If you’re a parent you’ve been there. If you’re a parent of a toddler, oh boy, you’re there right now!
Toddler is freaking out.
Who knows why? It started a half hour ago and instead of calming down your kid just keeps reigniting like a fire that refuses to submit to water. From screaming like someone is using pliers to rip off their toenails one by one to those cringe-inducing siren whines that sound like a fire truck or an ambulance… They won’t. Stop. Crying.
Pause for a couple sigh-shiver-snivels then the fire truck revs its engine again.
Toss a hungry newborn into the mix and place the whole scenario in the small confines of a car and you have the makings of Mamageddon.
Five years ago this business would’ve been the end of me. The toddler would’ve broken me by minute fifteen.
Now? Not so much.
You feel that moment is at hand. You know the one. When your entire being is on the verge of snapping and you are about to lose it. That’s when, much like a marathon runner hitting the infamous wall, you have to reach deep down in your soul and scrabble around for whatever crumbs of sanity are left and maintain the course. Do not react! Do not show fear! Those toddlers, they thrive on fear. They can sniff it out like bloodhounds and they will break you.
Lately, especially after having my second child, I find my patience is running high. I am positively brimming with the stuff.
I figure it’s the two years of practice with my daughter that has led me to this patient point. That must be why they don’t kick into those tantrums until two. If she starting rocking these unbelievable flip outs at a couple months of age I’d have traded her in for a couple cases of Jagermeister and called off the whole parenting thing.
But she eased me into it. So now, when she starts working herself into a tantrum, the kind during which she’ll trash her room like a drunken rock star, I smile gently and allow my mind to wander into a meditative state. Sometimes, I even forget she’s crying.
Check me out! Surviving a toddler tantrum is like a super power. Imagine all the stuff I can do with these massive reserves of patience I have slowly cultivated over my parenting years! I can withstand a crowded DMV, Christmas crowds at the post office, airports and airplanes, Saturday at Walmart… The possibilities are endless!
Kid tantrums, mama calls up her super powers. Boom. Every ten minutes or so I’ll ask her what’s wrong, does she want to hug it out and she’ll often whip the nearest ammunition – sippy cup, plastic toy, story book – at my head to let me know that, no, she’s still mad, she’s just not sure why.
I can dig it, kid. Let me know when you aren’t possessed by Satan and we’ll move on with our day.
After all, we’re in this together.
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