8 Stages Of The Toddler Crushing My Gentle Spirit
Every parenting partnership has a unique division of labour.
In our house The Man would probably try and claim that ours is 70/30 him to me which is a blatant LIE. I do, however, admit that he is perhaps a slightly more effective disciplinarian than I am.
I read quite a bit about different methods for dealing with tantrums and every week I resolve to enact some new strategy (time outs, calming head massage, soothing essential oils, humming – The Man thinks my methods are "airy fairy bullsh*t).
Despite my efforts and lateral thinking, my resolve rapidly DISolves in the face of my strident toddler.
8 stages of The Toddler crushing my gentle spirit:
Stage 1: Ambitious New Approach to Discipline is in Place
Determination level: Strong
I have done some reading, The Man has mocked me for proposing a new method of tantrum diffusing, something along the lines of healing crystals that my aunt gave me and that I am in no position to mock because at this stage (The Child is now 2 years and 2 months old and I'm really working hard on maintaining DEEP denial about the fact that the Terrible Twos are strong in him now) I'll try ANYTHING.
Stage 2: First Signs of Toddler Opposition
Determination level: Strong
The Child hits me with his fork because I wouldn't give him the jar of Dijon mustard to eat. Using Firm Voice I tell him "that hurts Muma" to which he laughs maniacally.
Stage 3: Stay Strong in Face of Rising Decibels
Determination level: Wavering somewhat.
The fork is now being bashed on the table repeatedly. "Please give Muma the fork." I say instead of taking it from him as I think I read somewhere about giving them a feeling of control helps them to feel less impotent. This does not work and the banging continues.
Stage 4: Deep Breathing
Determination level: Clinging to previous resolve to stay strong. Repetition of mantra: "Toddlers are sweet, toddlers are nice."
F*ck it. I snatch the fork away which has the desired effect of stopping the banging but unfortunately produces a new ear-splitting auditory attack on my senses.
Stage 5: Proffering of Healing Beads/Biscuits to Placate
Determination level: Inching towards weakening. Definitely.
Both healing beads and biscuits are flung away which means the tantrum is in full swing. The Child gets down on the floor to better aid his screaming and kicking (this is normal right? Is it?).
Stage 6: Rubs Toddler's Back While Whispering Supportive Words in Child's Ear
Determination level: Rapidly plummeting.
I'm definitely NOT very good at this. The Man wanders past looking amused and deeply skeptical. "Leave him to sort himself out for a minute, you're making it worse..." "No you're making it worse," I shriek with disproportionate venom (and I wonder where The Child gets it.)
Stage 7: Lie Down Beside Wailing Child Who Is Now Arching Back in a Disturbing Fashion That Makes Me Question the Existence of Demonic Possession.
Determination level: Pleading has commenced.
Stage 8: The Child is On My Face
The lying down has apparently appeased The Child who is now happily bouncing on my tummy flab. Am too defeated and traumatised to protest.
Determination level: Give me the wine.