Toddler Tantrums… Unite!

Posted on December 21, 2010. Filed under: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Some days I’d like to revert back to my toddler years.  Like now, I wish I could ignore a few people; just pretend I don’t hear them or see them.  I some times sit and just stare at my toddler in awe wishing that I could behave like her some days.  It may sound silly because as an adult certainly I know better. I know how to communicate but when you don’t feel heard or understood wouldn’t you like to throw a toddler tantrum? NOTE: Not an adult tantrum. As a woman you will be labeled or called one of these disorders: manic depressive, bi-polar, plain crazy, or told, You must be on your period, as if that statement has anything to do with wanting to be understood or heard. Lately, I’ve been studying my three year old during and after her temper tantrums…Oh, how free and relieved she looks after each one. I found myself saying, “Must be nice!” out loud one afternoon as I watched her scream to the top of her lungs because she was denied a piece of gum. I remember wondering what she would do if I started screaming with her. Wouldn’t it be nice? Let’ take a ride and be toddlers just for the few minutes it takes you to read this article. Pretend with me and LET’S THROW SOME TANTRUMS!

Scenario 1:  My boss/supervisor just handed me work that I don’t feel like doing at the moment. I have nothing against her/him but I’m  not in the mood to do it right now…maybe later.  He/she tries handing me the pile of work in my hand. TODDLER TANTRUM: I move my hand and let the pile drop to the floor then run away laughing. When he/she tries to hand it to me again I say, “I don’t want that!” The more he/she tries handing the pile of work  to me the louder I say and eventually scream, “I DON’T WANT THAT!” The boss will then try putting the pile of work on my desk.  This will frustrate me because I’ve already made it known that I don’t want to do it, so I knock the pile of work  on the floor. My boss seems frustrated at this point and begins to reprimand me. He/she even mentions my job being in jeopardy. I can’t take it anymore, clearly my boss doesn’t understand my wishes at this moment. So, I throw myself down on the floor and begin to kick and throw my arms about screaming to the top of my lungs, “I DON’T WANNA  DO IT RIGHT NOW. JUST GIVE ME A SECOND, NOT NOW, NOT NOW!” This, of course, scares the shit out of my boss who has no choice but to walk away and let me be. Which is what I asked for from the very beginning. I lay there on the floor for a few more seconds and notice the pile laying on the floor next to me. I take a look at the work and decide…I can do it now.  I walk to my boss’s desk hand him/her the finished work and say, “Sorry.” End of story.

Scenario 2:  You and your spouse are supposed to be having “alone time.” You ask your spouse if he could please refill your glass of wine. Of course he sweetly says, “Yes”, but something on television has his attention. You wait patiently and ask him again. “Hold on babe,” is what he tells you. You again wait patiently. You move closer to him in hopes of grasping his attention. You tap him on the leg and he says (without even looking at you), “Give me a sec, babe.”  At this point it’s more about him ignoring you than it is the glass of wine. You stand in front of the television in hopes of being seen and heard. He is now annoyed and bobs his head from side to side trying to catch a glimpse of the screen. TODDLER TANTRUM: You take your glass and throw it. End of story.

Scenario 3:  Another adult is chastising you. This adult (choose who this person is to you) is explaining why what you did was wrong or wasn’t the best decision you could have made.  You understood why you did what you did and each time you try telling them your side of the story, they keep going back to their own side. You finally feel as if it’s better to just be quiet than to continue on with the conversation but being quiet doesn’t settle your soul. TODDLER TANTRUM: A) Stare at this person and pretend to not understand a word they are saying. Blink a few times but say absolutely nothing; B) Play possum. Slink down in your seat as if you are either falling asleep or dying; C) Start crying uncontrollably. Let snot run down your nose and make sure to open your mouth wide without any sound for a few seconds. When sound finally reaches your vocals…let the cry sound off loud and clear. Just let it out! End of story.

I can imagine at least a dozen more scenarios. Some days it just seems appropriate to perform any of these tantrums:

Kick and scream, repeat every word the other person is saying to you (just for annoyance sake), cry uncontrollably, play possum, yell, “NO!”, slap, kick, bite, shut down, cry yourself to sleep, and the list goes on and on with toddler tantrums.

I’m not condoning any of these. When my kids do them they are reprimanded or put in time out. But if I can be completely honest with you… I UNDERSTAND! There are moments I, too, want to act out, especially if it will finally make you stop, pay attention, hear me and understand ME.

Concluding with a word from my daughter who often puts the word “different” in front of her name (I believe  she’s on to something), I’ll stop here and admit that there are many days I’d like to have a temper tantrum without being worried about someone calling me  a name for having one.

Thanks for taking the journey.

xoxo Different Journey xoxo

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