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Oh friend, I had one of those 2 year olds. She got into everything. Everything.

 

My final solution was to put these on her closet, the pantry, the front and back doors, the door to the garage, and any other tall door we didn't want her to open. That gave me spaces where I could store things I didn't want her to get into.

 

I completely emptied her room of everything. Everything. No lamps, no curtains, no decorative anything. Her dresser drawers were locked and at some points emptied into bins and locked in the closet.

 

I kept all of this until she was 4, and some of this we still use (all the locks) and she is 6 now. Some kids are just harder than others, regardless of the good discipline you use. My other two are no where near this ... destructive.

 

Now, I will say that she was my first, so I understand that it is much harder to keep a younger child out of things when there are older kids who deserve to have their things not locked up.

 

 

Above all that, though, just try to get a break some evening this week or next. Go on a run (I actually took up running because of this child :) ), go get some coffee, etc. Just get some space. It's hard to get a good perspective when you're sitting in the middle of the fishbowl.

 

:grouphug:

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

I was exhausted just reading about everything you're dealing with, so I feel so badly for you.

 

I don't know if I'm right or wrong about this, but it sounds like your 2yo is more of a stress on you than all of the cooking (although hopefully we can help you simplify that a bit, as well.) Having a screaming, demanding, destructive child is one of the worst stresses you can have, and knowing that you can't even escape this child at bedtime or naptime would be simply overwhelming for anyone.

 

Have you considered sending the 2yo to some sort of preschool or play group? It might cost a bit of money, but your sanity is worth every penny. (And it's amazing how many little terrors behave quite nicely for people who aren't their mothers. :glare:)

 

Cat

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I'd love to get rid of both, but it would break the kids' hearts and I'll forever be the worst mommy ever. I'm already too close to getting that award some days. :(

 

Put the cat in the garage with it's litter box, bed and food for now. Alternatively put it in the closed laundry room.

 

I pick a kid each day to be "Dog Butler." They don't know my list. I just rotate. Everytime the dog whines or barks I call on that kid to do the work. If they complain --well they know I'll just hand them the pooper scooper or a toilet brush.

 

For your little one, sit down and hold/rock & sing for about 30 minutes. My babies go nutso and I realize it's because I've been brushing them off so I can do the needful of the moment. "Give them 30 and they'll give you a couple hours." My mom always used to say. It works. A blanket in the rocking chair and a snuggle with face time.

 

:grouphug::grouphug: This too shall pass.

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It's been a long time since I've had a 2 year old, so I don't know if this is appropriate or not, but he sounds like a MAJOR sensory-seeking kid. Do you suspect he may be? If so, there are definite strategies for getting him more sensorial input that may help him be calmer without always needing contact with you (or always destroying things).

I'm so sorry you have to have so much at once! :grouphug:

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Have you considered sending the 2yo to some sort of preschool or play group? It might cost a bit of money, but your sanity is worth every penny. (And it's amazing how many little terrors behave quite nicely for people who aren't their mothers. :glare:)

 

Cat

I already mentioned preschool or mother's morning out as an option. I want to elaborate just a bit. I'm not sure what you are feeling along with your overwhelmedness (is that a word?) but don't add failure as a mother into the mix if you op to send him to preschool. You are a good mom who is overwhelmed.

 

Also let me suggest that if you do an away option for a couple days to every morning don't put him in an academic school. Put him somewhere he can play, jump, run and be outside often.

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I'm so sorry, Jane. I've been having these same breakdowns for a month now...

 

A couple of quick fixes that may not be great long term solutions but might help in the immediate - if you have a high chair, buckle your 2yo in it. Or buckle them onto a chair. For long periods of time. I'm having to do this with my almost 2yo and 4yo (although the 4yo just sits in a chair in whatever room I'm in). It's not a great solution, but it's helping me stay sane for the time being while I do therapy and lessons w/my 6yo.

 

For meals, I don't know how you do it, but could you put on a huge pot of broth and just have soup at least one meal a day? Not everyone will like it, but it's food of a nourishing type...

 

:grouphug:

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Jane, :grouphug:! I just got on and saw your post. Call me! You need a break and some time to think about how things can be different. My 2yo had been cranky and clingy today and I'm exhuasted...I cannot imagine day in and day out of that. TOOOO crazy. Is there any way you could get away for a week? Can dh take some vacay time? Ask for cash for xmas and fly down here girl! We can have some much needed girl time and "think tank" sessions!

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I already mentioned preschool or mother's morning out as an option. I want to elaborate just a bit. I'm not sure what you are feeling along with your overwhelmedness (is that a word?) but don't add failure as a mother into the mix if you op to send him to preschool. You are a good mom who is overwhelmed.

 

Also let me suggest that if you do an away option for a couple days to every morning don't put him in an academic school. Put him somewhere he can play, jump, run and be outside often.

 

:iagree: 200%.

 

Needing a break isn't failing, it's preserving your peace of mind.

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I would get a playpen or toddler corral and let the 4 and 5 year olds use it to play in. They can keep their stuff safe from the 2 year old, and they can climb in and out but 2 yo can't get in.

 

Echoing what someone else mentioned, can you send the 2 yo to preschool part of the week? It would give you and everyone a breather. Alternatively, hire someone - a junior high or high school kid to come over and entertain 2 yo a couple of afternoons a week.

 

I would keep meals as simple as possible. We don't have allergies to deal with, but we have religious restrictions. We tend to eat very simple meals for the most part - pasta with sauce - maybe a couple of different options for people to choose from; salad - let people choose whether they want to add cooked meat/shrimp/beans/cheese/croutons/olives, etc. Baked potatoes - again with choice of toppings. Vegetable soup with choice of adding ham/sausage to it. Burritos or tostadas - same deal.

