NOTE: For those keeping track (yeah, I know, it’s just me!), this is the 100th post on FertileBrains. So yay to me! Hope I can get to the next century mark faster. Read on.
I have been MIA for quite some time now. Amidst sonny’s school break, tons of art and craft projects, family functions and the general holidaying mood, the urge to even look at my computer (leave alone type in a few words) had happily receded to the back burners of my blissful leisurely existence.
Now that the school break is over and the last-minute frenzy to get sonny’s homework completed is gone, I look at my semi-abandoned laptop and suddenly the need to type in a few words resurfaces.
So here I am back from my brief (?) hiatus talking about a “chaotic event” which turned my life topsy-turvy during the last week, for about 4-5 days. It’s called a “growth spurt” in children.
When sonny was an infant, growth spurts were very easy to predict thanks to tonnes of readily available information detailing the weeks when it was supposed to happen (usually) and I braced myself for those cluster nursing sessions quite well, all set with my Netflix movie marathons, comfy bed, and the steely resolve to ignore each and every housework.
But as a child grows up and becomes a unique individual, so does his growth spurts turn unique and morph into unpredictable events specific to him and him alone. There are no warnings regarding when he will be in the throes of a growth spurt or even whether there will be any distinguishable growth spurt at all.
For a while now, sonny has grown physically and skill-wise in a linear fashion without any marked growth spurts and I assumed that they were a thing of his infant past. Turns out I was wrong and they are very much a part of his life, as long as he is a growing boy, that is.
So, in case you are wondering what the tell-tale signs are that your school going kid is going through a growth spurt right now, here are a few pointers to help you out:
1. Constant Hunger:
This is, of course, the most obvious sign of a growth spurt. Even kids like sonny who run away at the mention of the word “food”, suddenly find themselves in the clutches of severe hunger pangs. “I am hungry. I want to eat something.” becomes their mantra day in and day out.
They will drag you to the kitchen and demand that you cook their preferred dishes. Or will even help themselves out of the fridge and pantry while you stare at them in utter disbelief with your jaws dropping to the floor.
And you will definitely need one or more grocery runs in the middle of the week because suddenly you will run out of several food items all at once!
2. Decrease In Picky Eating Behavior:
Constant craving also means that suddenly your picky eater will not be so picky anymore. He will be quite open to trying new things with gusto, even the things that he found inedible (aka “yucky” “pheweye” “stinky” in sonny’s lingo) in the past.
For example, eating four bananas in a day (in addition to usual meals, snacks and more) has to be some kind of a Guinness Book equivalent record in my home considering sonny is not at all fond of them (or for that matter any fruit which is not in juice or milkshake form)!
3. Increase in Whine Factor:
A growth spurt also brings in an increase in the whine factor. Suddenly, you will start encountering more meltdowns, irritability, and mood swings in your child than usual. The smallest of things will trigger the hulk in him and you will find yourself walking a tightrope around your child, fearing the next sudden outburst at the flimsiest of excuses. Can’t he open his water bottle? He will cry his lungs out. You decide to help him out and open it for him? He will cry his lungs out….well you get the picture, don’t you?
4. Potty Training Regression:
If there is one thing that alerted me to sonny’s growth spurt, it has to be a pee accident that happened last week while he was fast asleep (Although, at that time, I assumed he was coming down with some virus!).
Sonny has been potty trained for a really long time now, so I cannot even remember the last time he had an accident. And here he was, with no change whatsoever in his way of living (that could explain the regression), sleeping soundly on a very wet pee-soaked bed. And when I woke him up from his deep sleep, he was so shocked and said, “I am sorry I made a mess on the bed” so many times that I felt terribly bad to have woken him up!
So yeah, growth spurts have a way of making kids regress in their potty habits (Thankfully, the good thing is that for kids sonny’s age, it’s mostly confined to pee accidents).
5. Need For Extra Sleep:
If I have to pick two major highlights from last week, they have to be sonny’s marathon eating sessions and his equally marathon sleeping sessions. First, he will eat like crazy, then whine for a little while and fall asleep. And he will sleep like a log for hours.
Sonny hasn’t been napping in the afternoon for quite some time now and here he was falling asleep long before I could even clean up the table after a meal! So yeah, the second major tell-tale sign of a growth spurt is the need for oodles of extra sleep.
6. Schedule Troubles:
You guessed it. With food and sleep being the only two things on your child’s mind, all other activities will go for a toss. Suddenly, you will find your house in utter chaos because you will have no idea what to expect next. There will be no set time when your child will eat when he will take a bath, when he will play and so on. The only way you can prepare for the chaos is to ensure you have stocked up on ready to eat (and reasonably healthy) food items or have done the prep work for dishes that will take you ten minutes or less to cook once your child is hungry and demands to be fed. Rest, leave it to your child to lead you to what he needs, because no matter how good you are at planning, you cannot chalk this one out.
7. Sudden End To The Chaos:
A growth spurt will end as suddenly as it began. After the child had eaten and slept like crazy for a few days, suddenly he will be back to his normal routine as if the past few days did not even exist. And you will end up with a whole extra month’s supply of perishables which you assumed your child will finish off in fifteen days!
And you will be left scratching your head and wondering “What the hell was that about?” till you realize his clothes are suddenly a tad bit smaller and nothing quite fits anymore.
So there you have it, some signs of a growth spurt in a school going child. Did I miss any? What signs did your child exhibit during his/her last growth spurt? Don’t forget to share!