When Your Children Flip Between Jekyll and Hyde

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………..

How your child is an angelic Jekyll for anyone other than you, but turns into a possessed Hyde the second you appear: A demonic on/off switch you have no control over, you watch as your child goes from devil to angel in the time it takes to blink. Or vice versa. It all depends on if they are leaving your presence, or rejoining you.

I am a stay at home mother, but I do not spend all day, every day with my children.

I get small, much needed breaks.

Until recently, going to workout at the gym was my only break. For two glorious hours, I burned the calories enabling me to eat chocolate later and took a hot shower.

In the past, we had some difficulties there resulting in either The Tackler or Lil Diva being temporarily banned.

Thankfully, they’ve outgrown it. I think.

We are three weeks into the preschool-like Mother’s/Parent’s Day Out program both children attend twice a week.

They both love it.

LOVE it.

But I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon lately. Their time at school seems to suck out all of the good Jekyll behavior, and leave the Hyde for me.

This is particularly noticeable with Lil Diva.

She is teething, you see. The two year molars.

Many parents are shuddering at the mere thought.

One has popped through in the last week or so. Three are left.

This means my days are tiny slices of my formerly happy girl blended with overflowing floods of whining, crankiness, and flat out screaming – my Lil Hyde Banshee in full force.

But at school? At the gym’s daycare?

She’s my Lil Angelic Diva, so distracted by the kids and toys she forgets her pain.

She doesn’t cry. At all. For four hours.

What the frak?

How do they get the crankiness to magically turn off?

Hyde Diva has been a frequent visitor lately...

I am glad for it. I’m so thankful when I ask, “How was she today?” to her teachers they scoff, “You don’t even need to ask. She’s a joy and didn’t cry a bit.” Far worse would be the dreaded, “You need to pick your child up because she’s inconsolable.”

But I wish she would save some of the happiness for me. I wish I could miraculously spend four hours without the slightest cry or whine – which doesn’t even happen on the best days.

Add in too short naps and night waking courtesy of the molars paired with the two year old “I want to do it even if it’s dangerous and I’m too young so I’m going to completely meltdown because you dared insist on either holding my hand or carrying me through the parking lot to/from the car” and I find myself dreading pick up time.

Because she has freaked out every single day we’ve left school or the gym.

Is there a teething boarding school to send a child during the really bad Hyde days?

I could really use one.

Or a formula to transfer some Jekyll back to my presence.


Does your child seem to have multiple personalities depending on where they are and who they are with?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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12 Responses to When Your Children Flip Between Jekyll and Hyde

  1. My daughter is Jekyll. My son is Hyde.

    So I can relate to this scenario, only with each kid consistently channeling one character.

    Yep. Life is good.


  2. Kristina says:

    My oldest teethed all 4 molars while we were on vacation. Yeah, that was awesome. Like entire tube of anbesol while hiking through Grand Canyon but screaming anyway awesome.

    Waitress at the trading post suggested beef jerky. As low salt and plain as possible. Worked like magic. Used it with all three kids. I tell all moms to try it.

    Good luck. This too shall pass…

    • Wow.. I wonder what the acoustics were like for a screaming baby in the canyon. Could it literally have been heard for miles?

      That being said, all four at once??? Dear lord. I hope there was alcohol for you. Or chocolate.

      I wonder if she’d even try beef jerky. I recall attempting it with my son. He took one taste and wouldn’t touch the stuff again…

  3. John says:

    Ooh, a teething boarding school would be wonderful. Because, seriously, I think I could have written this post, myself.

    My wife works at the gym’s childwatch – so I often wonder if we’ll get a temporary ban for behavior when she’s not there.

    I make sure that, the first thing that happens whenever I walk in the door is to take the kids upstairs for at least 15 minutes . . . it’s something, and I know she appreciates the quiet.

  4. TheKirCorner says:

    Yes, yes…which means I have 4 personalities to deal with daily. Thank God I work (outside the house) . I agree that school /daycare takes all the joy and leaves me with the rest, the whiny , cranky OMG what the frak is your problem children LOL.

    I agree that whiny boarding school is a good start…sign me up!

  5. Ugh. My twins take turns being Jekyll and Hyde. And so do their father and I…

    Good luck with the teeth. Double ugh.

  6. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    I’m with Leanne… My 5 yo consistently saves the Jekyll for school and I get the Hyde. Unfortunately, I don’t have teething to blame it on! Good luck.

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