For the past few weeks the little man and I have been teetering on the brink of my greatest nightmare, the thing that keeps me up at night and sends chills down my spine whenever I envision it. Yes, I am talking about the dreaded temper tantrum. Now, this is not to to be confused with general fussiness or irritability (I mean we've been dealing with that since the day the little guy left the womb.) Nor is it to be confused with short bursts of anger, sadness, or demand for attention or and object of his affection. No, this is the full on meltdown. The thing that you see other people's kids having. You know the scene. The one where the parents are standing on the street corner trying to get their little one into a stroller, while the little one does nothing but scream, hit, kick, bite. The one where a precious child all of a sudden starts to resemble something from The Exorcist. Yeah, now you get the picture (if you don't just type temper tantrum into Google Images and your ovaries will immediately shrivel up and disappear.)
I'm sure to those of you out there who have kids, kids bigger than mine, you have seen this many times and you are probably laughing at me right now. I'm sure you have seen more than your fair of these episodes and as I have recently learned, yes this too shall pass. I imagine if asked in a few years I would say, oh that wasn't that bad. Or like everything else in parenting, the anticipation is worse than the actual event. Yep, I know the drill. All I can say is 1) who was that kid? 2) How long is this going to last? 3) Is it to much to ask that this only happens when Daddy is around?
Back to the incident in question. Last Thursday was just one of those days. The little man woke up early and in a foul mood. Nothing went our way and by the time we were in play group he was pissed and I was stressed. We went to put his cars in the diaper bag (which are not allowed on the gymboree floor) and the little man refused. There was begging, pleading, bargaining, hiding, etc... still the little man would not stop crying without those dang cars. Fine I said, and we left. Once we got to the car he decided he wanted to go back. I really like playgroup and since it is prepaid we went back. Things went a little smother and we made it through the hour. We then needed a quick trip upstairs to get some teething gel. Not only did the LM whine and cry the entire time, but when I was applying said teething gel the little guy bit my finger so hard that it drew blood. At this point I was OVER IT. A quick call from another yummy mummy assured me that we all have these days and I decided that some fresh air may do us some good.
We went to the park across the street from our house. The park the LM loves. The park we always go to. Well of course he didn't want to go to that park and was pretty miserable the whole time. At this point it was lunch time and I was done. As in d.o.n.e. I scooped his monkey ass up and dragged him into the house. When we got in all he wanted was to watch T.V. and eat jellybeans. Not going to happen I assured him over and over........and that's when it began. All of a sudden my pink cheeked little guy was red, like fire engine red, and within moments he was on the ground wailing, kicking, hitting, you know the full Monty. Rather than doing what I usually do (which is console him, hold him, distract him, and gasp....sometimes give in) I instead just sat back and waited to see what would happen. I continued to make lunch and ignored the whole thing. THE WHOLE 17 MINUTE THING.
Just when I thought that neither of us could take anymore, it stopped. As in the little guy just picked himself up off the floor, rubbed his eyes, wiped his nose, and completely stopped. He then went over to the recycling and picked up the bag and carried it to the door asking me to help him take it to the trash, and it was over. Sure there were a few tiny sobs and he needed a little more cuddling before nap, but really that was it. I'm not going to sit here and say that wasn't so bad, but the truth is that it wasn't that bad. Like I said the anticipation was much, much worse. I also recognize that this was in the sanctity of our own home not to be confused with how this would have played out had we been in public. In the end we both survived, and after an extra large glass of wine that night (for me of course) we both moved on to the next day which turned out to be a great, great day.
One down, who knows how many to go (please let me be at home, please let me be at home oh please let me be at home.) Ahhhhhh the joys of raising an almost two year old.
(just a side note, the picture above is NOT from said temper tantrum, I'm not that cruel. Now that I think about it that would be some good payback in 20 years....next time video camera? Just kidding of course.)