Tantrums are unavoidable. All of the dumb parenting books that people tell you to read will back me up on this. Kids have tantrums because their little brains get overloaded and they can’t just reach into their minds and pull the “Ahh, fuck it” cord that allows them to zone out from a stressful situation by replaying old sitcom episodes in their heads. They’ll learn to do that eventually, but for now… all they know how to do is explode.
And explode they shall! With admirable force! Enviable stamina! Heroically nonsensical reasoning! It’s actually pretty impressive, if you stop to think about it.
When a tantrum subsides, do you ever say to your partner (or to yourself) “Holy fucking shit, what was that about?” You probably have. You can’t say it to the kid themselves, because you’re not allowed to say “holy fucking shit” when the kid is around. I have heard.
So many things come and go when you’re raising a kid that seem huge in the moment and then you forget all about them. Well, I have a blog. And it’s good for almost nothing. I might as well use it to help me remember the dumb things that my kid loses her shit over. As my mind continues to deteriorate, it will be useful to have a list of things to hang over her head when she becomes an adult.
Also, I’ve been very into ranking things lately, so this is just an excuse to make another list of things. Today’s matchup: I Want To Be By My Alone versus I Don’t Want Soup
I Want To Be By My Alone
She won’t let me look at her. She won’t let me near her. She begins to whine and cry when I get any closer, and her whining and crying intensify when I start to walk away. She just sits at the bottom of the stairs and sobs.
You ask her what happened. She says “nothin'”. You ask her what you can do to help. She says “nothin'”.
You try to sit down next to her and give her a hug and she gets down to brass tacks:
“I just want to be by my alone!”
Suddenly her behaviour seems to be the most logical thing in the world. I want to be by my alone sometimes too, kid.
More than you can imagine.
I Don’t Want Soup
You ever really really not want something? Okay, sure. But have you ever really really not wanted something so much that if someone else has some of it, you go into hysterics?
The events that precipitated my daughter weeping on the floor under the dining room table seem pretty innocuous to me. It was lunchtime. We offered her some soup for lunch. She really didn’t want soup. But I made some soup anyway, for me to eat. That… wasn’t how she wanted things to go.
Me. Making soup. For me. A bridge too far.
She eventually calmed down and had some non-soup lunch, but the scars of #SOUPGATE linger with us to this day.
I feel like this one is a pretty easy call. Her calls for a little space in Scenario #1 were really just an outsized expression of emotions that we all feel from time to time. I can relate to her on that one. The soup thing… that was just… nonsense. It was a really great tantrum. It wins.
- I Don’t Want Soup
- I Want To Be By My Alone
I Don’t Want Soup is currently top of the list of things I will bring up to my daughter’s future friends and acquaintances. Will it be unseated by something even more nonsensical and confusing?
I cannot imagine a world in which this is not the case.
Happy parenting, everyone!