Lucie has expressed her emotions loudly and with gusto almost since birth. As an infant, she had colic. She also cried every time her father picked her up, and only settled down when given back to me. Luckily for us, she outgrew both behaviors.
Around the time she started crawling and sitting up, if she didn't get her way, she'd throw herself on the ground, roll over on her back, then scream and cry. I'd stand over her, smile and ask, "Are you done yet?" She'd smile back, knowing I was in on the joke. Still, she got her message across.
The breath-holding spells were the worst. The episodes, about a half-dozen in all, usually occurred when she was very tired and had hurt herself.
The scariest one was when Lucie and her brother Nathan where playing downstairs while I worked upstairs. I heard Lucie cry then Nathan saying, "Lucie, breathe now, breathe!" She had fallen and bumped her head on the tile hearth in front of the fireplace.
I rushed downstairs, and found Lucie with her head in Nathan's lap. I picked her up, but she was limp and wasn't breathing. I placed her on the floor, rocked her chest with my hand, and said her name loudly. She started to breathe, cried weakly, and then went limp again.
I was seconds away from calling 911. After rubbing her chest vigorously, she seemed to wake up but was blue around her lips. I made sure she was breathing and her heart was beating. After trying to rouse her a few more times, I realized she was in a deep sleep. I took her upstairs, put her in her crib and checked on her every so often until she woke up.
When things settled down, I did a Google search and found that pallid (turning pale) breath-holding spells are not uncommon. According to current pediatric research, four to five percent of children have them. I also talked to one of her pediatricians, who said to make sure she's safe during the spells but not to make a big deal out of them. Otherwise, they could become a learned attention-getting behavior. She's only had one major and a few minor spells since then.
I just wonder: why don't they make drama queen T-shirts in toddler sizes?