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When does mommy get to throw her tantrum?

June 4, 2009

Within the past week, my kids have thrown some wicked tantrums.  And I mean wicked.  The sorts of tantrums that, like cigarettes and drug abuse and eating chili-cheese nachos deep fried in lard, will take days off of the end of one’s life.

Yes, both M (who is 3 1/2, a typical tantrum age) and A (who just turned 1, having successfully crossed the threshold into tantrum-throwing territory) are melting my brain cells away with their antics.  And this is not surprising when you consider some of the details of these recent episodes.

Tantrum #1 – ‘A’ is for ‘apple.’  And ‘angry.’

This tantrum falls more on the “funny-yet-disturbing” side rather than the “brain-melting” side of the tantrum spectrum.  Nonetheless, it left me fearful of what it foreshadowed in my mothering future.  (And I soon discovered what this would be.  See “Tantrum #3.”)

Now that A has multiple teeth (which is quite an achievement considering that he was toothless until he was 10 months old), Tim and I thought it was high time  he had the chance to munch on an apple.  Not surprisingly, A loved it.  He loved the sweet juice running down his triple-chin, he loved the opportunity to hold his own food, and I’m sure that he loved the teething-relief that the fruit offered to his gums.

In fact, he loved the apple so much that when Tim gently pulled it away to prevent him from eating the stem (what a cruel daddy, I know), A roared–yes, roared–like an angry lion cub, pounded his fists on the counter top, and deepened the shade of his face to an alarming crimson.

Now, he wasn’t crying.   Crying is generally accompanied by “waaaaahs” and/or tears and/or a frown-like shape of the mouth and/or an overall pathetic demeanor.

Instead, A’s sounds were more guttural and warbly and furious and could probably be loosely translated as, “What the F*%$ are you doing with my apple, you jackass?”

I know the old saying about “stealing candy from a baby,” but I always thought that the stealing of said candy only made the babies sad.  Or even mad.  But not ready to punch out the nearest person.

Tantrum #2 – The ice cream assassin

Last Saturday, Tim and I took the kids out for a lovely family outing to Yellow Springs, OH.  We began our day with lunch at Ha Ha Pizza.  (Side note: Ha Ha Pizza is famous–at least to me–not only for offering an amazing whole-wheat crust for all of its homemade pizzas but also for boasting a pot-smoking chef on its menu.)  The kids were magnificent, which is noteworthy given the fact that Ha Ha was super-busy and we had to wait (albeit happily) thirty minutes for our pizza.

The kids were also magnificent during our 1.5 mile hike through Glen Helen.  This fact is even more noteworthy given that M walked for the majority of the hike.  (A is a lazy baby, so he took in the sights and sounds of nature from the comfort of his sling.)

Glen Helen

Glen Helen

Following our hike, we journeyed with the kids to the last leg of our family-fun adventure: a visit to Young’s Jersey Dairy.  We fed the goats, took a ride on some sort of train-like tractor contraption, and treated ourselves to Young’s delicious ice cream.  It was a perfect way to end a wholesome day.  Or so we thought.

Venturing beyond his tried-and-true standby, chocolate ice cream, M opted for the favorite flavor of the elementary-age-and-under crowd: bubblegum.  Venturing even further beyond his ice cream comfort zone, M opted for an ice cream cone–his first one ever.

(Brief, self-clarifying interlude: M waited a long time for his lunch.  M hiked 1.5 miles through the woods.  M then filled up his belly with bubblegum ice cream.  Should I have seen the tantrum coming?)

M became noticeably distressed as streams of pink began escaping out of the cone and down his hands and arms.  Despite our parental reassurances (“it’s hot,” “ice cream melts,” “don’t worry, this is normal, it’s okay,”), M became even more anxious as the dollop on top of the cone started to shift this way and that.

And then Tim, poor soul, did something that totally sealed our tantrum fate: he offered to place M’s ice cream cone in a cup so that he could eat it with a spoon.

This offering was followed by whines of “Nooooooooo, I don’t want it in a cup!” and “But noooooooo, I don’t want it to melt on me!”  Unable to navigate the seas of contradiction, Tim took it upon himself to just go ahead an plop the cone in the cup.  Upside down.  Ice cream on the bottom, cone on the top.

The very sight of his upturned ice cream cone caused M to let out a truly terrifying scream.  It was as if someone had just snapped his arm in two.  I mean, his larynx had never had such a workout before.  And the kid has some pipes on him!

Stunned both by the scream and by the ensuing stares and silence of the crowd at Young’s, Tim then attempted restore the ice cream cone to its original status.  But this ill-fated rescue resulted in an empty cone and a cup full of pink bubblegum soup.

And this sight–the sight of a decapitated ice cream cone–led to an even scarier scream, one that was accompanied by wailing, flailing, and flecks of saliva and napkins and sanity flying all over the picnic area.

(Amazingly, our day still had a happy ending.  After spending a few “quiet moments” with Daddy in the parking lot, M returned to the picnic bench where we were eating and discovered that he could lick his ice cream straight out of the cup.  It was disgusting.  But it saved the day.)

Tantrum #3 – The Worldwide Baby-Wrestling Federation

I’ll keep this one short and sweet.

A few days ago, I noticed A bulldozing his little body toward a recently-removed dirty diaper and pile of wipes.  A expressed his dissatisfaction over my efforts to prevent him from swan-diving into this sack of poo by headbutting me in the trachea.

I spent the rest of the night feeling as if I had strep throat and wondering if there were any “Anger Management: For Babies!” classes out there.

Tantrum #4 – Take THAT!

Even shorter and sweeter.  Except it’s not sweet at all.

M makes a tent out of blankets and pillows.

A crawls into tent.

M tries to “scoot” (i.e. push) A out of tent.

I remind M to ask a grown-up for help when he wants to move A.

A again attempts to crawl into tent.

M hurls a book at A’s face.

A ends up with a nasty raspberry-shaped and -colored mark on the bridge of his nose.

M ends up with a nasty talking-to from his mother and spends a good portion of the morning in his bedroom.

(Despite my sadness over A’s injury, it so wrong of me that I considered entitling this tantrum, “A gets his comeuppance?”  Again, See Tantrum #3.)


And so I ask: When do I get to throw my tantrum?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenny permalink
    June 4, 2009 5:03 pm

    OMG – the way you told those stories made me lol! I’m sorry they threw the tantrums but you certainly make them sound hysterical! Unfortunately I do not think we grown ups get to throw tantrums….which really sucks because there are a number of days when I would LOVE to throw a temper tantrum at work! Hopefully this tantrum phase doesn’t last too long and your sweet little angels return to you!

  2. renbeth permalink
    June 4, 2009 7:41 pm

    Oh, I hear you! Isaac has become quite the little tantrum thrower himself the last couple weeks. I just throw my tantrums at poor, poor Gretchen.

  3. kinseyogo permalink
    June 4, 2009 11:06 pm

    hands stretch out in sudden urgency – ‘wait! wait! what is harple?’

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