All Akimbo: Crying over spilled milk and everything else

By Kim Blakely

images.jpgIs there something about being 4 – almost 5 – that makes kids exceptionally moody? Or is there something about having a 4-month-old sibling that causes the emotions to go wild? Maybe there’s just something in the air?

Mojo has cried more in the last couple of weeks than he did in his entire first year of life, I’m pretty sure.

I don’t know what the problem is, but I sure hope we can figure it out before my ears start bleeding. (My heart is feeling a little fragile, too, just so you know. I hate seeing him so torn.)

It’s not that he’s chronically unhappy. He can be content and relaxed one minute and the next minute – hold on to your hats. He’s just seems … well, out of sorts.

sweatergp664064-00qlv01.jpgCase in point: We just ran to a department store to pick up a sweater for him to wear for school pictures this week. We were going to the grocery store next, but Mojo had a meltdown – which used to be almost unheard of for him except around times of serious fatigue – because he spotted a toy he just had to have. He could not, would not, no matter how much I told him he should not, stop crying about it. He cried all the way through the store. He cried through the checkout line. He cried all the way across the parking lot. And he cried all the way to the grocery store.

When we pulled into the parking lot, he told me he wanted to go home, so home we went. (What? It wasn’t so much that I was giving in to his demands as it was that I didn’t have the fortitude to do a massive grocery shopping trip with a ticking time bomb.)

On the way home, Mojo stopped crying.

Of course, as soon as I breathed a sigh of relief, Moxie started to wail. She hates her car seat, much preferring to have someone’s face inches in front of her own, but she hadn’t been crying because she was fixated on her big brother’s scrunched up face. (Turns out there is at least one upside to all this …)

Anyway, I drove into the garage and turned off the key, and as I opened the back door to release both my babies from their restraints, Mojo fell apart again.

“I want to go to the grocery store,” he wailed.

Wha … ?

I brought my boo-hooing boy inside and held him in my lap for a few minutes, and although he still says he wants to go to the grocery store, he has now moved to the couch and is back to his normal self.

He doesn’t seem to resent his baby sister any more than I would expect (he doesn’t enjoy riding in the car next to her while she screams. Understandable, no?), and he’s fairly happy at preschool this year. He has lots of friends and his teacher seems nice.

I’ve tried being more patient with him than usual, I’ve tried getting him in bed earlier, I’ve tried talking to him about his day in hopes that I can figure out what’s up, but it all seems to be for naught. I can’t crack the mystery.

Can anyone shed any light on my plight?

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