On Christmas Eve day, Daniel, Sarah and I spent time with my sister and her family at their house. Our children are close in age and it's so fun to watch and join them in play. The day itself was great. There was much pretending, dressing up, coloring, and of course, eating Chinese food, as Jewish people often do on this holiday.
Just after a late lunch, anticipating to stay a couple of more hours, Sarah started to get out of sorts. Only now do we think that maybe it could have been the monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the food, even though she didn't eat a lot of it, and likely more so due to a lack of napping coupled with all the excitement.
However, I was not buying the MSG link as Sarah has eaten much Chinese food in her life. So, we suspected that the food, excitement and lack of sleep turned her into a holy terror.
It was really weird. Therefore, we picked her up and took her right home. Bummed to leave earlier than planned we did what we had to do.
Daniel and I are used to meltdowns with Sarah and know sometimes that just letting her ride it out on her own often works best. She sometimes gets so worked up that she needs a moment or two or more to come down from the high. At this moment, Sarah was completely out of sorts. Once home, she wouldn't let us get her undressed and into her pajamas, or lay her in our laps for comfort since she was so very tired. She also didn't calm down, as she typically does, after being left alone for a minute or two. She was inconsolable.
Eventually, after much kicking and screaming on her part, we got her out of her clothes, trying very hard to keep quiet and calm, as she really needed a pull-up change. I would have had no problem leaving Sarah in her clothes to sleep the night. But, because she peed much and had a full load I thought maybe this was upsetting her and wanting to give her a fresh pair.
After getting Sarah fully undressed she became unruly. We couldn't even get her into her diaper. It was then that I said to Daniel let's leave the room and leave Sarah to be for a few minutes. I knew I was running a big risk of her peeing or pooping in her room but at that moment I felt Daniel and I could do her no good and she needed to be left alone.
The crying did not stop. The upset for Sarah did not stop. Daniel and I were stumped. We did everything we typically do to console Sarah and at this time we really had no idea what was going on with her. We then started to worry. We felt helpless. It was then that we went back into Sarah's room and tried a different strategy.
I decided to try a different approach. Since Sarah is typically an awesome helper I got her into her helping mode and thought it was worth a shot. And, it worked.
I asked Sarah in that instant, while she was still upset if she would help me pick out a new sheet for her bed. Sarah came back. Happy, bubbly, helpful Sarah returned. It was the most bizarre thing. I then asked her to help me choose from two a pair of pajamas for her to wear. We then played together and read books for a bit longer until we felt it was then time for her to settle in for the night peacefully.
Once Sarah was asleep Daniel and I looked at each other dumbfounded. Seriously. It felt for a moment she was possessed by something because she wasn't acting like herself even when she loses herself.
The good news is that Sarah is fine. It must be what to look forward to as she approaches that age of three, another year I have been told is even worse than the terrible twos.
Oh, the joys of parenting. Ugh.