Here We Go Again
It’s that time of life, yet again. We endured it with Noble, and now it seems that Alistair has hit a wonderful new milestone.
Our little Mr. Awesomepants has developed a new ability: instant expression of enraged maximum disapproval of current circumstances – the mighty tantrum.
Everything can be going perfectly. There could be laughter, running, pure enjoyment of life, you name it. This kid loves to have a great time. But let’s say, for example, I gave him water, when he telepathically requested milk. Well then he justifiably throws the sippy across the room, screams, “NOOOOOO!” and storms off to some place that he can throw his limp body, and “express” himself. See image above for example pose.
Or lets say, for example, that I don’t wish to swing him in circles for the hour and a half that he is kindly requesting. Unable to tell him that it’s a medical necessity that I stop or I will either pass out or vomit, or both, I say something to the effect of, “No more” or “Done” or “No swing time now” or some other kind of caveman speak. The result: insta-scream, top of the lungs, almost like an eagle giving a death cry. That, followed by aimless running in a straight line, with completely limp body, smashing dramatically into whatever blocks his path.
The slightest infraction causes complete meltdown. Sometimes I try to have empathy, but when I do that it really just feels like I’m enabling a dysfunctional relationship. Honestly, to me, when he says he’s “Dah-done” with his food, I should get more than a half a second to remove him from the high chair before he starts chucking the remaining food all over the place, and screaming, “DAAAAAAAAHHHHHH-DONE!!!” I mean, even if I’m hustling, it still takes a few seconds! Being understanding of that feels foreign to me.
But I’ve definitely tried to get through to him. I’ve tried, “Chill out dude!”, “Relax!”, “What’s your problem?”, “Oh my god, what is your deal?!”, and even, “Come on, really?!” Nothing works. I have yet to hear any kind of logical reply to any of my attempts. He behaves like that drunk friend who just got dumped by his girlfriend and fully loses it at the bar. You can’t really say or do anything. You just have to let him cry in the corner and punch walls until he’s worked it all out. The difference with a 20 month old is you can’t tell them later what an ass they made of themselves. You have to pretend it didn’t happen.
And isn’t it interesting that the second you comply with a tantrum demand, they instantly become super happy fun kids again? But we are left riddled with the anxiety brought forth from enduring a 5 minute screaming episode. Gayle is much better about tantrums, because she has more empathy in her heart. So a shout out to Gayle. Good momming on your part. I will continue to read my book, “Empathizing with Tantrums and Other Parental Impossibilities For Men”