How to expertly handle tantrums

Today was epic.   On the plus side, I got to try out some new parenting techniques that K and I learned at our $180 parenting class!  Yay.

I’m two glasses in, so excuse any spelling errors.  Meaning two glasses of wine.  Yep, I’m that mom.  The bottle was opened at 4:59.  The first sip at 5:00 and from then on it didn’t matter that Zoe threw her plate across the room or that Max somehow ended up with his pants off again.  I really need to learn to buy the Target wine box (or the “T-box”, as they call it), discussed often at Rants From Mommyland.  But I digress.  

Anyway, the day began with a diaper situation that almost had me calling the Center for Disease control because that simply can’t be normal for a 24 lb child.  Then I got her back to sleep for a few minutes and Max came in, acting like a character from Night of the Living Dead….”I’m hungry…hungry…brains, brains!!”  When the day begins with shit and screaming, it’s not good.  I am not a morning gal.

It was Wacky Wednesday in Max’s class and we decided he was going to wear a t-shirt, a tie, swimming goggles and two different shoes.  He was totally into it.  Until we were three feet from his classroom.  Suddenly he didn’t want to dress wacky.  He wanted matching shoes.  He was shy.  He was embarrassed.  He didn’t like Wacky Wednesday.  He wanted to drive home and get his matching shoes.  Um, no.  Thank God for Mr. Jason, one of the teachers, for wearing a rainbow colored afro-like wig.  Because if it hadn’t been for him, Max would have been coming home with me and then the wine might have been cracked open at noon.

Crisis averted, I walked downstairs to the lobby of the preschool and calmly walked out…..yep I’ve got this under control.  I am a competent, calm, mother of two.  Zoe and I walked across the street, holding hands, where upon she decided, in the middle of the street with a truck approaching, that she didn’t want to hold hands.  I took her hand back and calmly told her that street = hand hold.  Nope.  A collapse to the concrete, truck be damned and commence shrieking.

A fellow room mom was in front of me and she laughed and said “How old is Zoe again?”  I told her two and one month and was met with “Oh yeah, the terrible twos!”  This comment, two days after a person that works at the school remarked “Haha!  Terrible twos huh?” when Zoe was throwing a tantrum in the actual school.  Laugh it up people.  Laugh it up.

After a harrowing ride home, whereupon Zoe shrieked and pointed at various things, trying to communicate God knows what, the next couple hours progressed relatively painlessly.  In fact, she even went down for a nap after only 20 minutes of back rubbing and singing, rather than the usual 40 minutes of incessant cuddling, back rubbing, singing and various other tricks to force a 2 year old to calm herself.  She woke up after only 45 minutes, per usual, but the point is it only took 20 minutes to get her to go to sleep.

Wednesday is a busy day for us because both kids have swimming right after pre-school ends and then Max has soccer practice so I (usually) wake Zoe from her nap, race to the preschool with Zoe still in jammies, get Max, race home to change Zoe and grab the swim bag, race to swimming, race home and get the kids an early dinner and then troop off to soccer practice.  Max apparently had other plans for the day.  Every time I have picked him up from school for the last two weeks, he has greeted me with telling me the latest thing that he “wants”.  Today it was sneakers with laces.  Forget the fact that he doesn’t know how to tie laces, he wanted these right now, today.  I, of course, said hells no because guess who will be the one tying them every three seconds?

What followed can only be described as a category 5 tantrum.  And of course it happened in the middle of the lobby of the preschool.  These people must think my children are insane.  All the way to the car, he’s screaming that I’m a bad mommy.  After 5 minutes of it, I whipped out a “consequence with empathy” (Thank you Love and Logic parenting class!)  “Oh dude, this is so sad but since you’re screaming at me, you’re going to lose the TV and the iPad for the rest of the day.”  More shrieking ensues about the thought of no cartoons.  No lesson learned whatsoever.  Hysteria for ten more minutes.  “Oh, Max I’m so sorry, but you’re going to have to skip soccer practice today now also”.  Nope, nothing but screams.  Straight to his room when we got home, which resulted in kicking the door, throwing books and pillows, etc, etc.  He finally calmed down about 45 minutes after the whole thing started and his face was blotchy for the rest of the day.  All this over shoes with laces.  Seriously?  I think I’m doing something wrong.

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