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.