Tantrums

My almost-one-year-old is starting to test the waters making some noise, arching her back, kicking her feet, you know, the usual toddler situation, so I hear.  This got me thinking about tantrums and what happens to a {little} person when they have one.  According to this article I read today, that now I can’t find, it went into detail about how the portion of a child’s brain that is responsible for regulating emotional response just isn’t developed yet.  That doesn’t help so much when I see some foreshadowing in my future of public meltdowns in grocery carts.  Good thing those carts have restraints.  Otherwise, would it be appropriate to carry a three-year-old in a Bjorn?  Or maybe just a backpack.

My little one, I pray that you get only the best parts of me and the best parts of your Daddy, because we are downright ridiculous sometimes.  And we sometimes throw tantrums.  I pray that you never see those parts of us, that somehow with a lot of diligence and digging deep for patience, that we will learn to be calm, hold you lovingly, and get through things together.  I pull from the very depths of my being this desire to be kind.  Firm when you need me to be, yes.  But I don’t want to throw tantrums back at you and teach you what angry is.  I want to teach you what kind is.  I want to show you what passion looks like.  I want to teach you about the “24 hour rule,” (and the 48 hour rule for that matter) and “first one that talks loses,” to keep your head until it’s on your time.  I am not always successful in this endeavor.  But maybe you can be.  When I say to you “use your words,” it’s not going to be some psychoanalytic approach to not use the word “whine.”  I hope it means, use your words, baby.  Tell me.  I am listening.

I see your frustration as you try so hard to communicate to me what it is you’re curious about.  I watch you point and try, and I hope you know just how intently I listen.  I know tantrums aren’t going to be fun, but I’m going to love you on through it.  Some of my favorite memories from college are from my Freshman year and playing the game “It’s not fair.”  It went something like, “it’s not fair that _____.” And then we would try to one-up each other about how unfair our lives were at that moment.  Those always turned out to be the absolute funniest nights in our dorm room.  Mini tantrums.  I want.  I wish.  I need.  Someone listen to me.

But as this tiny little person learns and grows, I know at some point we’ll look like this:

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And then maybe I can find it within me to sing her this:

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And then Mommy will have a glass of this:

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*Just an elephant throwing a tantrum: via Pinterest

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