Save Mamma From The Drama!

Mac’s second birthday is rapidly approaching and with it comes new words, new skills, new teeth. . .New drama.

Lots and lots of drama.

The kind of drama that is causing Reluctant Mother anxiety attacks (and record expenditures at the liquor store).

He can go from giggling cute and cuddly to red-faced thrashing angry in approximately .3 seconds.

Compounding the issue is there’s no predicting what will spark a catastrophic meltdown.

Sure, I understand the basic tantrum triggers:  tired, hungry, having his attempts to eat poisonous substances or playing with blunt objects thwarted. . .But everything else is just one terrifying mystery.

Yesterday, we were doing some birding and in an effort to be proactive, we thought perhaps before we took a walk, we should offer Mac a snack.  Part of the snack involved some hard-boiled egg white that Mac’s Father had thoughtfully sliced and placed in a small plastic container.

Mac instantly decided the egg white was bullshit.

But the container?  The container was apparently VERY attractive.  Yet ONLY if he could have the entire container FULL OF EGG with the lid OFF.  When offered only the lid, he balked.  When offered the entire container with the lid secured, he went bananas.  No amount of explaining calmed him.  He wasn’t interested in distractions.  He wanted THAT CONTAINER WITH THE LID OFF!!!!!

What followed was a comical triage in the busy parking lot of a National Wildlife Research Refuge.  Chris and I were hopping around completely clueless,  attempting to appease our raging toddler.

Last night before bed, in order to get him to eat his bedtime snack, I had to hold him in front of the open refrigerator door and hand feed him the snack while he rearranged the condiment containers on the door of the fridge.

Chris starting asking when Mac was about 2 weeks old,  “How long until I can put him in time out?”

Oh how I laughed and laughed.

However, last evening after feeling a horrible shooting pain in the middle of my back (which I was convinced was a heart attack but was clearly the result of holding the kid in front of the refrigerator for 20 minutes), I am beginning to wonder myself?

Where do I draw the line?  When is it appropriate to allow him to pitch a fit and when isn’t it?

Adding to my conflict is the fact that we are attempting to teach him “please” and “thank you” and when he uses these words correctly (i.e., adorable request for “Chocolate Chips, puh-weeeezzzz”) do I offer him a couple to reinforce his good behavior or should I be telling him to pound sand because he’s already had some and dinner is going to be ready soon and deal with the drama that is sure to follow?

What do I do?

Glups down a fist full of Valium with coffee.

I GIVE UP!!!!!

I GIVE UP!!!!!

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12 thoughts on “Save Mamma From The Drama!

  1. I no longer give parenting advice (10+ years of experience have taught me humility if nothing else), but here’s a secret: I always keep chocolate in my purse (or house) to ensure MY own good behaviour. You know. I’m about to lose it with the crazy toddler (or the frazzled eight year old)–I gulp down a handful of chocolate chips. Chew. As my son has observed, it’s almost impossible to yell at children with chocolate in your mouth. xoxo (And, on technical “literary” merits: great post 🙂 )

    • I LOVE THIS! So I shouldn’t be offering him the chocolate?! I need to be hoarding it ALL for ME! 🙂 Thanks for the comment! Glad the technical merits were up to snuff today too!

  2. oh dear… sounds like Mac is testing you! His plate isn’t too bad… Avery won’t deal with plates. He flings them on the floor. At least you have that going for you…could be worse 🙂

    • Avery will start using plates soon! They turn this corner where they want to do EVERYTHING adults do. . .which I suspect is part of Mac’s typical toddler frustration. He almost never bothers the plate these days. Keeps it firmly on the table. The sippy cup? It hits the floor on average 8.7 times per meal. 🙂

      • haha… good to know Avery’s table manners with slightly improve soon. I expect being a boy, we better get used to them throwing everything!

      • Yes. Mac’s father recently taught him how to scream “KICK, THROW” while kicking and throwing a ball. . .in the house. I’ve been packing up anything valuable or breakable ever since. Grrr.

  3. OMG. I. Feel. You. My maniac will be two in May. His bipolar freakouts are killing us. He’s honed this brand new high pitch scream that makes my ears bleed. He turns it on like a light switch when things don’t go his way. He’s killing us. If anyone gives you a good answer, PLEASE SHARE it with the rest of us suffering alongside you!!!

    • I’m so sorry! But I’m so glad I’m not alone! My Aunt sent me an email. Both of her children lived to be lovely, well-adjusted young adults so I trust her advice. She says every day is a war of wills but you can NEVER let them get control. So that means you cannot react. Always keep your cool. It’s important for them to learn tantrums and poor behavior will not get the reaction from you they desire. She said at Mac’s age, she thought trying distractions was fine. . .(Although sometimes I feel like they are cheap bribes when I do it ha.). . .She said eventually he will learn to work through his emotions and express himself more constructively. She assured me this is a normal process for a 2-year old.

      I think that’s sound advice.

      NOT the easy answer I wanted. . .

      So yeah, I’ve got nothing! The only goal appears to be for everyone to get out alive! I’m going to think of this as critical parental training for the teenage years! Hang in there! And thanks so much for the comment.

    • Well, thank you! I will say, over-all it’s not nearly as bad as I expected (yet at least). By all accounts I was a wretched little kid and he’s much more docile than that. The hardest part is not being able to anticipate what might cause the drama. It’s exhausting trying to stay three steps ahead of them not only physically but also mentally. Ha! I hope you enjoy your “happy hour” and wish you the best of luck. Enjoy the 6 month age. . .if you have a good sleeper, it’s just a darling age.

  4. Yup. Been there. Fortunately for me, The Kid isn’t so bad with the freak outs, but she’s a stubborn little thing. I wonder where she gets it from? My trick is to distract her with something else. It’s probably not the BEST solution, but it works for me – she doesn’t get her hands on whatever I was trying to keep away from her, but she remains happy.

    I’m so screwed when she goes to school…

    • Mac has caught on to the distraction trick. He’s not falling for it much these days. And if I’m persistent, he throws himself on the floor and screams “Phone” or “cookie.” So yes, the best thing is to make sure he NEVER sees anything he might find remotely interesting that he shouldn’t have. It’s exhausting! I’m forever hiding stuff, sneaking around. Ha! I hope you weekend is good. You deserve it!

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