/Anxiety/Depression. I am all too familiar with the symptoms. I have never brought this up to his pediatrician, although for the last year every time I see him (even if I am not there for my son) he makes a comment on how "ACTIVE" my son is. I was in there on friday with my 8 month old daughter and he again made the comment. Then offered to send him to a behavioral specialist.
He is concerned about how this will affect him when he does go to school.

Ok, so as I previously stated I also have adhd (inattentive WITH the H lol).
so I have incredible difficulty coping with him. I feel as though I am living a nightmare. Understanding it, doesn't seem to help me cope any better with it.

As long as he is awake I cannot take my eye off from him, he will be climbing things, darting out the door, jump in the crib with his sister (after sneaking in her room), the list goes on and on. Trying my darndest to teach him but it just seems that it never sinks in. I have been repeating myself now to him for what seems like an eternity. I will sit him down in a quiet place until he can regain control, but that lasts about 2 seconds, and he's right back doing what I just told him not to do!

I am in classes 4 days a week, have gone through 4 babysitters in the past 4 months. Most of them are family!!! He listens to no one. Then there is the rare occasion I see the lightbulb go on in his little head and he understands something, but this is rare indeed. I can get him to pick up his toys maybe 5% of the time. Potty training, ugh I don't even know what I am going to do. Honestly I feel I have tried everthing aside from duct taping him to the toilet (JOKING I SWEAR) He asks to go potty, sits on it for two seconds then proceeds to get off from it, try to go through everything under the sink, flush it in between rummaging through things about 6 times, tries to play in the cat box, tries to play in the water in the toilet, wants to take a bath, asks to brush his teeth. All this in a matter of 5 seconds, it is overwhelming! He REFUSES to keep a diaper on, he will poop in it and take it off in his room come out and lock the door (after pulling his pants up so I won't notice), or worse takes it off and poops on his bed or floor, he pulls his pants off and will urinate, everywhere, he even urinated in his dad's slipper!! I even used duct tape on his diaper, put his pajamas on backward. We tried putting his potty chair in his room, he just plays with it.

I cry when I go to public places an see children his age and younger, able to sit and play with other kids, play toys, color, walk through the store and hold on to the cart or their mom's hand. I literally have to put him over my shoulder sometimes because he wants to just go, he kicks, screams, throws himself on the ground. If I take him out somewhere I have to have another person with me to help. He absolutely HATES his carseat and always has so getting him into it and belted is becoming more and more difficult as he is growing and stronger. I am bruised on my arms and legs, from simply trying to get him from my mother's house two doors down to my house.

I love my children with all of my heart, they are my world. I am so sad seeing him like this. The older kids in the neighborhood won't play with him because he is very overwhelming, even though he is only trying to play.

Any advice would be helpful, tips, encouragement that I will survive this!!


05-31-09, 09:29 PM
You will definitely survive this. My oldest was like that...he is 9 now, so he did manage to live through it without being left on a street corner. ;)

Between my 3 kids, I've had my bathroom decorated in toothpaste handprints (twice), cat food scattered all over the kitchen floor, cat food mixed with the cat's water to make cat mush (that was daily for awhile), videos and pots and pans taken out of the cabinets multiple times a day, showered kids after they covered themselves in shampoo (while clothed and dry), played parking lot tag (i.e. catch the running away kid as he flees from the car) and back yard tag (i.e. catch the running away kid as she flees out the back gate), been applauded out of a post office, caught kids as they catapulted themselves out of shopping carts, cleaned poop off every step and all down the hallway to the bathroom, dealt with broken eggs in the checkout line at the store...oh it goes on and on. Today my youngest belted out "I like big butts and I cannot lie!" at the top of her lungs at the grocery store, complete with booty-shaking action, over and over and over. She only knows that one line of the song, apparently, and decided to serenade all the other shoppers with it.

I gave up long ago on feeling like I have a "normal" family or "well behaved" kids. But the four of us (the 3 kids and I) can go to a restaurant these days and get through it and even be commented on how nicely the kids acted. I just have to be armed with toys, or go to the right restaurant (that serves coloring pages and masks when seating us, and more than one crayon apiece).

