Thursday, January 26, 2012

You gotta know when to fold 'em

We've reached the tantrum phase--like the full-fledged, horrifying, run-to-the-library-and-check-out-every parenting-book-about-toddlers-they-have kind of tantrum phase.  It's left me a little....well...shocked I guess.  I't's like there's a new person living in our house and I don't always know how to handle her.  The books have given me good advice and I no longer feel like I'm walking on egg shells around her.

One of the things that I have started to do is evaluate just how important things really are and if I'm just making her do something arbitrary that isn't really important.  I have to make sure things are really worth it if we're going to risk a tantrum.  For instance: today we went to the zoo and 20 min into our trip I found myself tugging and pulling her as she cried and fussed.  She wanted to sit on the bars outside the cheetah enclosure (facing the wrong way) and watch the buses pass on road. Was it really important that we see animals?  Is there anything wrong with using a trip to the zoo as a chance to get outside and watch the buses pass?  No.  There isn't.  So I chilled.  I did insist that we move to a shadier spot but we sat and watched gorillas and the alligator and I just let her do her thing.  We didn't hurry.  And even when the gorillas all left the viewing area we stayed there.

That kind of things happens all the time.  Is there any reason we can't spend all of our park time on the swing? No.  Does it matter if she takes her Elmo and a cup and spoon and a blanket and a sippy cup to the gym?  No.  Does it matter if she wants to take 3 glasses of water, 4 blankets and 10 books to bed with her?  No.  Does it matter if she wants to take a crayon to bed?

Oh wait.  Turns out that one does matter.



  1. Laugh out loud...yes the crayon matters and you should have known.....Love it.

  2. Picking your battles is the way to go - but hard to remember in the heat of a tantrum

  3. We have been in the tantrum phase for a while now and thank you for saying it's horrifying because it truly can be.

  4. "I't's like there's a new person living in our house and I don't always know how to handle her." This is exactly how I feel about a 13 year old Arys!

    p.s., Dell once had a memorable major meltdown in the Iowa City pedestrian mall. Because he didn't want to walk. Well, at first he didn't want to leave the playground. Then he decided his legs were broken. Eventually a fixture Iowa City quasi-homeless person started to point and laugh, and asked Dell what was going on with his legs. The two of them shared a moment, and then Dell decided he was good to go.