Monday, December 04, 2006

The Wonderful World of Tantrums

Apparently Satan's Dog must have bitten the Little Man a la Cujo, it's the only explanation for why my sweet, serious-yet-full-of-smiles baby has all of a sudden become possessed by the devil, complete with head turning 360 degrees while inhuman screams leave his tiny body.

Being around Little Man these days is a little like being a bomb squad. Hundreds of wires are interconnected and you even grazing one of them could mean the end of our little planet.

Anything can set him off. If he requests milk and you hand him his sippy cup, full of cow juice goodness, the world might end. Why this causes a tantrum, I've yet to understand, but then again, I don't understand basic economics either or why people think Paris Hilton is good looking, so you shouldn't expect much from me.

I do however know that even at my worst PMS, if I demand a five-foot tall giant chocolate Santa and it is provided to me within a 15-second time frame, I will not throw pots at Sweetie Pie's head. But nothing can appease our little benevolent dictator these days.

He has learned the art of throwing himself on the ground, no longer able to hold his body up under the crushing weight of his anger and disappointment in the world. He can sob the way one would sob if they were told Grey's Anatomy is about to go off the air. My reassuring him that in fact, there will be a new episode of Grey's Anatomy on Thursday only cause more screaming, like if I was peeling my son's epidermis layer by layer.

Which, in case there was any doubt, I am not.

The timing of this is a little suspicious, considering he started daycare almost a month ago. But at the same time, there was signs of this behavior before, it was only bubbling below the surface and I chose to ignore it, the way Californians ignore the fact that they're building multi-million dollar homes on ground that will one day be swallowed up.

Yesterday was a particularly bad tantrum day. I was covered in green pea soup on a regular basis, for crimes that include turning on the cartwheeling Tigger, offering a cookie and putting him on my lap instead of carrying him all around the house. All of these crimes, in the toddler kingdom, are punishable by death. Unfortunately, I'm not up on the latest laws of toddlerhood and my third strike means that I will be killed by overexposure to Elmo's supersonic voice. It's a painful death, one that melts your brain slowly and turns your saliva into cavity-causing sugar.

After trying hugging, distrating and time out, Sweetie Pie and I resorted to ignore the screaming toddler laying on our living room carpet, the way we ignore my mother when she makes a snide remark about the amount of dog hair in our home.

This tactic worked, although it did take 15 minutes of Sweetie Pie and I attempting small talk about the football game on television while the neighbors called the SPCA to report our slaughtering of exotic goats.

And then, just like that, the hurricane had passed again. Little Man picked himself up, babbled something about beating the shit out of his bouncy ball and then proceeded to pet the dog, his tear-stained face distorted into a smile.

Later, Sweetie Pie picked up "What to Expect the First Year" and we learned that 14 percent of one-year olds throw tantrums. I've always been the kind of mom who'd read each month of the What to Expect Books and would worry if my son hadn't reached all of the "This month, your baby might be able to..." milestones. But now, learning that 86 percent of parents out there have children who don't cause global warming with the sheer heat explosion that radiates from their thrashing body, I envy them and their normal children.




susan said...

14 percent?! only 14 percent?! your baby and i are "very special" then, cuz katie throws a mean tantrum. can't wait to get the tots together and place wages on who can scream the longest, loudest, etc. :)

susan said...

crap...why can't i edit my own post!? not your baby and i (though if i do say so myself..i am very special). your baby and mine!!!