When they tantrum.

So.  It would appear that I now have two children that can tantrum. Yay.

I find tantrums a huge drain on my energy.  I’m fairly calm (normally), about the kicking, screaming, crying, rolling around, snot and tears, however, it still knocks the wind out of me a little bit.  I’m quite lucky.  I’ve only ever experienced two public tantrums from The Beast.

One, I was heavily pregnant with the Fat One, and we were in a supermarket, ironically looking at dummies.  He wanted to go in one of the annoying paid for moving cars that they stick in the entrance (for what it’s worth, if I ever find out who’s idea that was I will hunt them down and hit them with a spade), and I’d said no.  I wasn’t in any rush to get dummies, didn’t even know I was going to use them, I could have turned around and gone home, however I was fat, tired and stubborn.  More so then I am on a day to day basis now.  Therefore I simply hoofed him under my arm, walked purposely towards the baby aisle and stood there with a kicking screaming toddler sideways flaying about. They didn’t have the type I wanted, so I arrogantly walked up and down the aisle for a few more minutes ignoring the stares and the tuts, before walking back to the car and using my head, fitting him back into the car seat.  After all, I had a point to prove, I was the mummy, therefore in charge. I’m very deluded.

The other was more serious.  We were at the soft play attached to the nursery and when it was time to go home he melted down because one of his girlfriends did the same.  It resulted in him seeing red, kicking me and generally being horrible.  This resulted in me seeing red and snarling at him in the car park.  I was mortified, like I say, I’m normally calm and find these sort of things mildly amusing, bar the public humiliation and judgement.  He was scared, and I may have re-enforced the punishment by leaving him in the car, in the dark for a few minutes when we got home until I calmed down. I then lifted him out and plonked him down in the hall in a manner we’ll call “firmly”.  He apologised and we’ve never had the same issue again, he often refers back to how angry mummy was.

I don’t tend to get angry, I prefer to get even.  We use the hall as our naughty area.  This is a result of the tantrums being full flow when I was either heavily pregnant or had a new born, and rather then keep carrying him back to the naughty spot until he stayed, I simply shut the door on him and held it closed.  Perhaps not the most traditional method of discipline, but I find it works.  He hates being in the hall, hates being left out, so he very rarely goes.  These days all I need to do is threaten a count of three, I say it with slightly gritted teeth and I rarely get to three.  If I do I know we’re in for a bad time.

The past few weeks I’ve been witnessing the beginnings of tantrums from the Fat One.  Arched backs, shouting at me, tears when he doesn’t get his way.  A couple of times I’d even been forced into plopping him down in the corner of the lounge to let him cry it out for a minute (as I did with his brother – I have the pictures of both to prove it).

However, nothing had prepared me for tonight.  I’d been in a fairly good mood, however, over the past few days I was becoming increasingly aware that Fatso and I were going to come to blows over “the stairs”.  He likes to climb them.  I think as he’s frustrated about not walking (he could if he wasn’t such a wimp and let go of my hand), it’s the only big boy thing he’s really happy with (apart from eating his dinner of course).

Anyway, I’d let him climb up to the middle floor of the house, he’d headed to the next flight and the stair gate was still closed.  I wouldn’t open it, we were staying here for an hour before heading up to the bath.  He briefly got distracted, then headed back to the stairs, I said no, tried to walk him away, and he LOST IT.

The tantrum lasted approximately 43 minutes.  This included the following actions from Fatty:

  • rolling on the kicking and screaming
  • standing up at the stair gate and shaking it aggressively
  • Lying in the hall sobbing
  • head butting my legs
  • head butting the wall
  • trying to crawl through my legs
  • trying to crawl through the console table on the landing – the legs spaced too narrowly for even the smallest of baby heads to get through
  • crawling under the bed and getting stuck
  • heading to head butt my legs, missing and head butting the door
  • pushing me away every time I went in to try and calm him down.
While all this is going on I have the running commentary from The Beast, who also told me on numerous occasions to pop him into the hall as he was being VERY VERY naughty.  I do feel guilty, for 40 minutes of me ensuring that the naughty one wasn’t going to do himself any serious damage which meant the one that wasn’t behaving wasn’t getting that much attention.  I rectified this with the promise of buying him Spiderman socks.  He’s now very happy and smug.

