Secret 2: Toxic Tantrums = True Love

I sometimes admit when I’m wrong. Today is one of those days. You know how I said that having a two-year old was super fantastic? When I said that they were indeed reasonable little creatures? When I asserted that the Kaiser respected and listened to me? When I gloated about his good behavior?

Wrong. Parenting fail.

Major blowout yesterday as we tried to leave school in an orderly manner. Really, more like a three-hour blowout with spotted periods of calm. Started when I picked him up from school. Ended when his arbitrarily angry ass finally went to bed. The tantrum was punctuated with violent lip biting (Emo-style), hitting me, screaming. More screaming. Shrieking (trust me, it’s different). Kicking. Tears. Frankly, it was first just mortifying, then demoralizing. Unbelievable how much another person’s actions can so embarass and sadden you.

Here’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics has to say about tantrums. And here’s what I say to the American Academy of Pediatrics (suckit):

  • Your child may not fully understand what you are saying or asking, and may get confused.
    What part of “Get in the goddamn car” is unclear? Yep, I’m pretty sure I cursed. Don’t be shocked. It’s not the first time; won’t be the last.
  • Your child may become upset when others cannot understand what she is saying.
    Trust me, Kaiser, I get it. I understand your two-syllable words of disdain, but I’m also really feelin’ your non-verbal cues: You hate going home and you want to kick me in the face.
  • Your child may not have the words to describe her feelings and needs. After 3 years of age, most children can express their feelings, so temper tantrums taper off. Children who are not able to express their feelings very well with words are more likely to continue to have tantrums.
    Pahahaha. Yeah? He’s quite adept at expressing, “Mommy, I find your company tedious and mundane. I’d much prefer prolonging my time at school with the joyous entertainment of my peers. Now please, evil harpy, get out of my way else I’m liable to beat you about your countenance. Asshole.”
  • Your child has not yet learned to solve problems on her own and gets discouraged easily.
    The problem: Kaiser wants to slide (just “one more time”)
    The solution: I drag him, after two bonus slides, through the pre-school, out the door and to the car.
  • Your child may have an illness or other physical problem that keeps her from expressing how she feels.
    If by physical problem you mean Tourette’s, characterized by involuntary slapping.
  • Your child may be hungry, but may not recognize it.
    Lookit, I had Sunchips and chocolate milk. What more do you want for the car ride home? What?
  • Your child may be tired or not getting enough sleep.
    Nope. Doctor, I’m starting to doubt your qualifications. What if he’s just a dick?
  • Your child may be anxious or uncomfortable.
    He should be anxious, after pounding my ear with his fist.
  • Your child may be reacting to stress or changes at home.
    I said, “Cole. Mommy’s NOT proud of you right now.” He wailed. I am a horrible, guilt-ridden mother.
  • Your child may be jealous of a friend or sibling. Children often want what other children have or the attention they receive.
    He will not stop asking for a sister. No way, Damien.

Really, I jest. I kid because the honest truth is his behavior shocked me. Made me sad. Ok, I cried. Because – well, what happened to my sweet baby? And what happened to the calm mother I thought I was becoming? I yelled back at him. After hours of fighting to keep my mouth shut….Yep. I lost it. Screamed at him to finish his strawberries. Walked away. I still feel horrible, but am trying to acknowledge that while I’m a mother, I’m also human. And after three hours of toddler abuse, I was bound to break.

So I’m trying to remain all Zen and whatnot. That being said, if anyone wants to borrow a two-year old, holla.



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4 responses to “Secret 2: Toxic Tantrums = True Love

  1. G. Angus

    That’s something the West just doesn’t get: Zen doesn’t mean a constant state of calm. As in nature, shit happens, we react.

    So, I’m not a parent. But not acknowledging a child’s bad behavior is far worse than accepting it. So long as mommy doesn’t resort to blows, I firmly believe all’s fair.

    You go.

  2. Sara Kate Fraser

    Hey Angus. Thanks for commenting. I don’t mean that bastardized “Zen,” really. I’m trying, though, to live more in the “now.” And I have a new book, “12 Steps and Buddhism,” that I find absolutely fascinating. Diggin’ the Buddhism stuff. If you have good resources, let me know. Thanks again. 🙂

  3. G. Angus

    A good source on Zen? Why, the only source you’ll ever need:

    On the Transmission of Mind: The Teachings of Huang Po. Best book I’ve ever read on Zen — or any form of Buddhism. Master Po tells (or told) it like it is!

  4. La Feroce Bete

    good blog.

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