There’s nothing worse than, when in a public place, your child has a full-blown tantrum, arching its back, screaming in a puce rage, oh and then a kindly old lady, pops up from nowhere and says in a calm voice: “Somebody’s Mr Grumpy” as if you hadn’t noticed! There’s an unwritten rule that when a mum sees a child having a paddy we look the other way because we’ve all been there and the last thing a mum wants is stares because you just want to disappear in a puff of smoke.
I have run out of numerous supermarkets forgetting my shopping just to avoid the embarrassment of a toddler tantrum.
How can a small “butter-wouldn’t-melt child” transform in to a bottom lip curled under, stomping, huffing and puffing, door-slamming petulant pint-sized teenager?
Sometimes, there’s no rhyme nor reason. A rage can come out of the blue from 0 to 100 there’s a huge tantrum over something as small as a cup of milk, I get the milk and my son Harry screams: “No not this cup I want a cup with a lid on.” So I dutifully get a cup with a lid on to be told: “NOOOO milk from a GREEN cup!”
I remember saying, before being a parent, I would never use bribery, but how wrong I was. Like a magician, I am frantically pulling out various objects from my bag, starting with a toy followed by raisons, upgrading the treat each time ending with a show-stopping chocolate biscuit and if that fails – exit stage left.
You may be reading this thinking ah ha this is where you are going wrong, you are rewarding bad behaviour. In the cold light of day, I agree, but when you have a screaming, stubborn toddler you will try anything to get them to be calm.
“Keep Calm and Carry On” I have this war-time motto on my bag, a plaque on my kitchen wall as well as on my keyring and would love to say I adhere to these wise words, but that is all they are to me words because when my son is in full tantrum I can feel my blood pressure rising and I am far from calm.
Harry has just turned three and has been remarkably well behaved so far no big tantrums, so I am assuming this means the terrible two have disappeared and Abracadabra he has turned in to a tremendously happy 3-year-old . . . now that would be magic!