 

I don't know if you're doing any school work with the 4 & 5 yos - but I wouldn't do any, unless it's having them listen in w/9 yo.

 

Things will get better, truly. Let us help you however we can, and if you need to get physical help, then do it. I had a mother's helper for a while after my 2nd ds was born, and it was great for all of us. :grouphug:

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Talk a walk first thing after breakfast. Hold his hand, sing him songs, have him race to the next tree and then back to mommy. Can you make a toddler spot near where you do school? His own little table or mat? When you get back from your walk, give him something to *do*. Lots of toddlers are whiny, clingy and troublesome because they are bored. See if your library has "I Can Do It, I Can Do It!" or "Play and Learn the Montessori Way." You could also try creating some toddler bags, here are some blogs/sites with ideas:

http://chasingcheerios.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

YES, this!!!:iagree::iagree::iagree: I used to set my kids up for school AND set up dd with her toy of the day at the same time. I had buckets of toys that could ONLY be used during school hours. Because she had limited time with these toys, I could get plenty of time to do school work. Water toys and rice toys worked fantastic. I also took a huge laundry tub, filled it with water, and placed her in it with pots and pans. I'd just wash them later, but this would carry her for HOURS. The key was to have a different set of toys, ONLY USED DURING SCHOOL HOURS, per day. That means at least two buckets that can be rotated.

 

Then when school is done, or before you start, spend time with him. He needs your time, too, and he's probably acting out to keep you from devoting so much time to your other kids! More time and attention to him will likely help.

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You know, I would love it too if I didn't have all the other responsibilities. I have kids violin exams coming up and dh's business to help run, and schooling and this and that and just. too. much. stuff. :banghead:

 

if you have too much stuff going on outside the home, those need to be trimmed back until the home is operating well. JMO.

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My 2YO is the same way. He whines and cries and throws fits and destroys things ALL.DAY.LONG. He never sleeps and is up at all hours destroying things. I did lock every single thing him and DS own in a closet. We just got a slide lock thingy for the top. I have put all my valuables in totes and stored them in the basement (which has a BIG ol lock on it) someone is watching/playing with him every minute of the day. I rotate his toys constantly, so there are very few in his closet.

 

All other rooms of the house also have locks on them. All the cabinets have locks on them. Everything that can be locked up is locked up. He has strict rules and every single fit he throws he gets put in his room and I lock the door until he calms down. Time out does not work and I do not have the time or energy to "Nanny" it and put him in a corner 5 millions times a day for weeks. Not happening here. I cannot give the child an inch. oh yeah did I mention he cusses like a sailor (thanks to a grandpa) This is a child I am embarrassed to take anywhere. and its winter...SIGH

 

 

There is only so much one preson can do.

 

 

 

^^^^^^This is how we live because of my RAD dd. I never thought I'd have to live like this but it's our new normal, and I think you need a new normal. You absolutely need to take control away from your 2yo and if you do time outs in the room, ABSOLUTELY lock the closet (dd hasn't moved into her new room yet because we have to get locks for her closet. If she has access to it, EVERYTHING will be ruined, including the closet itself and she's almost 8yo) and send him in. If he screams, tell him it's going to be more time in there until he's quiet for X amount of time. He will rebel at first but eventually he will obey.

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:grouphug: I'm sorry. I would have already had the breakdown I'm sure.

 

You can't do it all. I don't know how but I believe hubby will have to step up. Can he take them out on Saturdays for example so you can cook and freeze some things? For this week-end if you can get away I would (and did in a similar overwhelmed with meals state) sit down and figure out a set meal plan. This took a ton of stress off my life. No matter how I did it I'd focus on meals first and I am happy to try to help you if needed.

 

Meals are stressful with allergies. Ours are life threatening in one child and puke your guts out in the other (different allergies and my hubby has an intolerance to some they can both eat) and so I also have to make from scratch for most things. I was literally losing it trying to manage them for a while. It was so stressful and horrible and I can imagine the stress you're describing. I now have a four day rotation. Lunches are often scheduled/planned reheats of dinner from the previous day. Afternoon snack is almost always a rehash of breakfast. As it turned out I needed 8 different meals for those days to cover everyone safely. At my house you'll eat the same meal ideas I served you on Monday on Thursday. But the food is good and we've adjusted and it feels so much better. I've got a shopping list that never changes and I never have to think about what to feed anyone. I wouldn't do this for a normal family of course but safety and sanity now trump variety here.

 

To plan I wrote down main dishes and sides that worked for each person on a spreadsheet, cross referenced between people as much as I could, picked the ones most enjoyed and also manageable to routinely make and that was the end of that stress. If one child's meal is his most complicated the other child's plan will be one of his easy to make choices or the sides will be basic or most will have an all in one meal or etc. Some can be (and are) made ahead and frozen.

 

We do smoothies every day and also have fruit allergies (different for each child). But on my schedule it tells me who gets what each day and the different fruits are frozen on their own (in bags). Oh, not all but many of the smoothies use frozen fruit. I find it's much easier than when I was trying to wash things and etc. And frozen is actually pretty healthy because it's fresh and then "locked in" so I don't feel I'm doing something inferior to fresh fruit either. I have two stick blenders so I can do both kids on their own. Everything that touches the food is dishwasher safe. This has been so wonderful--before I was using my blender and cleaning between and yuck. They are Cuisinart Smart Sticks and I love them.

