So as any momma can tell you when you start talking about dealing with toddlers… the subject of
demon exorcisms toddler tantrums and meltdowns is never far behind. Before I had L, when I’d go to Target and see a little one in the toy isle crying and acting as if the last puppy in the world had just been sold, I’d ever so stupidly nod my head, roll my eyes and walk very quickly in the opposite direction. Why oh why was it that every time I saw one of these little people, they seemed to be in the middle of some elaborate kind of fit? Whats so hard about having everything done for you, playing, eating, napping and pooping all day? I will now sheepishly admit, after living with one of these little people day in and day out for the past 4 years, that I should apologize. Not to you momma, but to your little one.
The sad truth for our toddlers is that the world that we ever so carefully and lovingly orchestrate for them is a rough place full of puzzles, commands that don't make sense, and security guards with a stop/no sign at every corner. How annoying that must be! I mean think about it, how pissed would you be if you walked into Macy's and everything that caught your eye had a do not touch sign? What if everything that you wanted to discover or explore was off limits? Yea, Id be pretty pissed. Nonetheless no amount of reading or prepping during my pregnancy could have prepared me for the attitude that came with my beautiful baby boy and masterful performances that are the tantrums he has recently become a fan of. He is not (Thank the Lord!) a fan of public tantrums. He has instead opted to become a fan of melting down in the middle of the day or late at night when he is tired but too wound up to go to sleep. Great, right?
We tried time out, we tried spankings, we even tried rewarding him when he didn't have a fit.....we could just about snap to time how long those solutions lasted. Then we discovered grounding him from toys & play time with daddy (his favorite time of the day). Success!! Even as little people we value the things we love. Now gentle reminders of "we don't want to be grounded do we?" usually stop tantrums right in their ugly little tracks. Dealing with tantrums is about figuring out why they happen and how you can prevent them. Small meltdowns are sadly a right of passage with any toddler and with time we all learn to just
close your eyes & cuss internally take them and roll with the punches (NOT LITERALLY; never hit the baby!). The tantrums that are owed to sleepiness or hunger are the most common meltdowns, usually easily cured with a snack, meal or a bed.
The first and most difficult lesson about tantrums that I was
ever so rudely taught by L was to keep my emotions under control when dealing with his tantrums. Through trial and error (yea, that's what I'll call it), I learned that screaming or yelling back at L is to say the least of little use. I will again shamefully admit that I did yell back once in a moment of utter frustration and it resulted in both of us crying and upset. Not a pretty sight. That was when I realized that we were both overwhelmed. My epiphany came right after that realization.
Its hard being a kid! Being told what to do 24/7, discovering something one day & expecting it to be second nature the next, being told no!, stop!, quit!, don't! 12bagillion times a day. They are always on our schedule, they get to play but only by following our rules, they get to eat what we cook or buy in the drive-thru, they must do as they are told by us and only that. That sounds like a super shi**y day at work right!? Well, that's their everyday. Mind Blown, right?! haha
Alas, at the end of every day, we mommas and daddy's still have the crappy duty be the stop sign, the caution slow down patrol, and all so hated villains in our little peoples lives. Sorry, its the crappy truth. L has to eat, he has to sleep, he has to be buckled into his car seat every car ride even if we are just going to the corner store, he cant run into the parking lot because I'm 5 feet behind him, he cant have sprite with every meal, and he cant sleep in our room every night. Now, that having been said, I would like the records to show that I have publicly declared that I feel for our little people so that in 40 years when I am in a sweet little nursing home in California somewhere, our babies will recall my understanding about their treatments and hardships in toddler hood and please treat me with love.
Have a beautiful week my darlings!