What ended his tantrum? Was it his dummy I offered him? Another cuddle? The distraction of a toy? Was it heck.  It was the theme tune of Wayb-a-fricking-loo.

So here I am. Tired, drained, drinking my glass of wine, reflecting that my toddler who can’t toddle yet is heading into the terrible tantruming twos.  I should be sad.  After all, he’s my baby all grown up.  But I’m OK about it so far, after all, I’ve videoed it ready to use when I need to bribe him.  That’s OK isn’t it?


  1. Honest Mum

    I feel your pain and as much as we tell ourselves it’s a natural developmental phase as they reach greater independance, it’s so hard to keep your cool isn’t it? You seem a lot calmer than me when the tantrums kick off though-I try my best but do end up raising my voice. I now realise this is pointless and like you, use the porch with the door locked on the front so he can’t run into the street, as the naughty area-annoying thing is he likes it in there and was picking brown leaves off the plants like my Mum showed him to the previous day- and basks himself in the sun. Help!!!

  2. SAHDandproud

    I’ve found something recently with my 2 kids. T (3yo) often tells K (17mo) off for doing the things we tell him not to do. Don’t blow spitty, horrible raspberries. Don’t shout while eating etc etc.She’ll have the Mother of all Tantrums. I’ll calm her down. Then T will do the same as K did. I’ll tell him off and then he’ll have a tantrum. So I’ve essentially created two tantrums by trying to be a good parent. If I just let them do what they want to do, no tantrums. Is that how it works?
    Only once have I ever locked myself in the downstairs cloakroom for some peace and quiet.
    Great post. 🙂

  3. Misty

    Just stumbled across your blog and after reading through lots of your posts, I love it!

    Definitely know where you’re coming from with this post. Even though I only have the one daughter, the tantrums are absolutely horrendous. I have actually had little old ladies ask me if she’s having a fit!
    Unfortunately, my little one is still slightly too young to be left in any area unoccupied and so I have to endure whatever tantrum she is throwing. Even if I try to leave her, she’ll follow me. I have often found myself locking myself outside, only to reappear less than a minute later too worried that she’s going to launch herself at the wall in an attempt to cause harm to make me feel guilty.
    The joys of parenthood eh!

    great blog xx

  4. EmmaK

    Genius! If only I had videoed my kids when they did tantrums as terrible twos I would have valuable collateral now in the bribe front. They are 11 and 8 now, the 11 year old is near perfect apart from torturing her sister. The eight year old is a cunning little vixen who can manipulate me up the wazoo. On the upside neither of them throw tantrums any more!

  5. mother.wife.me

    I have to say, I do love the idea of videoing a tantrum for future bribery opportunities. My 2yr 2m daughter doesn’t have many (yet), so I am reading and learning as I am sure we have far from escaped a full blown bout of tantruming, it is just a matter of time!

  6. Charlotte

    Just found your blog. I have a 10 month old who has discovered the terrible twos early. She provides me with enough material for a weekly post! She also calms down when waybuloo starts. I think they put something in the theme tune! Lovely to find you! Great blog!

  7. Mum2BabyInsomniac

    I read this post when you first wrote it but couldn’t relate to it as Iyla had never had a tantrum. Then yesterday all that changed! Hers went on for about the same amount of time during which she screamed until she puked all over the sofa which meant we had to give her a bath mid-tantrum due to all the puke in her hair! I have never seen anything like it. I just hope they don’t happen often! x

  8. Pingback: When you don’t always take the most conventional path. | Aimee Horton

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