 

My husband does laundry though I often put away. Note: I would not be putting clothes in the toddler's room anymore even if his clothing was located in a basket on the washer from that point forward or something.

 

There are all kinds of wonderful toddler proof locks and very tall gates (Kidco are the ones we had and they make some that will go in any configuration) out there. I used them and it was well worth the cost. I would be tempted to clean out his room (putting his clothes in another bedroom), put some toys that are safe for him, and put up a gate he can't scale if possible or find another way to have a place for him to be without destruction when needed. I like the idea of finding a way to make an older children bedroom or a gated space off limits to the toddler for those special projects and toys.

 

I've been interrupted 10 times and I've forgotten where I was headed. I know none of this is likely helpful but from my experiences with feeling hopelessly overwhelmed and on the edge getting a handle on at least one of those areas will help you so much. It will help mentally as much as it does physically. And, again, it would be meals I'd try to get a handle on. I really think you can (speaking from experience). Yes, you'll very likely still spend much more time cooking than the average person cooking without multiple allergies but you can make it less stressful and as manageable as possible for yourself.

 

Oh, I do like the idea of having a mother's helper or even doing preschool a few days a week for a break. It might be nice for the toddler as well as everyone else. :grouphug:

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I have done everything with my 2YO, he has strict rules and definitely knows "no" he chooses over and over again not to listen. I never had problems like this with my other 2. I have tried the time outs, the positive reinforcement, the discipline, spankings, not spanking.....you name it. Hes a difficult kid. He sounds exaclty like the OP's and its extremely hard to deal with.

 

this is my dd. I feel like we're making progress in the past few weeks but she's almost 8 now. I made it clear that I'm tired of it all and if she can't behave, she can't have privileges and will be going to bed early. VERY early. She's done well but today......... she's in bed. If I give her a CENTIMETER she takes 1 million miles. It's ridiculous.

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I welled up reading your post. Sweetie, I am truly sorry that you have all this right now - it is tough. :grouphug: I remember DS5 being like your 2yo - so utterly destructive that I thought I was going to go round the bend. I had a newborn at the time as well.

 

I don't have any great ideas, all I can say is that the best thing I did for myself was to just cut out anything extra, over and above minimum housework and minimum schoolwork. No lessons, classes, homeschool groups, other work, outside commitments. I "turtled" - pulled my horns right in and took one day at a time. Try to keep in mind that it will pass. Your 2yo will not be 2 forever - one day he will be a wonderful, inquisitive, loving little lad.

 

And actually - reading over your posts again - I think you are doing so well! Maybe you can't see the wood from the trees but you are already managing to do so much! Be proud of that! :grouphug:

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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My 2yo is an absolute nightmare. I wouldn't wish this child on my worst enemy. Non-stop destruction, mischief, messes everywhere, temper tantrums, screaming fits, defiance, climbing any and all furniture. Oh man, the list goes on. This kid is picky about what to wear- temper tantrum if I don't put on exactly the right thing (which isn't always clean). It takes 30min just to get this one child out of the house. This child destroys everything.

 

:(

 

My dd was like this. I just want to share my experience on the outside chance that this could be your dc's problem, too...

My dd was into everything, threw things, made messes, etc. She wasn't interested at all in playing with toys , looking at board books, scribbling, etc.

 

She didn't do very well with the picture eye chart at the pediatrician's office when she was a preschooler. They were giving her a pass, assuming that it was more of a language problem naming the pictures than a vision problem but I didn't believe it and took her to an eye doctor. It turned out that she was very farsighted! Her behavior changed a lot after she got her glasses...the poor kid couldn't see her toys and books well enough to use them properly! Needless to say, she loved getting her glasses!

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I would get a playpen or toddler corral and let the 4 and 5 year olds use it to play in. They can keep their stuff safe from the 2 year old, and they can climb in and out but 2 yo can't get in.

 

Echoing what someone else mentioned, can you send the 2 yo to preschool part of the week? It would give you and everyone a breather. Alternatively, hire someone - a junior high or high school kid to come over and entertain 2 yo a couple of afternoons a week.

 

I would keep meals as simple as possible. We don't have allergies to deal with, but we have religious restrictions. We tend to eat very simple meals for the most part - pasta with sauce - maybe a couple of different options for people to choose from; salad - let people choose whether they want to add cooked meat/shrimp/beans/cheese/croutons/olives, etc. Baked potatoes - again with choice of toppings. Vegetable soup with choice of adding ham/sausage to it. Burritos or tostadas - same deal.

 

I don't know if you're doing any school work with the 4 & 5 yos - but I wouldn't do any, unless it's having them listen in w/9 yo.

 

Things will get better, truly. Let us help you however we can, and if you need to get physical help, then do it. I had a mother's helper for a while after my 2nd ds was born, and it was great for all of us. :grouphug:

 

Hmmm. I dunno. This little guy will scale things to the point of endangering himself. :glare: I think he'd scale any sort of playpen or corral wall. I'd hate to end up with a goose-egg that then needed medical attention on top of it all. :lol:

 

We do simple meals too but my kids have big appetites. They're simple, but large quantity meals. :tongue_smilie: I do try giving them less but then they're always hungry. Not sure what the solution is here. (yes, I've had them tested- and even treated after negative test- for worms)

 

I like the idea of a mother's helper but I don't even know how I'd go about finding one. I'll have to look into that when I'm less worn out. Right now it just seems like one more thing on the list of things to do. :tongue_smilie:

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My dd was like this. I just want to share my experience on the outside chance that this could be your dc's problem, too...

My dd was into everything, threw things, made messes, etc. She wasn't interested at all in playing with toys , looking at board books, scribbling, etc.

