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Tantrums when granddaughter sees me

(11 Posts)
Clott Wed 05-Dec-18 17:38:14

Just wanted to share something that I’m finding quite tough to deal with. My daughter has a girl of 2.5 and a baby of 8 months. Whilst she has been on maternity leave, I’ve been calling round after my work 4.30pm to assist with prep for tea and just generally helping out. I’ve always had a very warm welcome but just recently the 2.5 yr old will burst into tears when she sees me at 4.30pm and starts crying ‘daddy’. He gets home 5.30-6pm, he cycles so uses the back door to enter. I always ring the bell and enter the front door, so I’ve assumed that she wouldn’t be expecting daddy. She really is becoming inconsolable which is awkward if the baby is being breastfed at the time. It’s got to the stage where I have stopped going round at that time which I don’t want, and my daughter doesn’t want. I am guessing this is a stage, but I would appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks

M0nica Wed 05-Dec-18 17:49:42

It is all part of the adjusting stage which goes with a new younger sibling arriving.

I note that the problem is worse if the baby is breastfeeding. I had the same trouble when my second child was born. Feeding is such an intimate and close relationship between mother and baby that an older child feels completely left out and abandoned. She is frightened and anxious that her place with mummy is being superceded.

You arrive when this feeding is happening or about to happen and you are seen as the cause/catalyst for feeding the baby and she probably thinks that if you do not come the baby will not get fed and she can have her mother to herself. I would suspect that when Daddy comes home , he immediately makes a lot of fuss of his little girl and what she wants to do is skip you being there and go straight to having daddy to make life well again.

Could you change the time you visit so that it doesn't coincide with feeding time for the baby? Or could you engage with the little girl doing something that holds her attention; a game, drawing, stickers, so her her mother can quietly slide out of the room while she is so engaged and feed the baby somewhere else.

I found what worked best was reorganising the baby's routine so that, as far as possible, she was not fed when her older brother was around to see me doing it.

Clott Wed 05-Dec-18 18:02:31

Thanks, that’s helpful. I see them quite frequently at other times and she is fine, which is why I am finding this so hard to deal with. We do have strategies to occupy and distract her whilst feeding is going on and that works well. It’s just my arrival at 4.30pm that is the problem. The obvious answer is don’t go round at that time, but that seems a little harsh for my daughter who really appreciates the help before bath time.

crystaltipps Wed 05-Dec-18 18:06:58

That could be the “witching hour” when the older one is tired and hungry and wants her mummy/ daddy’s full attention.

Clott Wed 05-Dec-18 18:09:26

Yes agreed. I think I need to avoid this routine as I would hate for this to become embedded. We have a wonderful relationship at other times, she even prefers to travel in my car when we go out together.

EllanVannin Wed 05-Dec-18 18:14:29

It'll pass, just alter the times slightly as everything seems to happen at once and a toddler can't comprehend this.

BlueBelle Wed 05-Dec-18 18:22:10

First don t take it personally The fact she calls out daddy tells you that’s what she’s expecting andi is disappointed when it’s not Daddy Breast feeding is a tricky time and when my grandson was 2 he used to try and pull his mums breast out of the baby’s mouth at feeding time
How about taking something with you (not a present) but something she can add to each day for instance do some sticking with her then you can tell her you ll bring some new stickies the next day to add to the picture just a few each day until she is looking forward to you arriving to get on with her picture Youll probably think of something better but that’s just off the top of my head Just something she will start looking for you to arrive with

Clott Wed 05-Dec-18 18:22:32

Thanks all for sharing your thoughts. I was quite upset tonight when I decided it would be better to avoid going round. Having had 3 children myself in the space of 4.5 years I really should have remembered what it is like. Conversely I also know how much you appreciate help!

Clott Wed 05-Dec-18 18:23:51

Thanks Bluebelle, that sounds like a great idea smile

crystaltipps Wed 05-Dec-18 18:26:59

I sometimes used to give toddlers a “little tea” at about 3.30-4 just to see them through the next couple of hours, maybe milk and a little sandwich or bit of toast and marmite, not anything sugary. Maybe you could give your granddaughter something like this when you arrive?

Clott Wed 05-Dec-18 18:31:12

Hmmmm I’m not sure that would be welcomed by mum & dad. At her 2 yr check, she fell into ‘obese’ category which is absolute nonsense. Her father is 6 ft 9 and well built and her mother is 5ft 8 and very skinny. She clearly has her father’s genes. So I never give her any food of any description! The nurse actually agreed that she was far from being obese. (So why say it then??) I guess that’s another conversation.....