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Does it ever feel like your toddler has multiple personalities, like, say, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde? One day, my daughter is offering to help me set the table for dinner. The next day, she’s screaming bloody murder and throwing her plate across the room because I dared to cut her waffle into pieces that were “too small!”

While most toddlers resemble psychiatric patients from time to time, I’m pretty sure age 3 is too young to worry about a bipolar diagnosis. So what’s with the erratic mood swings and unpredictable behavior? Some of it is just normal toddler stuff, of course. But why are some days good and some days so very bad?

My husband and I have spent months pondering this phenomenon, often blaming ourselves for our kid’s nutty antics. “Maybe I didn’t give her enough advance warning that we’d be leaving the park,” I’d lament. Or “I wonder if she’s upset that I’ve been working more lately.”

Then, finally, we figured it out. The answer was as simple as Z.Z.Z.

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