Sunday, July 24, 2011

Taming the Tantrum

For some reason, I think it will be interesting to look back in several years and reflect on my hardships now versus then.  And so I shall describe the current challenge in our household.

Poor Everett.  There just aren't enough snacks in the world to keep this guy happy.  He is really quite predictable.  When we watch Sesame Street, he inevitably wants crackers at the end or near end of the show.  I try to prepare for this by having dinner ready; however, often there are a few more minutes on the clock before it's ready.  Today, as expected, he ran to the pantry, hand wiggling the doorknob, and demanded "gagoo?!  gagoo?!" (cracker?! cracker?!).  I look at the timer for the rice.  Ten minutes!  Oh dear.  There is an eternity standing between Everett and happiness.  Or near happiness as it is not a gagoo that he is getting, but rather a real dinner.  Well, the end of the world came as he screamed, kicked, thrashed, and screamed some more.  Paxton and Everett were both crying at this time.  I did a quick risk/benefit analysis and determined Everett to be in need of my full attention.  I put a mildly crying Pax down, reminded myself that Everett is too young to understand or control his emotions, resolved to put my pointed finger back in its holster, and calmly asked him to stop screaming.  As I watched him I wondered, "did I give birth to a wild animal?"  We had a time out to see if he could cool down.  He did not.  I took him to his room to have some quiet time.  He ended up laying on the floor, poor pitiful thing, screaming a little quieter, grunting, and groaning, snot and tears covering his face.  I kneeled down and stroked his hair while saying "shhhh".  He seemed to need this attention and did calm down.  I kissed him and told him I love him to which he started crying again - hard.  It was a cry that broke my heart.  It was instantly recognizable as the kind of cry one does when it comes from deep inside, from a pained soul.  This was no longer just about gagoos.  I held him in a tight embrace trying to impart all my love as I heard the timer go off for the rice.  Hard to believe this all took place in ten minutes.  He asked to color, which he did while I fed him dinner.  He ate happily.  We had a lovely rest of the evening.  We ate, we played, and my heart melted when he took my face, a hand on each of my cheeks and gave me a kiss goodnight.  I love him so much.  :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Carla! It's so hard when they're both crying. And definitely when your toddler is telling you in no uncertain terms that he needs attention now. You handled it beautifully.

    Often after Natalie blows up, she does seem to melt into a more peaceful state, like she's released a lot of built-up pressure. I guess there's so much going on in these little ones, so many new emotions, they just have to let it all out now and then.

    They're kind of like little teenagers, a friend told me recently.