I used to be cool and do things. Now all I do is argue with a miniature version of myself about eating his vegetables.
E.K. has learned that if he screams loud enough and even falls out on the floor with a arch in his back that his dad will give in to him most of the time. Not his mama! I’m beginning to master the walk the phuck off and act like I have no idea who’s child you are and what psychiatric ward you came from move. This has kept my sanity in many cases [read: SOME cases]. Of course, I can’t just walk away from my child when out in public… as he’s only 1.5 years old. But best believe I will leave this little monster of mine (that I love dearly) in a heartbeat laying on the floor during one of his ultimate meltdowns while I finish washing the dishes.
The tantrum phase is one that mostly all toddlers go through. They are testing boundaries and what we as their parents allow during these fiery moments teaches them what they can get away with in general if they act the ultimate fool.
I made the mistake a while back of letting E.K. watch sesame street on the iPad. He now feels he can have the iPad at any time to watch Elmo and other toddler appropriate videos. I’m trying to limit his exposure to television and iPad usage in general to encourage more reading and playing.
I took his iPad away the other day to take him downstairs and let him run around while I started dinner. E.K. decided he didn’t want that and started screaming at the top of his lungs. He laid out face-down on the floor and actually started kicking the floor. In this moment, I learned the gift of pause. It’s when you take a brief moment of mental silence, then count to 10 and decompress before reacting to something. I didn’t acknowledge the tantrum; I just walked away quietly and started singing the ABC song. After 5 minutes of this loud tantrum…extremely loud… did I mention loud? E.K. got up and walked over to me lifting his arms and said “Up”!
I picked him up and he gave me the biggest kiss and hug ever! Although I’m not sure he understood every word, I explained that tantrums are not acceptable and that he will need to start using his words to express himself. The toddler phase won’t last long although it feels like it will since we are going through it now. I’m trying to embrace it all because 5 years from now I’m going to miss all these wild moments that give me more than enough content to blog a life time about.
I encourage all you parents of toddlers to adopt the gift of pause (if you haven’t already). Also, keep a great wine stash on hand for those moments that the gift of pause doesn’t do sh*t for you!
Thank me later!