Archive | May, 2012

Tanturm Specatcular

2 May

There are many times I have laughed at my children at inappropriate times. Sometimes they are saying something seriously and it comes out the wrong way or they fall or walk into something, but most of the time it is when they are lying on the floor screaming their heads off in full tantrum mode.

I have a theory, there are two methods to handling full-blown tantrums. The first being let them do their thing, you are not going to win this mind game, and in the end they won’t recall that they hurt your feelings or embarrassed you – so go have a glass of wine or cup of tea and let them freak out. The second is take this time to enjoy a good laugh at your child’s expense. Come on, it doesn’t make you a bad parent! Some of the things that set these toddler time bombs off are ridiculous: wrong colored socks, you aren’t driving the right way, the tag on my shirt is bothering me, so-and-so is looking at me, why I can be naked at the dinner table, etc. If you really listen hard and pretend you are watching a nature show, the things that pop out of a child’s mouth during a tantrum are hilarious.They are like an angry drunk looking for a fight at a bar (this is why that Baby Trashes Bar at Las Palmas is so funny).

Here are a taste of some of the ones I have experienced:

The classics: “She’s looking at me.””Don’t touch me.” “I want (fill in the blank) not you!”

Forced musical selections: “No! I want to hear Katy Perry!” followed up by “Mommy don’t sing!” and “I like that song!”

The backseat driver: “You were supposed to go that way.” “It’s green, why aren’t you going?” and “Why are you driving,? I want to drive.”

Food selections: “This is yucky! Ice cream is yucky! You are yucky!” and “I want (fill in the blank) not this!”

Now all of the above sound like normal demands of a two or three-year-old, but it is the visual picture I want to place. Most of the times the kid is wearing some ridiculous outfit: sunglasses, tutu, and jean jacket, or dressed up in an ill-fitting Halloween costume. And while every thing sounds clear at first, once they get to crying and rolling around on the floor it usually turns into an oddly dressed up Eeyore, wearing broken adult sunglasses screaming “Katy Perry!” Now that is funny, its like something you would see at the Bay to Breakers in SF two hours after the race has ended.

Now it is important to not let your kid see you busting up laughing, so turn around (don’t worry they won’t notice) and crack that smile of even let out a chuckle at the spirit of Courtney Love that has taken over your child. Just heed the warning, if you get busted laughing whatever they were screaming will turn into “Don’t laugh at me,” and we all know that’s not funny.

I would like to add while this all seems cruel to some, I do let my kids have their meltdown, ask them if they are done, then give them a hug and a cuddle. I honor the fact that these little brains are overwhelmed and they need to freak out to feel better, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a giggle out of it.