 

She didn't do very well with the picture eye chart at the pediatrician's office when she was a preschooler. They were giving her a pass, assuming that it was more of a language problem naming the pictures than a vision problem but I didn't believe it and took her to an eye doctor. It turned out that she was very farsighted! Her behavior changed a lot after she got her glasses...the poor kid couldn't see her toys and books well enough to use them properly! Needless to say, she loved getting her glasses!

 

I do appreciate the thought, but I don't think this is his issue. :) He already knows most letter sounds and he does sit and read books and colors. He's very imaginative as well and plays well with his toys- when he wants to. :rolleyes: It's just that he's into absolutely everything in between these so very fleeting moments of peace.

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HUGS!!

 

And I feel your pain. Although we aren't that bad here...just two kids, so nothing compared to what you are going through.

 

some things that jumped out, to help a bit...

People need to learn to eat left overs. Lunch and dinner can be the same meal, just reheated.

Look into Sensory Processing Disorder for the 2 year old. Some of the things you mentioned raised red flags.

Take all the clothes out of the 2 year old's room. Put some throw blankets and pillow cases and scarves in there, in a basket, to play with, that can just be chucked back in the basket if you want it cleaned up. Keep her clothes somewhere she can't get to them.

Give the 2 year old multiple baths every day. Keeps them contained and helps a ton with sensory issues. My son got 3 baths a day at that age...only thing that kept me sane.

Stop formal math for the older one for at least a week or two, while you work on your sanity. Then start fresh.

I hope that helps a bit....

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Do your kids have a bedroom separate from the 2 yr old? Their bedroom can be off limits to the toddler. We do this. My older boys keep all their toys that they don't want destroyed or lost by our 2 yr old, in their room. If you have too you can lock the door.

 

It's just so much easier to move things out of reach from a 2 yr old than to deal with the constant mess and destruction.

 

You know your 2 yr old is a little tornado so keep things away from him. If the older kids don't put their things away and it is lost by the toddler, you don't have to feel guilty.

 

I also have kids with food intolerances. However, none are life threatening. So, my middle ds gets eggs every now and then even though he's sensitive to egg and egg white. Both older boys are not supposed to have tomatoes, but they still get tomato pasta sauce on occasion. My oldest shouldn't have wheat but if I make regular biscuits for dinner, he'll eat one. We've found that as long as they are not eating a lot of the forbidden foods with high frequency, they can tolerate some here and there.

 

I've spoken with my friends who deal with food intolerances as well. They all have said the same. Perhaps you can do this too.

 

I've tried this too, but we've had some really devastating results. :( Cheating is not an option. :(

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:grouphug: That sounds really really hard.

 

When my older son was 2, he was exhausting, the way you describe your 2yo. And he was my only child at that point *and* I wasn't homeschooling. I put him in daycare 3 mornings a week (and eventually increased it to 5) and it saved my sanity.

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For starters, I have kids with serious food intolerances/allergies. I have to cook 3 meals per day from scratch. There's not one single meal that I can make that everyone in the family can eat... I consider it lucky if I only have to cook two meals for each meal. This works out to at least 6 different meals, cooked from scratch, every single day.

 

:grouphug: I have one idea. Just because food is made from scratch does not mean it has to be made fresh from scratch. I do 90% of my cooking on one day, clean up the kitchen and then reheat and throw together a salad on the other days. By Sunday night I have containers of pasta (spinach egg noodles, tortalini, and WW elbows), a platter of mac and cheese, brown rice, another starch like cooked kashi, steamed veggies of 2 or three varieties, HB eggs, 2 soups, a veggie stir fry, sliced bell peppers, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, washed and ready to be cut carrots and celery, a dip, pasta sauce, homemade frozen waffles....you get the message. I assemble and re-heat most of the week.

 

Put dog on sched and discipline for whining, reward heavily for not whining (petting etc).

 

Those are my little ideas. The family stomach and dog have trained you. Time to reverse the tables. HTH. :grouphug:

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:grouphug::grouphug: I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. I don't know if this will work for you, but when mine were really young I had baby gates - all. over. the. house. :) It was gate city, but it saved my sanity, kept older child's projects safe, kept pets out of the kitchen etc. I think I had every kind of gate known to man and I loved them all. :D

 

Another possibility, do you know any teens in the neighborhood that could do some mommy-helper hours for you. I had a wonderful teen next door that helped me with both youngers when they were babies. She was another sanity saver and worked only for food and fun with our family. She was a great kid. I always see teens that are looking for babysitting/moms helper jobs on the YMCA community board but maybe you have one in your neighborhood? Just be sure they are helpful and that you aren't adding another child to deal with kwim. Hope things get better for you soon. :grouphug:

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:grouphug:

I bought two superyards (see http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266978

at a garage sale and it worked wonders at containing my youngest. Yes, he resisted at first, but eventually he accepted it. I put it on foam mats and put sensory activities in there with him (think rice tubs with spoons, etc).

 

I also suggest scheduling the older kids to play with the 2 year old outside in half hour segments while you are teaching or preparing meals. The two year old will be happier. Yes, even in cold weather.

 

Schedule your older kids to help with a younger child or with a chore. Really, a schedule makes a huge difference.

 

Lastly, automate as many meals as possible. Breakfast at our house is always oatmeal topped with a raw fruit and milk. My eight year old takes care of this now. Lunch is always several small portions of raw fruit, raw veggies and a scoop of peanut butter, nuts, string cheese, etc. My five year old delivers the plates and pours the milk. I cut up all the veggies into sticks at the beginning of the week and this takes no time at all.

