They come swiftly, blowing in unexpectedly, on the heels of absolutely nothing. They’re almost impossible to control, and once you’re in the middle of one, lord help you, almost nothing can help you. You just have to ride it out, and hopefully alone.
Yeah, I’m talking about temper tantrums.
It’s amazing how a kid hits one year old and a switch flips somewhere in their brain that makes the default option anytime something doesn’t go their way to flip the eff out. We’ve reached that unfortunate stage where everything is A’s way or the highway. And hell hath no fury like that of an A who is pissed off.
For the most part, A is still a very easy going, happy go lucky girl, but every now and then, she just plain loses it. And usually over (what seems to be) the most seemingly inconsequential things. They seem to revolve around her testing the boundaries or mealtimes. If I remove her from a situation she shouldn’t be in (like pressing buttons on the TV) or take something away from her (like a book with paper pages she is trying to eat), she goes ballistic. This is understandable, if not a little frustrating.
The tantrums involving meals are more frustrating, for everyone involved. While A is still a not very picky eater, she is an impatient eater. I can never prepare food fast enough, and there can never be enough food available to her. It’s almost impossible to keep up with this kid’s appetite. Eventually I have to cut her off, because overeating is never good, and I definitely don’t feel like cleaning up throw up. Of course this results in a lot of protest from her.
I’m trying to be very zen about this development, because I know we have a lot of these in our future. I’m also trying to just let her do her thing, and not try to fix whatever is wrong. There is never going to be a point in her life where there are no perimeters or rules, and in my opinion, it’s never too early to start teaching this lesson. You can’t always do/say/get what you want, especially when what you want is to chew on Mama’s laptop charger cord. So I let her scream. I let her cry, and eventually she works it out and goes on like nothing happened.
Of course, we haven’t had a tantrum in public yet. I’m sure I’ll feel quite differently when she is kicking and screaming on the floor in Target.