I won't say it will pass. It won't. (The ADHD, that is.) But the symptoms will change. The behaviors will change. Precisely at the moment you've finally accepted them and learned how to deal with them, lol--then it'll be on to something new! But it'll be ok. Aside from a meltdown here and there and a fit of tears in the parking lot every now and then, you'll react well to it all and learn to laugh, A LOT, or else you'd be screaming and running away.

I highly recommend "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurinka (sp????). I got it to help me out with my oldest when he was a toddler and I knew nothing about ADHD. I got some tips there that helped me survive shopping malls and grocery stores and changed the way I looked at some of his behavior.


05-31-09, 10:10 PM
Oh yes, I have been dealing with the cat and dog food since he could crawl. We now keep it in the gated kitchen. Though it doesn't always work. I had a chain latch on my screen door so I could get some air in the house (he learned how to unlock the lock on it a few weeks after he could reach it) I was standing in the living room two feet from the latched door my son was busy looking out the window, or so I thought. Suddenly I hear the door slam shut, turn and see my son down the stairs, the door was still latched, he had pushed on the bottom of the door just enough that he could squeeze out. By the time I got out there he was already two doors down at my mother's! He is so quick, sneaky, and too smart for his own good lol. I do try to embrace it and get a few good laughs time to time, it can become very overwhelming, like tonight I am changing my daughter's diaper on the couch and he KNOWS I am not watching him, goes to the fridge and grabs a package of hot dogs and bites through the corner and into a few of the hot dogs. Last week I ran to the bathroom very quickly and came out to find frozen pizza's scattered through the livingroom each with a bite out of them lol.
He does have moments where it seems like he's on auto pilot, he just gets this empty stare, the wheels are turning, you can wave your hand in front of him with no response and if you ask him a question he answers "yeah" in this dreamy not himself way, it can be scary!

05-31-09, 10:19 PM
They are definitely quick at that age. I called poison control enough times that I thought they were going to send CPS after me for awhile...what with my daughter drinking the ammonia water I was mopping with and eating Desitin from the tube and all.

Start a blog, lol. You'll want to remember all this stuff and laugh later. I actually regret not writing down everything the first two did...I'm only now blogging...when you look back at it, you just shake your head and laugh. You're bringing back all kinds of memories for me here, kid nearly got lost in Texas--was out of state on a vacation visiting a friend and he disappeared as we were getting ready to go somewhere. Found him across the street walking up to someone's house. He also ate Vaseline and swallowed some change on that trip--ugh. My daughter was retrieved by a passing motorist as she played in the street in front of our place when she was 2 or so. The lady seemed to think I was the worst mother on earth for not knowing she was out there...but my kids have all been escape artists, even with me watching them like hawks. Luckily that only happened once...oh and my boys would get out of the bath and run away, dripping wet--they'd go in opposite directions and I'd get one while the other was out the door running down the sidewalk stark naked.

Yep,'ll get through it though. And you'll have a ton of great "embarrass the kid in front of his date" stories. ;)

05-31-09, 10:40 PM
My dear departed mother used to describe DD at that age as "all go and no brains." She didn't mean it in a cruel way, just a description of how DD operated. We had child locks on everything and DD was one of those pitied "leash kids" when we went out in public. It was the only way to keep her safe.

One thing she really liked was playing with water. If you can tolerate the mess, sit your son in the bathtub with a dishpan of water and a few cups and just let him pour water, splash the water, swirl the water, etc. I read somewhere long ago that a lot of kids with sensory issues (not just ADDers) find water soothing. Which explains the "shower hour" we experience with the teen version of our girl.