 

So really, I'm only making dinner. I love Fix, Freeze, Fix because you prepare a bunch of meals with the raw form of the meat and freeze it. Then you pull it out, bake it and it doesn't taste like re-heated food.

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I'm so sorry. I think you will find that just by getting this all out, vented into cyber world you will start to feel better.

 

We deal with major food allergies here too. My son can not do wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, lentils/beans, seeds, nuts, chicpea, pea and dog. I think that is it? I might be missing a few.

 

My suggestions for the allergies is this. Take a few moments, when you can and read everything you can at enzymestuff.com. Especially considering that your children have intolerance's and not IgE related allergies you will probably see a drastic improvement in tolerated foods. Also, if you haven't all ready get them all on a high quality probiotic.

 

Even with my sons allergies when he was nursing he stopped being able to nurse. He'd get hives and have a major reaction anytime he nursed off me. Even if I wasn't eating any of his known foods. I had to put him on an amino acid based formula for a few months because he couldn't seem to tolerate any food proteins of any kind. This kid was reacting to things like applesauce, carrots, cantelope, everything! I took enzymes for 2 weeks (at this time he'd been on the formula for 6 weeks) and decided to try him on nursing. He didn't react at all. I got him off the formula (which he wasn't tolerating that great either) and exclusively back on breastfeeding. This was when he was 11 months old. I was able to start eating all of the foods he was allergic to and he no longer reacted at all. No more hives, anaphylactic episodes, no digestive issues, poo issues, skin issues, nothing. I continued nursing him until he was just over 2 eating any type of food I wanted.

 

My plan now that he is a little over 2 is to start working directly on his own system with the enzymes. People see amazing differences with them and are able to begin eating foods they could previously not tolerate. The problem with allergies from my experience is that they feed off of each other. Allergies cause inflammation in the body and anytime you have inflammation your body is more reactive in general. My son will start reacting to foods he normally can eat just fine if he's been ill with a fever. If you can get the inflammation under control people tend to become less reactive. My guess is that if you get them on enzymes for a few months and slowly try one new food at a time they will be able to add back in many foods that they could not tolerate previously.

 

BTW, I didn't have to stay on the enzymes. After only 3 weeks of use we never needed them again.

 

In regards to some of the other things you mentioned. Big hugs. My 2 year old was/is so similar. He is mellowing out a lot but my goodness there were days when I wanted to send him back. He has been soooooo challenging to parent with the allergies and combined personality traits plus just being a destructive boy.

 

Trust that it will pass. Pray for him. Pray for you. Try to love him. Here is what has sometimes helped me. I have an ergo carrier, they are a backpack style carrier that you can use on the front or back. I wore him for awhile when I could to keep him out of trouble and give him more mommy time which helped. This isn't always practical and it won't magically change him but if you are not getting lovey time with him try to work it in. Ironically this little trouble maker has a very big need for physical contact with me. Bath's are also helpful (they keep him away from others). If you have anywhere in the house where it is manageable make a no-fly zone for your toddler. I'm guessing your son can climb over baby gates like mine but allow a room in the house where he is not allowed (until he is out of destruction mode) and let the other kids stash their toys or other objects that he'd destroy in there. Add a deadbolt to the door or a handle that locks and let them play alone in peace. It isn't ideal and I wouldn't normally suggest separating family like that but your older kids deserve to have their belongings respected and your 2 year old needs a reality check that his behavior will determine what privileges he will receive.

 

I found that within 4 months or so my previous nightmare of a toddler is now much much much better.

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My dh has been sick or unavailable for days so it's all been me and I'm at my wits end.

 

Is dh usually more available? What is he able to do to pitch in? I know that he is running (starting up?) a business, which is stressful and time-consuming, but what you are doing - keeping house, running a virtual restaurant, raising four children, homeschooling, AND helping with the business is like having at least 3 full-time jobs! You are right, you cannot do it all alone. Can you give dh a list of things and say, "I need help. Which of these things can you do?" You guys are in this together, and if there is no family to help, dh needs to help (although maybe he is already.)

 

Otherwise, I agree with the good suggestions from others to simplify the meal-making, use locks, and find babysitters if possible. If you collapse, then what is your family going to do? :grouphug: Hang in there!

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There are consequences. I do time out, we do punish for throwing things/breaking things. I've never had one so persistent before. It's not like I don't try my darndest to discipline this kid. :(

 

I know you don't mean to sound harsh. I do try with this one. This kid is just so darn stubborn. :glare:

Would a case of duct tape help?:D

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Try closing your eyes, stretching your arms out so you aren't curled up in an insecure ball, and telling yourself that no matter what, you are in control of this situation. You call the shots, you make the decisions, and you can get things back into some bit of order.

 

I am really guessing the 2 year old senses your stress with the cooking and also feels a bit left out during school time. Between drawing the line with what you will allow and not allow as acceptable behavior and the stress level from the other things declining, he behavior should improve. Does he get any positive attention from you during the day? Maybe at some point during the day, each of the older kids can go to a designated spot and be instructed to read a book while you spend 20 solid minutes playing with your youngest.

 

Just this last month, we entered the world of living with a severe (anapahylaxis) peanut allergy. It is so stressful and I can only imagine trying to work with multiple allergies. BUT, like others have said, there are lots of dishes you can make ahead of time that everyone will be able to eat.

 

This might not be what you had always envisioned, but this is where you are now, and while it might be hard to see sometimes, it is a blessing! You can grab this sucker by the horns and drive it in the right direction.

