Tantrums and Co.
I’m starting to wonder if I should hang a shingle outside stating our new family business, Tantrums and Co.
Yes, we are in the company of Tantrums. Constantly. Two days straight, and I am exhausted from it. God is on speed dial as I make frequent request for more strength, more patience, and for Him to banish the devil from my formerly sweet angel.
I have no idea what has happened to him. Yesterday evening he started throwing a tantrum because he wanted to go outside. Well we couldn’t go outside on account of the recent tornado warning and current severe thunderstorm. I had him look out of the window and he still wanted to go outside. So I got down to his level just like the lady on Supernanny recommends and explained to him my reasons for keeping him inside. I said something along the lines of, “See the white balls on the ground? That’s hail. Cold balls the size of daddy’s golf balls. Those cold balls will fall on your big noggin and you’ll die and then mommy will die and the whole world will end and we just can’t let that happen, ok? So we can’t go outside, ok?”
He stared at me blankly for a second and then started screaming again. He felt sure that he would absolutely die of indooritis if he did not get to go outside RIGHT THIS MINUTE. He screamed relentlessly despite stern warnings and ignoring him. Finally, when the lightning was far away and the rain slowed down to a drizzle, I decided to let him see for himself precisely why we couldn’t yield to his “dying wish”.
I took the boy out onto the porch. He felt the cold rain on his noggin and immediately wanted to go back inside again. I was feeling quite proud of myself for having that idea and thought for sure that his tantrum would be over with.
[Insert raucous laughing here]
What I failed to consider is that I assumed that he would be rational about it. Nineteen-month olds are NOT rational and in case you are in doubt, here is proof:
I put the child down after carrying him back inside from the rain, per his request, since he decided that he doesn’t like being in the rain after all. He immediately asked to go outside again and I, completely dumbfounded, told him that we couldn’t since it is still raining. “See Nathan? Rain outside. Nathan doesn’t like to be in the rain. Cold rain. No fun. Okay?”
He stared at me blankly and proceeded to throw another round of tantrums lasting until almost bedtime.
Fast forward until today. He woke up cheerily enough and the day steadily grew worse from there. On almost no sleep, I stumbled through multiple tantrums thrown by a toddler who absolutely refused anything to do with a nap. If he wanted milk, I fixed him milk, then he threw a tantrum because he changed his mind and wanted apple juice instead. Or he wanted a cereal bar, but by the time I opened the package and cut it into small pieces for him on his table he threw a tantrum because he wanted something else. He was relentlessly exhausting to deal with, and I found myself counting down the hours until C could come home and give me a break, preferably so that I could try to catch up on some sleep.
At the magical hour, C walked in and I breathed a sigh of relief. If I had not been afraid of being body slammed by a force 1/4 of my weight, I could have laid down right then and there and slept like a baby. Fate had other ideas. C asked, benighly enough, if he felt warm. I felt his head and told him that he feels fine to me. Per our routine, I fixed Nathan and our dinner while C changed clothes. By the time he came out from changing, he declared that he was coming down with something, probably the bubonic plague, and had no choice but to eat dinner, crash on the couch, and watch golf until almost 11pm.
Oh, and to really make me feel like a stellar Mother, Nathan pointed out the window and said, “Hell?” I stammered for a second trying to figure out where in the world he picked up that word, before realizing that he was trying to repeat yesterday’s lesson. “Nathan,” said I, “HAIL….there are no hail ‘cold balls from the sky’ out there right now. Its all gone.”
I kid you not, he got this wicked look in his eyes and said, “HELLS BALLS!” at the top of his lungs before running away laughing.
Lord help me.