I witnessed something tonight that I have never previously seen in my life. I watched Jamie have a ferocious tantrum. I've seen kids tantrum before. I've seen Jamie tantrum before. But this was something in another league altogether. When it was over and done with I was pretty sure we needed an old priest and a young priest.
The screaming began the second that Scot told Jamie was time to head upstairs for bath. Jamie wanted me to take him but I had reached my limit with him by that point and Scot had volunteered to take bath and bed duty for Jamie while I took on Liam. Jamie was having none of this.
Scot dragged him upstairs and the symphony of screaming was so loud it nearly drowned out the TV. Jamie was screaming at high pitch and high volume but also gutturally. They were the kind of screams that you just know hurt your throat to utter. But he was going at it full bore, only pausing to suck in another breath so he could keep screaming.
"Liam," I said, "we need to head upstairs right now. You can finish watching this tomorrow."
I grabbed the clean laundry and headed up. I got Liam started on putting his clean clothes away and then went in to help Scot tag team Jamie. I walked in and Jamie was kicking, screaming, and flailing on his bed while Scot tried to get his clothes off. Scot got him down to his diaper and he FLIPPED OUT even further and tried to pluck his clothes out of the dirty laundry and make me put them back on him.
We walked out and let him scream. I checked on Liam and his clothes and then grabbed Jamie's and put them away. I refused to look at Jamie. He followed me around screaming as loud as he could. Again, without pause except to get air.
Finally, I pinned him down and removed his diaper. I think I have bruises from the assault of his legs. He ran around naked and screaming for all he was worth while I tried to snatch him and put him in the bath that was running for him. I finally got him and deposited him in the tub.
Baths are his favorite thing. He loves them and they soothe him. He never goes to sleep as well or as easily on nights that we skip his bath - which means we rarely skip them. I was hoping that the bath would help.
He continued to scream.
High pitched. Loud. Guttural.
He flailed and splashed to express his anger. I tried to calm him down but all he did was scream and point imperiously OUT of the tub. He refused to calm down even in the tiniest increment.
I finally just washed him and pulled him out and he got mad at me for giving him what he wanted.
So now there's a wet, naked, screaming, red-faced toddler standing there. I wrapped him up in his towel and tried, futilely, to determine his problem and calm him down. I dried him off and hung up the towel hoping that he would lead me to his desire. Nope.
He ran around the upstairs naked and screaming. This went on for some time. I had to pin him to the floor to administer his night time medication. This is unheard of. He was screaming so hard I was afraid he was going to choke.
Finally, I decided I couldn't put it off any longer and it was time to get him in his diaper and pj's. He saw what was coming and started trying to fight me off like an enraged badger.
It took the both of us to hold him down just to get the diaper on him.
Eventually we got him dressed and ready for bed. I sat down with him to rock and he suddenly seemed to calm a bit and let me soothe him. He was still tetchy but he had stopped screaming - at least I'm pretty sure he did because I was deaf by this point. With the help of a small sippy of water, I was able to get him settled in bed without him launching into another rendition of the scream symphony.
I think if he his head had spun around three times while vomiting pea soup I would not have been shocked. I now know what a full bore redheaded temper tantrum looks like and I don't like it one tiny bit.