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I don't think I can go on and I don't know what to do. There's too much on my plate.

 

For starters, I have kids with serious food intolerances/allergies. I have to cook 3 meals per day from scratch. There's not one single meal that I can make that everyone in the family can eat... I consider it lucky if I only have to cook two meals for each meal. This works out to at least 6 different meals, cooked from scratch, every single day. It's exhausting and time consuming to come up with ideas and have the time to cook so much from scratch. I always have all four burners going and meal time is just so chaotic and stressful for me. :(

 

My oldest dd struggles with math in ways I can't wrap my head around. I can't figure out what's going on and have no clue how to "fix" it. Not to mention that with constant distractions from the kids who are not school ate (fighting, diaper changes, etc) we get more and more behind each day in school and the stress of that is really getting to me.

 

My 2yo is an absolute nightmare. I wouldn't wish this child on my worst enemy. Non-stop destruction, mischief, messes everywhere, temper tantrums, screaming fits, defiance, climbing any and all furniture. Oh man, the list goes on. This kid is picky about what to wear- temper tantrum if I don't put on exactly the right thing (which isn't always clean). It takes 30min just to get this one child out of the house. This child destroys everything.

 

I bought my kids the Playmobil Nativity set. The older ones love it. I put it in a decent spot but within a day the 2yo has lost all but 2 pieces. I may as well have just burned my money. The older kids are devastated. They spent hours playing with it yesterday. :( I'm so sad for them.

 

I wanted to have my preschooler more engaged in things so I bought him some nice lego sets. He was so thrilled to have that time with mommy to do legos and I was amazed how easily he can put things together. He really cherished his sets, kept them out of the way (they were just little cars/airplanes) but within 2 days all were destroyed and all over the house by the 2yo. Again, wasted money. Tears from my preschooler and a mommy who just feels so lousy about it all.

 

Every day is the same. I must cook 6 meals, keep the house clean, struggle to get my dd through math, do all the school subjects, keep the preschooler engaged, and contain the 2yo, who, before I even wake up every. single. day. has taken every last piece of clothing out of the closet and scattered them all over the floor. The room looks like a sty every single day. I can't deal with that but I must.

 

Then there's the cat who's on the table/in the pantry/read: everywhere looking for food all the time. I can spray water, do whatever, the only solution is any and all dishes and food must be put away immediately after eating and be set out immediately upon eating. Meals are such a nightmare.

 

My dog is in and out all day. Whines to go out, whines when outside. The weather has been yuck so muddy feet must be washed every time or I must wash the floors.

 

And the older kids lately, I don't know what's gotten into them but they squabble something fierce. Or they can't agree on what to do so one is doing this craft and the other is doing that craft and before we know it there's paint and glitter and this and that and paper everywhere. :( They do help clean up but the bulk of it is always me. And through it all the 2yo is screaming and I mean SCREAMING about this or that. It's just too much for me.

 

My dh has been sick or unavailable for days so it's all been me and I'm at my wits end.

 

I can't do this anymore. I just don't know how. :(

 

:grouphug:

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Sorry you are going through this. My son has lots of food allergies and my daughter has a dairy intolerance. One thing I did when my son was little was to consult with a nutritionist. She helped me come up with ideas for meals and snacks. It was nice to have someone else to bounce ideas of and it wasn't very expensive.

 

We are avoiding gluten, dairy, nuts, fish and shellfish, which is a much shorter list than what you have, but I basically grill (even in the winter) for dinner most nights and often for lunch. We have meat, a starch (rice or potatoes) and a vegetable. Lunch is actually often leftovers from the night before. One of the great things about grilling is that there are no pots and pans to clean up. I also have a rice cooker (with a teflon coating so it cleans up in 2 seconds flat) that I use all the time. Yes, it gets boring at times, but it is the only way I can keep my sanity. I don't think I have half as many things on my plate as you do, but I am still overwhelmed and don't want to spend hours cooking anymore like I used to.

 

When my son was real little, I often made a separate meal for my son, but now I make one meal for everyone whether they like it or not. I just got to the point where I could not cook multiple meals any more.

 

Lisa

 

ETA: I looked back at your food allergy list and see that you can't do potatoes or rice. That's where the nutritionist would be helpful. Maybe there is another simple carb you could use to balance out your meals.

Edited by LisaTheresa
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Okay, at the risk of being a huge Tomato Target, I have to say what no one else has said yet.

 

Find a new home for your pets. The energy, time and money they are costing you may be better invested in wrangling your two year old.

 

I'm not saying the animals aren't important to you. I'm saying that when a person is hauling the load you are, it's time to toss a few barrels overboard. Unless your dh is willing and able to pitch in, something's got to give.

 

Use the pet budget to find a two or three morning a week program for your little kid. Use that time to do math with your olders, and other projects the little guy can't be in on. I also agree with what many have already said about restricting his access to certain areas.

 

Go to a four day school week for your olders and use day five for cooking and cleaning catch-up.

 

That's my two cents.

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Okay, at the risk of being a huge Tomato Target, I have to say what no one else has said yet.

 

Find a new home for your pets. The energy, time and money they are costing you may be better invested in wrangling your two year old.

 

I'm not saying the animals aren't important to you. I'm saying that when a person is hauling the load you are, it's time to toss a few barrels overboard. Unless your dh is willing and able to pitch in, something's got to give.

 

Use the pet budget to find a two or three morning a week program for your little kid. Use that time to do math with your olders, and other projects the little guy can't be in on. I also agree with what many have already said about restricting his access to certain areas.

 

Go to a four day school week for your olders and use day five for cooking and cleaning catch-up.

