Thursday, April 21, 2011

Toddler Tantrums

One of the downsides to having kids less than 2 years apart is that just when you think you have outgrown the tantrums with your older kid, suddenly the younger one starts throwing them, too - and with a whole lot more pizazz!

My 18-month-old DD can throw one hell of a rage-tastic tantrum. When she doesn't get to have something she wants right NOW, which is more often than not something totally dangerous, like say, a butcher knife she sees DH wielding, or an old battery leaking acid she noticed up on the highest shelf of the garage, she just might go crazy on our asses. She's been known to fling herself on the floor, bang her head repeatedly, pull at the carpeting, hit her parents when they try to pick her up, and even pinch our skin between her little fingers.

Now, I know from talking to my friends that their kids did the exact thing at this age, too. I think all we can do is remain calm and try to make it so she doesn't try to slam her head into anything that could hurt her. Maybe offer her a pillow? Sometimes redirecting her has worked, too: "Ooh, is that a birdie outside?!!"

I just hope she starts talking more. She doesn't talk as fluently as DS did at this age, but I think he was a bit of an abberation, and he didn't have the second language exposure she is getting. But I guess it also makes me question some of the old gendered assumptions about "talkative girls" and "physical boys." For the moment, we seem to have just the opposite on our hands.

Another thing we're grappling with all of the sudden is both kids wanting to be held at the same time, and getting royally pissed that the other kid is in mama or daddy's arms, too. It really is sad/maddening/a total no-win that makes us want to run screaming from the house.

That's not to say it's all bad. The kids are both at such CUTE ages now. Everyday they say or do something totally wacky and hilarious. Honestly, about 99% of the time we love how they interact now. They can finally go run and play together outside in the yard and orchards, and we don't feel like we have to be watching them every single second. So that's been oddly freeing.

I also can't tell you how many parents of older kids have told us lately how much they would love to be able to re-live another week with their kids when they were at ages 18-months and 3 years old. I think this is another one of those wistful, 'Grass is always greener" sentiments, but hey, we'll take the reminder to enjoy our kids for the ages they're at now.


the milliner said...

Oh the pinching! It makes me insane!

DS is almost three now, and it does seem to be quite a magical time.

Melba said...

Don't I know it. Here I was thinking there would be a tantrum reprieve given that my kids are 2.5 years apart. Not so. Almost-4 year old Rosie is definitely not giving up the tantrums any time soon, and 15 month old Annie is just getting into her tantrum groove. By some stroke of miraculous luck, they rarely have tantrums at the same time, but STILL.

I do love too how they are starting to interact though. Just the other day, when Rosie was laid flat out on the floor still crying after a rip-roaring performance, Annie goes over and starts rubbing her back. It was so precious!

paola said...

Enjoy those first peaceful interactions between your kids because, IMHO, they don't last long! My kids( 4.25, 6.25)are either constantly bickering with each other or simulating bouts of Greco-Roman wrestling. In any case after 5 minutes someone comes running up in tears complaining that the other has taken a toy off them, or hit or scratched them. It is only bearably better when we are outside and they do thier own thing.

The telly is my salvation.

Cloud said...

Petunia's basic personality is so much more easy going than Pumpkin's, so even though she's in prime tantrum territory, I'm finding her tantrums easier to deal with than Pumpkin's ever were. She's waaaayyy easier to redirect.

But yeah, sometimes they both get going at once and I just want to run screaming from the house.

mom2boy said...

Had a head banging, back arching, roll around the floor tantrumer at 18 months, too. I feel your pain!

Those saddening/maddening parenting moments can be the toughest. Hang in there.

The kids playing in the yard and orchards sounds positively storybook. Soak it up! :)))