This morning my toddler snuggled up to me in bed and said it was time for breakfast. We talked about what she wanted for breakfast. Rice Krispies and mangoes. So we got up, out of bed after a long night without much sleep. Rough night. I didnt feel like getting up yet, but that’s what moms do.
I got her some cereal and mangoes and sat them on the table. I gave her a spoon for her cereal and, like a slow moving zombie, turned to figure out what I should eat.
I heard a scream and a clang and turned around to find her spoon on the floor. She did not want that spoon. “Uh oh…if you want to eat, you’re going to have to pick your spoon back up.”
She pushed her food away as far as she could and screamed that she didn’t want her cereal or mangoes. Worried that she was going to spill stuff all over, I took the food away from the angry child. So of course she screamed. She wanted her food. I said that I wanted her to have her food but she needed to calm down and pick up her spoon. She kicked her spoon and tried to grab her food.
This went on for a while. Big Sis was halfway through eating her breakfast and Little Sis kept wanting her food, not wanting her food, picking up her spoon, throwing her spoon, pushing her sister, pushing me.
Finally she sat down to eat and acted like it had never happened, laughing and singing.
About an hour and a half later…
I was sitting on the couch, doing something online. I got up for a second and Litte Sis sat down. Later I came back and she was gone and I sat there again. She screamed. So I moved some stuff so she could sit with me. She screamed. She put the stuff I had moved back. I ignored it. She screamed. She moved the stuff again and climbed on my lap. I moved my legs to be more comfortable and so she could sit on me more easily. She screamed. She tried to move my legs back the way they were. I told her I liked the way my legs were and that I would really like to snuggle. She screamed and kicked me. I stopped her from kicking me and asked her to please be sweet. She yelled that she wanted to kick. She screamed and kicked and the started to cry because she could only kick my hands and not my stomach.
Finally she grabbed a book and sat on my lap, looking at the book and laughing. She became her happy, cheerful, sweet self. As if the tantrum hadn’t even happened.
Start countdown to next episode of big toddler feelings.
Do you sometimes wonder if your child has a serious issue? OCD? Bipolar? Multiple personalities? (Yeah, I’m only partially kidding. I know you are out there. Other moms like me who have had the thought cross your mind, if perhaps only for the briefest of moments…)
I understand. Especially when we are out and my child is the only one throwing screaming fits. Or if I’m telling someone what I think is a funny story (like the stories I just told) and someone looks at me horrified, like THEY think something is wrong with my kid. Those moments really stink.
But most likely, you (and I) just have a normal toddler. 🙂
Some kids do things like cut their hair or draw on the walls or try to give the bunny a fun ride on a spinning office chair.
Some kids feel something and react immediately without thinking. Some kids really think about things and withdraw. Some kids whine and negotiate. Some kids yell. Some kids cry dramatically about every little thing. Some kids throw themselves on the floor to kick and scream. Some kids bang their head on things.
Some kids need time alone to cool off. Some kids need breathing exercises. Some kids need hugs.
All kids have feelings they haven’t learned how to deal with yet. And hopefully they have adults in their lives who can calmly teach them what to do with those big feelings.
Sometimes I find myself just getting annoyed. Seriously, we are going to do this again? This is making my day so hard. Why can’t you just listen to me…I have told you about twenty times today not to push on your baby brother’s head like that!! And nothing gets my heart pounding and makes me as crazy as when she won’t stop screaming when the baby is sleeping.
But I try to remind myself of my job. My job is not to get mad at my kids for acting in ways that are totally natural to act at their age. My job is to teach them how they should act instead. And if my words can’t get through to them, hopefully, with time, my patience and the example that I set, will.
LIfe with a toddler is difficult, hilarious, precious, and short. Nothing else in my life has made me want to scream and laugh and cry all at the same time the way raising a toddler has. I fail her daily as a parent. She teaches me to be better.
Want to feel not so alone? There are some pretty funny photos out there of why kids get upset. Here’s one funny list.
Need help figuring out some ways to deal with an angry toddler? I will be addressing that in another post soon. (*edited: here is the post!) What are some things you do with your toddler?