 

That's my two cents.

 

 

I've thought about getting rid of the pets- I've talked about it with the kids and dh. While they understand *why* I want to, the kids would be devastated. Truly, honestly, full-blown devastated :(. It makes me sad that it would be my fault so I can't bear to force the issue. The guilt eats at me. :(

 

I do currently have a 4 day school week and use the 5th day for major cleaning and catch up (not the cooking- that's a good idea and I'll have to really think on how to do this) but some weeks our 4 days are not enough to get what we need to get done so work spills over to the 5th day.

 

I like the idea of putting the little guy in some sort of program... I just need to make sure that it's something that easy to get to because trying to get him out of the house is a whole 'nother ordeal. :svengo: And yes, it's absolutely an ordeal- even with lots of help from my older kids. The 2yo is unlike any child I've ever met. :001_huh: He's incredibly smart, very intense, high energy, has an amazing understanding of things, is very athletically gifted and is incredibly independent, stubborn and opinionated. :001_huh: It makes for quite the little package. :glare:

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I wanted to thank everyone for the support. I had a tremendous cry this afternoon and I think I feel a bit better now. Tomorrow is another day... at this point I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not :001_huh: but all I can do is make the most of it.

 

I really appreciate being able to come here and ask for advice and vent and not have the first words be: put the older kids in PS. :tongue_smilie: I *know* that's always an option & I'm not against PS, but I truly don't think PS for them is the solution at this point... Sure, it *could* make life easier, but I don't know about happier or more peaceful in the long run. :confused:

 

I think part of my problem is I try to do too much & stretch myself too thin. I know this is an area I need to spend some time reassessing and see where I can cut some stuff out.

 

Thanks all. :grouphug: It's nice to finally stop crying and leave my little corner. :tongue_smilie:

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Your 2yo sounds like he's going to be incredibly fun, once he gets a little older. Super-bright, super-energetic kids are such a handful when they're little, but things really will get better over time.

 

It sounds like, if you're not giving him your constant attention, he gets bored and his curiosity gets the best of him, so he gets into everything. Maybe you could get one of those little leashes like people use to wrangle their kids at the mall...

 

I wish I had more advice for you, but all I can really send you are :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: and sympathy.

 

Cat

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I can't think of any extra advice, I just wanted to send you a cyber hug :grouphug: and tell you that I completely understand. I think the crate idea is a good temporary remedy for the dog, not long term, but could help for a little while.

I have been on complete overload lately, just about on a hair trigger. I feel like am dangerously close to a meltdown and nearly alone in it. So I am here with ya. I wish we were close, we could trade off and give each other a much needed break.

((hugs))

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Nope. No help. No family for hundreds of miles. Friends are pretty busy with their own broods. Dh is :willy_nilly: with work and his business (that I help him out with too).

 

I thought about making meals in advance but not everything freezes well. We have so many food intolerances. Between all of us there's gluten, soy, rice, corn, chicken, pork, bananas, apples, strawberries, pineapple, nuts, dairy, canned tomatoes, eggs... I'm sure there's more but I'm not thinking straight right now. :001_huh:

 

I try to make smoothies so the kids can have fresh fruit/veggies each day but even then, I have to make at least 2 different smoothies and sort through frozen fruit to make sure that so-and-so doesn't have this and the other doesn't have that. :willy_nilly:

 

 

I have not read all the replies but wanted to give you hope. I have three children, all with the exact same list of allergens (plus a few more) and spent 2 years cooking 9 meals a day. During that time, DH was overseas probably 1/2 the time and we have no family/friends nearby to help. If he WAS home, I wouldn't cook for him b/c he's picky for no reason. I was also breastfeeding one child and dealing with autism in all of them.

 

I lived... barely. School looked terrible. The house wasn't as clean as I'd like. Kids getting fed was my top priority (still is some days but there's less allergies now). Hold on to your sanity. Know this is a stage not the rest of your life. Go as school light as you can stand. Get a cage for that cat. ;) Use baby gates to keep rambunctious 2 year old in one area while you're trying to collect your marbles. Cook large batches of what is safe and feed it to everyone all day. By that I mean if kid #1 can have beans and rice... That's breakfast lunch and dinner. Kid #2 can have quinoa and broccoli? Breakfast lunch and dinner. I know it's not ideal but you have to take drastic measures when dealing with this level of food needs.

 

That's all the advice I have for now. Just know you will get through this stage. Take as much off yourself as you can and concentrate on the basics. Things will get easier. Now I can cook 6 meals (plus 2 snacks) a day without falling apart. :D It gets easier.

 

:grouphug:

 

ETA: After posting I read all the other replies and realized I repeated almost everything everyone else said so just have a :grouphug: and know that it will get better. :)

Edited by Wyndie
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Just wanted to say that for some, believe it or not, the animals, although on paper seem like a huge stressor, are also a stress relief. As much as it drives me CRAZY to vacuum constantly, deal with them wanting in and out, deal with food and pills and what not......every so often they do something so cute or sweet it makes up for all the rest. They keep me sane and remind me who I was before I was a mom.

 

Plus, as someone that works in the animal field, I personally am really tired of people calling saying they have to get rid of their animals because they had kids and it's too much. Really? When you got the animals it never occured to you that you might have kids? Now it's my problem why??? Sigh....it's just impossible to place all those animals. Hiring a trainer would be more responsible.

 

Okay, at the risk of being a huge Tomato Target, I have to say what no one else has said yet.

 

Find a new home for your pets. The energy, time and money they are costing you may be better invested in wrangling your two year old.

