How to deal with tantrums

You can’t teach 22-month-olds logic. At that age, they think the dog enjoys being poked in the eye repeatedly.

And they think throwing a fit is how to get their way.

We have been dealing with what some call “tantrums.” I’m not sure who came up with that word. It is a stupid word that doesn’t do the act justice.

What Monster does is just screaming for a different terminology. I’m not sure it has been invented yet, so I’m coining his behavior as “violent expressions of frustration spurred by seemingly insignificant happenings and often resulting in blood loss.”

Lately, these “violent expressions” have been happening at breakfast and dinner. I haven’t had time to guess as to why this is when it happens because I’m too busy cleaning ketchup off the walls and gluing furniture back together.

And all you can do is let it happen. There is no logical way to teach them the behavior is wrong, no revenge you can seek for the injuries caused. You just have to let them scream.

One day last week, Monster woke up a happy little boy. He talked nonsense as I changed his diaper, brushed his teeth and put on his favorite truck shirt. “Shruck! Shruck!” he yelled as we walked downstairs.

Then he sat in my lap at the breakfast table. I mean, who wouldn’t see sliced banana and Cheerios and flip the eff out? Totally rational.

His entire tiny body bent into a reverse “C” and his rock-hard Monster head struck mine. He then bent the other way and threw himself onto the floor as I reached up to make sure my face was still intact.

I want to say it’s human nature that when we are attacked, we become defensive and start having very negative thoughts about our foe.

Fear of losing my child is preventing me from telling you the awful things that went through my mind. To put it nicely, I did not like my son at that moment. But it’s not like I can do anything about it. You clearly can’t retaliate, and the kid is too clueless to even understand what he did.

I ran to the sink where blood poured from my mouth and I ascertained that my teeth had cut almost entirely through my top lip.

David calmed the baby while I iced and spat, iced and spat.

Before they left for day care, Monster offered me a “Shorry.”

I studied his face searching for remorse. I found none. After all, he was only offering apologies because David was saying, “Say sorry to Momma. Say you’re sorry, buddy.”

Monster looked up at me with his big eyes, waiting for a hug and kiss that would never come, as my hands and mouth were occupied with ice and bloodied gauze.

Monster walked out the door with David, babbling, “Shorry. Shorry Momma. Bye Momma. Shorry. School bus? School bus? Nemo!”

I watched them leave, finding solace in the thought that this story will be something I will make him relive until he has kids of his own and it happens to him. As he stands frustrated over his sink, and his blood and patience are in a race to see which can drain faster – that is when I will have my revenge.

The sweet, bloody taste of revenge decades in the making.

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1 Comment on How to deal with tantrums

  1. Courtney
    September 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm (7 years ago)

    Being head-butted makes me blind with rage. It’s the worst. One bit of Meier-baby solace I can offer: Jimmy had the most spectacular tantrums I’ve ever seen for about 4 months, and then he abruptly outgrew them. Since they share DNA, maybe the same thing will happen with Vinny?

    Reply

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