I recently had a girlfriend of mine ask me a question that I've gotten asked often as a mommy of a toddler. I'm sure all of you seasoned toddler moms have been asked the same.
"Do I have the only kid that does this?? Does your kid throw herself in a fit of rage when she doesn't get her every little way?"
Raise your hand if you have been asked this question more than once. Ok...then all in unison lets tell the newest members of our toddler club if their kid is the spawn of Satan.
NO! No, your kid is not the only one that looks like a scene out of The Exorcism when you take that pair of scissors (the ones you have been looking for for months and they somehow found) from them as they just wandered into the room. Mean ass Mom trying to protect my life and shiz....GAH!
No your kid is not the only one who drops face down and rolls around in the most nasty and public of places because you wont let them take that WHOLE aisle of candy home or open that box of pretzels that you don't need. Yeah the same pretzels you happen to have in a snack cup in your purse, but NOOOOOOOOOO those are the OLD pretzels. These are the NEW and SPECIAL pretzels. LINT LICKER!
If your kid isn't throwing random tantrums like this from the ages of 1-18ish then please please....
DO NOT BE THE REST OF OUR FRIENDS,
or at least lie so we don't despise you and your absolutely perfect cherub. :)
The truth is, I had to honest to goodness put myself in Sass's shoes. I was getting so frustrated with her outbursts and got so tired of all the "professionals" (you know those people that blog like me LOL) telling me to "ignore them." I don't function that way as a parent. I don't function that way as a person. If something is wrong with someone I care about, I want to know why and I want to help. I'm sorry...sometimes its a curse but usually someone needs to just be heard.
Lets think about it. Toddlers are 2 1/2 feet tall. THEY CAN'T SEE THE AMAZING CRAP WE SEE. THEY SEE OUR DAMN SHINS ALL DAY LONG. How frustrating. They are these little sponges that just soak it all up, and they just want to SEE! I'm 5'2"....I get pissed off when I have to ask my husband to do stuff for me because my stupid little T-Rex arms don't let me have any fun. It's irritating.
NO!!! I WANT TO DO IT. I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP!
(Who does that sound like?!)
Then here are these sweet little balls of crazy and they are learning to talk...and talk...and talk. You can't tell me every time your little babble head pops off some random converstation of a few recognized words you don't just respond with a "Uh huh....oh really??"
Um.....I asked you a yes or no question, hooker!
Can you imagine them talking to us and them thinking they are making TOTAL sense in their head and we can't understand a thing they are saying?!?!
What are you waiting on, woman?!?! I asked for a ice cream sundae for breakfast.....get to scooping!
Which brings me to my next point. Here for months and months with every little whimper and cry, we as parents are trying our best to provide with them what they need. Food, diaper, sleep and love. We just always know what they need and they get it. Now they "need" new things besides that match to burn the clothes they just pooped all over for the 5th time today. Now they "NEED" that pair of scissors because I always get what I need from you! Why is today any different!?
I NEED THOSE REALLY AMAZING DEADLY SCISSORS!! No??? WHY NOT!?!?! You are always responding to my every little need. WTF is going on here?!?! YOU ARE BROKEN!
Let me ask you. What do you do for stress relief? What do you do when you are frustrated?? What do you do when you are pissed off?? What do you do in order to not explode or bite your significant other's head off??? :) I can think of a handful of things I NEED to do to decompress and come down from anger. As a teenager I would run into my room or in my car and BLAST some REALLY REALLY good music. :) I would cruise for an hour because gas was cheap and I didn't care. When I was young and stupid and didn't care about my lungs.....I smoked. WHOOO! A bad 12hr shift at the hospital, and that first cigarette was THE best. Or a beer! Who hasn't said "I NEED A DRINK!!!" When I quit smoking (Thank you, Love.) I had to find another release...except alcohol does still do the trick. :) . I have to run or workout if I'm pissed off.....I HAVE TO, or someone WILL DIE. There is something about pounding the pavement that makes everything so much better. Plus my cancer ridden lungs really do appreciate this alternative.
Our toddlers can't go for a drive, blast their jams, and sing at the top of their lungs. They can't have a glass of wine or a smoke. They can't throw on their tennis shoes and run a few miles to clear their mind. They are still weird, crazy, and BRAND NEW. They don't function that way yet. They throw the best most epic tantrum there ever was....like its their job!!!!!
Now, when Sass is throwing a tantrum do I sit and sing Kumbaya and wait it out?? Um...No. I let her get it out. I let her waller on the floor like a fish out of water, I let her scream and cry. I often still get really really REALLY embarrassed and I make a note to make her repay for that when she's about 15-18 yrs old in front of that douche bag boyfriend she'll insist on bringing around all the time.
However, ff she needs it, I take her to a place where its safe and quiet and sit with her. I let her go nuts if she needs to. If it becomes violent where she is taking it out on me, I quickly nip that in the bud. After a few "time out" situations where I thought I was going to get a black eye, she honestly doesn't do that anymore. She knows I understand she's PISSED and frustrated, and that's ok, BUT we don't hit or kick people. I love her too much to let her do that to anyone. So,yes, violence has consequences.
Do ya'll watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS ever?? I loved Mr. Roger's neighborhood as a kid, and this is like it's cartoon spin off. It's AMAZING! There's an episode that covers these rushes of anger and how to deal with them.
"If you are feeling mad,and you wanna roar....take a deep breath, and count to four.
One. Two. Three. Four."
When I see a tantrum coming, I start the first few words of that song. For a while she just listened to me sing and gave me the stink eye.
STFU, MOM. That's a dumb song and I don't want to sing it!!!
Apparently my stage presence was lacking. It's probably because I have this outer body experience where I see myself singing some Mr. Roger's song to my kid and want to vomit. :) Never the less, now she'll actually finish the song. Sometimes she grins and acts it out all silly, but often she genuinely will take a big deep breath and count to four. Did I think it would work when I first saw that episode, no buuuuuuut after some time it helped me relate to her and let her know it's ok to get absolutely PISSED. There's just better ways to deal with it. That's what kids are for...we teach them. It's our J-O-B as parents. Does it work every time??? Hell no. Sometimes I think she just really is the Spawn of Satan, but at least she is cute. :)
What do you do as a parent to help your toddler release stress?? I'm sure eventually our really dumb song won't work anymore, so I'll be eating crow...I need more ideas.:) I hope you guys are having a great week! We are on day TEN of no paci and she has done awesome! YAY!
Our life is so crazy these days, but we are so blessed wouldn't have it any other way.
Lots of Love,