To be expected I guess, but our return from holiday has opened a can of tantrumy worms for our youngest child. He has remembered how to throw, he has started biting, particularly child 2 and 3's bums - it's not funny he has left teeth marks! He has learnt to open all the stair gates except one, not that that has stopped him, he just wheels his buggy over and uses it as a ladder to climb over the gate.
He also refuses to go to bed and as he is now in a bed he can just climb out and make an escape.
What to do, we cannot shut him away in his room, shouting has no effect except to make things worse. He almost seems to enjoy the reaction he gets when he hurts someone.
I know from all the reading that I have done that this is all "normal" behaviour for many children in care but it doesn't mean that it is acceptable. I also know that much of what he is doing is "normal" toddler behaviour but it is just so excessive, everything is bigger, louder and harder.
We have to be able to adapt how we deal with him almost continuously. Constant supervision,well as constant as possible, (I still have to feed everyone, do the washing and keep the bathrooms and kitchen clean enough to stop us from becoming ill) helps tremendously as I can pre-empt much of the physical stuff. Keeping him busy, involved and actively engaged is probably the best thing, although by the end of the day this can be exhausting and although I am desperate for adult company, motivating myself to find some is way down on my list of priorities plus the fact that he currently fights his bedtime routine means that it is too late to do anything by the time he has exhausted himself and fallen asleep.
It's back to school next week, which means a natural rhythm of routine builds and this will probably help. I think our child 4 needs routine and strong boundaries, of course routines have gone out of the window during the holidays and six weeks is a long time for a 2 year old. And a 44 year old!!
Being away means that at least I have returned home relaxed, calm and no longer exhausted, I hadn't realised how tired I must have been until we returned, I was working on auto pilot which isn't good enough when you have to be constantly pro-active and ready to anticipate what could happen next.
I sit here this morning with my morning cup of tea, off loading a little of my worries and fears and a call from the bathroom. Child 4 has used the potty! A celebration, cheers and claps from everyone. A little laughter and something normal helps to keep the worries away.