Welcome back to Thursday, as Jodi at The Noise of Boys and I take turns with our True Tales from the Pink & Blue Trenches series. We’ll pick a topic each week about trying to figure out just what is the difference in raising boys (hers) and raising girls (mine) and share our thoughts with you.
This week, it’s my turn here at Home on Deranged to discuss the joy that is toddler tantrums. Oh, you’ve seen them in the store or at your friend’s house. Maybe you’ve been lucky to have one of your children have a complete meltdown. I know I have. (To see Jodi discuss her toddlers’ need for an anger management program, see last week’s post here.)
Almost a year ago, I wrote about toddler tantrums. Annie had recently turned 2, and some of us who shall remain nameless had taken to calling her “terror baby.” The post itself is more about how tantrums sort of stay with us into adulthood, which I still believe. But it also made me think about how things really went during the terrible 2’s.
Annie wasn’t really that bad. I mean, Annie is strong-minded and strong-willed (I cannot begin to imagine where she gets it), but other than little bouts of biting and kicking and throwing herself on the floor, the 2’s weren’t that bad. You know, in a “big picture of life” kind of way.
The 3’s, on the other hand, have been one sassy bitch that was not invited into our home. There are times when Annie will ball up her fists, stand ramrod straight, and just scream. That high pitched kind of scream that apparently only young kids and women can do. She will, on occasion, throw things or hit things (including me and/or and her sister), stomp around and slam doors. Which is impressive considering her stature.
She has really picked up some fun phrases, too. “Go away!” is tops on her list. “I’m mad!” is another, although admittedly I taught her that one in lieu of hitting someone. She doesn’t know curse words, or at least she hasn’t said any yet, but she knows how to say, “I don’t like you!” and the effect that it has.
I’ve had her completely freak out in Target because I refused to buy a Sofia the First suitcase that she just had to have or she was going to die. (She didn’t.) I’ve taken her out of a restaurant to cool off when she didn’t like the beverage she had been given. Heck, I’ve let her sprawl on the floor at Walmart and allow people to watch. Doesn’t embarrass me, although I do find myself worrying about germs and whatnot from the floor. Eh.
But I know in my heart, that we’ve got it pretty good. For whatever reason, most of the tantrums happen at home, where we can simply send her to her room to cool off, while she simultaneously lays in her bed, kicking a beat on the wall and calling, “Mama! Mama! Mama!”, even if it was her dad who sent her there.
I don’t know how we pulled it off, this “90% of tantrums occur at home” rhythm we have. I guess since we’ve taken her everywhere since the day she was born (work, travel, restaurants, shopping), she knows that a certain behavior is expected. Until that silly ninny Sofia the First gets in my way.
Leelou, on the other hand, is a sensitive soul. At 22 months, she is only just beginning to show her tantrum side, while Annie was well on the road at 16 months. Leelou usually defers to her sister, but as she gets older, I see the little wheels turning. I preface all this by saying, if you scold Annie, she may blow you off. If you scold Leelou, she will dissolve in a puddle in front of you. Just ask my friend Miz Franklin.
But Leelou is not without tantrums. Just last night she wanted more apples. Only, we didn’t have any more. Oh. Dear. Lord. It’s like all the rage she had been suppressing came rolling out of her. She will pitch herself, head first, onto the floor, and then proceed to wail like mourners at a funeral, sometimes throwing out her legs for good measure. I laugh. I admit it. Her back is turned to me, after all.
Leelou also doesn’t like when you get her drink order wrong, bring the wrong blanket, pick the wrong shoes or, in general, tell her “no.” Any one of these can trigger off a long line of words that I rarely understand. But the tone is clear: you suck, Mama.
There will come a day when these girls are teenagers. There will come a day when we have a 16 year old and a 15 year old in our home. At the same time. I’m already prepared for a lot of door slamming. Mine included.
Are the toddler tantrums over in your house, or are you still knee deep? Or maybe you have elementary school/middle school/junior high/high school tantrums. And then there’s Mom tantrums (aka Meltdowns). Tell me about some of your best ones in the comments. Let’s have a nervous breakdown together!