05-31-09, 10:45 PM
Oh yes I have poison control's # written VERY large on the notepad in my kitchen as well as programed into my phone. I have used it more times than I care to remember lol. I remember leaving him home with his dad one day while I ran to the store, I got home and walked through the door, the first thing I noticed was it was quiet, where is he. Suddenly I here "HELP!!!" coming from the direction of the bathroom, walked in to find my son with just his head and feet sticking out of the toilet. I couldn't help but stand there and laugh! Oh he does not have a dresser in his bedroom. He managed to tear that apart in the first month of having his own room. He is NOT shy, seems fearless, says hi to EVERYONE in the supermarket (between trying to manuever his way out of the cart seatbelt). He is such a sweetheart too at times, a bit too in your face, but sweet in his own neurotic, revved up way lol. I am feeling a bit better, it's nice to know i am not alone, and can talk to others who have gone through some of the same things. I just have to keep telling myself "you're not crazy" lol. Oh and if he is really tired, he is 10x worse is that normal?? Also if he has missed his normal bedtime routine (even just a 1/2 an hour late)it's near impossible to get him to sleep.

06-01-09, 09:09 AM
When I read the title I thought you were talking to us personally, how did we survive our own toddler years. lol My answer was: My parents sent me to my Nana's.

As for how I survived my son's toddler years...I have the gray hair from the times he's scared me witless. He's still my monkey and we put him in gymnastics. Now he can flip and fly away with a mat underneath him.

06-01-09, 02:13 PM
I feel for you, it sounds like you have a really really active one. No magical advice, but music will sometimes slow them down a bit. Gives their mind something else to think about. I found this book by George Lynn to be inspirational. "Genius!: Nurturing the Spirit of the Wild, Odd, and Oppositional Child"

06-01-09, 04:42 PM
have him eat organic food if you can. i know that sounds like dumb advice but apparently the chemicals and stuff in other processed foods do not help add/adhd at all and in fact make it worse. this sounds like a pretty intense case, i hate the whole medication aspect, but when he reaches the correct age, you may want to give it a try.

06-02-09, 07:50 AM
Thanks :)

I buy organic as often as possible, as well as try to avoid anything with added sugar, it's rough because his dad and grandparents don't help. His dad has him hooked on the red hot dogs, and has taught him to help himself to the fridge!!! I had to throw out some coffee ice cream, because for 2 days in a row, I caught him spooning himself out a dish of it! I don't like to even eat ice cream. Of course his grandparents love to buy him all the sweets and stuff. Surprisingly he had a fairly good afternoon yesterday. In the morning he was off the wall because his cousin was visiting (I now have to patch his bedroom wall because I caught him poking holes in it with a board!! I just painted it!) Well, have to get off to class. Talk to you later!

06-04-09, 01:34 PM
I can relate. I am a triplet mom and the toddler years were just a nightmare.
My two boys had ADHD (I didn't know it then. ADD doesnt' run in my family, and its common in multiples). My daughter at the same time was going through being diagnosed with Rett Syndrome: The most severe form of Autism. She cant walk, speak, use her hands and has a g-tube. Very disabling condition.

I remember every Friday driving the boys and Kate to an Early Intervention Group. When I'd get to the parking lot I'd sit in the car and cry. I'd call it my Friday Breakdown. By Friday it seemed I couldn't take it anymore and my husband would help me a bit on weekends.

My boys were so hyperactive and then they would play off each other. I bought them a big playspace playpen. One would hold it up and the other would crawl under it. There was no gate that could keep them contained. I bought a gate with the lever you'd need to step on to open. They would run and jump on the lever to open it--that was at 2 years. It doesn't help that they are resourceful at that age.

We also needed to put PJs on backwards because they managed to get the duck tape off.

We tried cribtents at one point and those came off.

They are seven now and I can tell you it gets better. They were put on medication at 5 years of age. A little young but there was not doubt by the Dr. that they had ADD. The medication helps and of course we are still figuring out side effects etc..

The 30% rule is good to read. That would mean that my boys now act around 5 1/2 year olds which is about right.

You could benefit from a lot of the tips I had from Triplet moms. We always have one room that is child proof and is just a big empty room with Toys. You can make a dutch door also ..which is what a lot of the parents did. That way when you go to make dinner or do something the child is safe.

Don't expect too much from yourself now. Don't go to family functions all the time if they stress you out. Don't go out to eat often, try to shop alone etc.
There will come a day when you will be able to do those things's just temporary.

I remember asking everyone..will it get better? When will it get better?
There was not end in site..but: It does end quicker than you think. It does get better..a lot better.