 

I'm not saying the animals aren't important to you. I'm saying that when a person is hauling the load you are, it's time to toss a few barrels overboard. Unless your dh is willing and able to pitch in, something's got to give.

 

Use the pet budget to find a two or three morning a week program for your little kid. Use that time to do math with your olders, and other projects the little guy can't be in on. I also agree with what many have already said about restricting his access to certain areas.

 

Go to a four day school week for your olders and use day five for cooking and cleaning catch-up.

 

That's my two cents.

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I already mentioned preschool or mother's morning out as an option. I want to elaborate just a bit. I'm not sure what you are feeling along with your overwhelmedness (is that a word?) but don't add failure as a mother into the mix if you op to send him to preschool. You are a good mom who is overwhelmed.

 

Also let me suggest that if you do an away option for a couple days to every morning don't put him in an academic school. Put him somewhere he can play, jump, run and be outside often.

 

:iagree:

 

I did this with my DS when he was 2. We could only afford two half days a week, but oh my! What a difference those 6 hours a week made.

 

I also agree with a crate for the animals. WRT safety locks and gates; my house was like Fort Knox when DS was a toddler.

 

This phase will pass. :grouphug: My prayers are with you.

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OK--just went back and read the additional info. you posted about your 2-yr. old and it is very familiar. Mothering a kid that intense is impossible to understand without living it. I very strongly encourage you to check out the links above, and also go here for lots of support and understanding: http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary.html

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I did not read all the replies.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

Could your 2-year-old have sensory issues? Yours sounds a LOT like dd3 at that age, and she was in therapy for sensory issues for about a year and a half and is a new kid. I like her now :blush5: instead of dreading her every waking hour. Didn't get enough sensory input into her brain so she would climb/jump/ran/smash/scream/eat metal etc all day long. :grouphug::grouphug: Now she's just "spirited," which is totally manageable.

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First off, I can't even imagine. Doing school and laundry on it's own exhausts me, let alone all that. :grouphug:

 

I hope this doesn't come acrros harsh, I'm trying to offer a helpful suggestion and words seem to be coming out wrong today. This is just one small part, but can I ask where you kids are in this? You said that they understand WHY you want to get rid of the animals, but that they would be devastated. Is there any reason they can't be the ones to bear the burden, then? They really want to keep the cat that gets into the dishes? Fantastic! The dishwasher is right over there. They desperately love the dog who is constantly whining? Love like that is great, especially when it gets you up off your chair and opening the door. The kids want to keep the animals, the kids get to learn what that means.

 

Aside from that, not to be too straightforward, but you say they'd be devastated if the animals left. But how will they be if Mommy has a breakdown? Would that not be worse for them?

 

You are taking too much of this on yourself. Your children will be living with these allergies for thie whole lives, it would be beneficial for them to learn how to make meals that work for them. Teach them the recipes and have them do it. They can do part of the housework, part of the cooking, and ALL of the animal care. This isn't pawning your work off on them, it's teaching them to look after themselves and others.

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First off, I can't even imagine. Doing school and laundry on it's own exhausts me, let alone all that. :grouphug:

 

I hope this doesn't come acrros harsh, I'm trying to offer a helpful suggestion and words seem to be coming out wrong today. This is just one small part, but can I ask where you kids are in this? You said that they understand WHY you want to get rid of the animals, but that they would be devastated. Is there any reason they can't be the ones to bear the burden, then? They really want to keep the cat that gets into the dishes? Fantastic! The dishwasher is right over there. They desperately love the dog who is constantly whining? Love like that is great, especially when it gets you up off your chair and opening the door. The kids want to keep the animals, the kids get to learn what that means.

 

Aside from that, not to be too straightforward, but you say they'd be devastated if the animals left. But how will they be if Mommy has a breakdown? Would that not be worse for them?

 

You are taking too much of this on yourself. Your children will be living with these allergies for thie whole lives, it would be beneficial for them to learn how to make meals that work for them. Teach them the recipes and have them do it. They can do part of the housework, part of the cooking, and ALL of the animal care. This isn't pawning your work off on them, it's teaching them to look after themselves and others.

 

 

The kids do do the animal care, but they're kids... and they forget sometimes :rolleyes: And the piece of bread on the plate for 30 secs unattended becomes the cat's snack, which leads to cat diarrea, which the dog likes to eat. :blink: Oh ya, my life is fun some days. :tongue_smilie::lol:

 

They do try to help with the dog paws- but when it's really wet out (read: muddy), they dry the feet, but not very well and the floor still gets muddy. I really need to be the one to do it. Sometimes I just let the dog whine and whine until dh gets home. I'm sure the dog is liking me less and less these days.

 

I've tried to teach them to cook. The older 2 learned how to do pasta and scrambled eggs. Well, now eggs are out of the diet for some of us so that was useless. The pasta they can do- one pot of ww and another of rice, but the sauce is trickier because even for me, it explodes everywhere. :glare:

 

The kids have regular chores. They're not perfect, but I don't have to nag them to get them involved. It's just so much, for some reason. The constant picking up of toys, the school stuff everywhere (they do put it away but you know how messes take 30secs to make and 30 min to clean :tongue_smilie:).

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:grouphug:

 

I'm sorry I didn't read replies, but I just wanted to suggest a super high table or a gate or a locked door -- so there is a 2 yo free space/room for legos, quiet projects, etc. Also those nativity set pieces have to be SOMEWHERE, put all the kids in charge of looking, pay them by the hour if necessary! :)

 

And maybe take a week off, hire a sitter for the 2 year old, and make freezer meals with the other kids while you listen to audio books?

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