Saturday, 30 October 2010

And oh the tantrums

I'd be remiss if I let Deaglan's toddlerhood pass without writing a solid post on tantrums. As much as you hear about all of our special moments, and my ga-ga kind of love for my boys here on this blog, I don't want you to think I'm living in some creepy opposite land where my almost-three-year old doesn't make me want to rip my hair out at least a few times a week and whisper to the infant keep up the good work, you're my favourite.

I wish I could describe in words the screechy banshee-like ugly cry Deaglan goes into when a tantrum overtakes him. It's this nerve-jangling, stomach-lurching kind of shrieking that unites Shaune and me on at least this one thing - we need to either figure out how to make him stop or devise a way to unplug our hearing. And there is NO REASONING with telling him he might wake up the baby, no reminding him that he is no longer a baby, no bribing him with chocolate or money, no kissing, no hugging our way out of it. It stops as mysteriously as it begins and we are forced to just wait it out.

Yesterday, and I don't want to make myself out into a hero or anything, but yesterday, despite that it was near-freezing outside, or that I had slept a total of 30 minutes the night before and the solid truth that the last thing I wanted to do was go outside, I suited us all up and took the kids to the park as I try to do everyday. Deaglan trailing along on his tricycle felt that I was walking too fast for his liking and launched into a tantrum. I wanna go home Mommy!!

After some back and forth:

Me: We're not going home.

Him: Yes mommy, I WANT TO GO HOME!!!!!

I became silent and neutral (I'd read that was the appropriate response to wait a tantrum out) and continued pushing the stroller down the sidewalk towards the park while Deaglan followed me on his trike, crying hysterically, much like the way you would if someone just beat you with a baseball bat. And of course every retired grandma and grandpa within a two mile radius was out walking our route at that exact time, and seemingly having forgotten what this phase of parenthood was like, stopped to ask the kid if he was okay. Lots of AWWWW you poor little sweetiepie, so that his cries, now with an appreciative audience, became louder and more agonized.

He's fine, move it along, I wanted to say.

And later that afternoon when I announced that we were getting into our costumes to go Trick-or-Treating at Mommy's work, you would have thought I said, I'm gonna stick pins in your eyes and serve you a big helping of dog poop for supper.

I don't know. They say things like You need a license to drive a car, but anyone can have kids. I think the saying should be amended to include something about the specialized forensic child psychology graduate degree and nerves of steel needed to ride out these expressions of development.


  1. Tantrums in public or any time are no fun. I really hate that part of parenting. Even when they get older, tantrums appeared in different ways, mood swings or attitude. I'm grateful that there are plenty of joyful times in parenting, but those rough tantrums moments are torture sometimes.

    Hugs to you. Wish we could hang out and share the stress of motherhood together :) Maybe with some chocolate. LOL.

  2. Yup! You are exactly right.

    By the way, I do have a child psychology degree - it doesn't help one bit!

    We go through spurts of tantrums - often one week we'll go without one at all and the next it seems like it happens multiples times a day for no reason. The new rule is if he throws himself on the ground and there is no reason for it, I carry him to his room and he can tantrum there. This way he does not get any attention for his conduct. When he decides to be civil he is welcome to come back out.

    But I have also had the times when I'm carrying him through the neighborhood kicking and yelling AND pushing the stroller with the baby in it. Good times...

  3. Oh my! We have all been there - I am still there! Tantrums and bad behavior in public places are definitely the most humiliating and there have been times I want the earth to just open and swallow me up. Like on a recent trip to Barnes and Noble when my daughter had a meltdown about being told no we were not going to buy the pumpkin beanbag she wanted. Which ended with me dragging along a child screaming and crying who was shouting "I WANT MY DADDY BACK!" No doubt all the agog passersby thought I was abducting her or had taken her away from her father.

  4. Amen to that. My two year old threw a tantrum today at Starbucks. The lady behind the counter gave him a cup of whipped topping to calm him down. That taught him that screaming can result in treats.


    So, I threw it away and made a quick getaway.

  5. Tantrums oh tantrums...they do eventually go away once you give them the proper attention...not too much, and not too little. However, they really don't go completely away, they just evolve into whining, walking away in a huff, an "aww Maaa!", or even a "You are the meanest Mom in the whole WORLD!" Hang in there my friend. :)


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