Posts Tagged ‘tantrum’

A creative solution

April 10, 2011

We have coloured plastic plates from IKEA that the kids use.  There are six, all different colours, which looks lovely but causes arguments all the time because inevitably at least two children will want the same colour.

The rule is: whoever asked for the colour first, gets it.

Today Babess asked for the green plate for her lunch.  Then Fainjin decided he wanted the green plate.  There were tears.  There was howling.  Fainjin tried to get Babess to take the green bowl instead of the plate.  We offered him a green cup.  More tears, more howling.  I was becoming quite annoyed with the tantrum when he came up with his own rather intelligent solution.

He asked us to put the blue plate on top of the yellow plate because then it would look green.

So we did, and it did, and he ate his lunch quite happily.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

“I’ve come to apologise…”

January 26, 2011

There’s usually a settling-in period when Pearl comes home from a holiday with Nana and Poppa.  She comes back to earth (and younger siblings, and “home” rules) with a bit of a bump, and for a day or two chafes at the normality of it all.

So we were frustrated and annoyed but not surprised when she blew up shortly after arriving home.  The cause of the tantrum was one of us asking her to put her shoes away – she had taken them off and dumped them in the middle of the kitchen floor.

We were informed that we were the meanest parents in the world, completely unreasonable, horrid (her favourite word at the moment) people, and she might as well run AWAY.  We nodded.  And asked her to pick up her shoes before she left.

It was pouring oil on the fire, really, and of course another torrent of tormented angst was directed at our cruel unfeeling selves.

We sighed at each other, tag-teamed to keep from betraying too much of our own frustration and angst, and got on with dinner and getting small ones to bed and so on.

Then, unprompted and much sooner than we would have expected, Pearl emerged from her bedroom (whence she had stormed in disgust).  She stood in front of us, took a deep breath, and said, “I have come to apologise for my behaviour earlier.  I’m sorry for shouting and not doing what you asked.  I’ll try to be good now.”

When I picked my jaw up off the ground, I thanked her and apologised for any shouting on my own part.  We hugged.  I raised an eyebrow at the Dad, Did you suggest this?, and he shrugged back, No.

Over the next couple of days I made sure to tell her a few times how impressed I was with her apology and maturity.  “Yes,” she remarked, “I think it’s easier for both of us when I’m good” (by which she means doing what she’s asked without throwing a tantrum about it).

I think I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel!

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Once isn’t enough

December 23, 2010

We’ve been talking about seeing Grandma and Grandad for weeks.  It’s so exciting!  Yesterday morning, as Babess snuggled next to me in bed (on a rare morning visit), I said, “Who will we see today?!”, and she replied, “Grandmadad!  And I will kiss him!” So sweet.

And so, and so.  The day passed.  Bags were packed (by me), unpacked (by Babess), re-packed (by Babess), re-discovered (by me), unpacked and repacked again – by me.  And locked.  Bedrooms were tidied, then turned upside down again 30 seconds later.  Dishes were done, only to pile up again just as we thought we were finished.  It felt like we would never win.  But we did, eventually.  Finally, the house was vaguely presentable – I like to come home to something at least vaguely presentable! – and we were all in the car.

We had two hours at the airport, then four hours on the plane (with 200km/h headwinds!), then a transfer, then another 90 min or so in the airport, then nearly 90 minutes on another plane.  The kids were good, but oh so tired.  There were tantrums, as they struggled against the sleep which inevitably overtook them.  They woke up thirsty, disoriented, and grumpy.  We landed in full darkness, rumpled and disheveled, owl-eyed and wrinkling our noses.  There have been floods here, and the debris is rotting – it smells nasty.  You do get used to it quite quickly, though!

Waiting patiently for us at the airport, as promised, were Grandma and Grandad, as well as uncles and aunts.  Pearl gave them enthusiastic hugs and kisses.  Fainjin and Babess, sleep-fuddled and shy, regarded them silently, shrugged under the hugs and tolerated the kisses.

We didn’t spend too long at the airport – it was already about midnight in our home time-zone, and we needed to get the children (and ourselves!) to bed, knowing  full well that we were likely to wake at 4am local time with small ones wanting breakfast.  So we had the briefest of catch-ups with gathered family and took our leave.

We got lucky: Fainjin was the first child to wake, just after 5am local time.  I got him some breakfast, and talked about the day to come.  “We’ll go and see Grandma and Grandad,” I began, and he looked at me in surprise.


I explained that we didn’t have to go on any more planes to see them, we’re here now and they’re just down the road so we can go and see them lots of times before we go home again.  We can see them every day until Christmas!  He nodded.

A little later, when everyone was up and dressed and fed, we were ready to go.  “Come on Babess, time to see Grandma and Grandad!” I said.

She looked up at me, frowning.  “Again?!”

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Listen to the water

December 5, 2010

We took the children to a Christmas magic show this afternoon, and decided to try a nearby family-friendly restaurant for dinner afterwards.

It was a disaster.

Babess followed me to the loo, then escaped and was running loose – only for a few heart-stopping seconds before I located her, but it felt like longer, and the wait-staff (although cheery) can’t have been happy to have a miniature tripping-hazard running around unsupervised.  When I found her and took her to our table, Fainjin was wailing because he had wanted to go with me too (lucky me!), and didn’t want to be in the restaurant at all.

Pearl moaned that she didn’t like anything on the menu, and said loudly “Then I’m not eating ANYTHING.  I will wait OUTSIDE.”  It fell into one of those natural pauses in all the conversations around us, and seemed to echo through the dining room.

Babess was trying to wriggle from my clutches so she could run around the restaurant again, and Fainjin was loudly trying to wriggle from his father’s clutches so he could climb on me.  He would undoubtedly have shoved Babess aside in frustration.

We were *that* family in the restaurant.   The one where you try not to look over at them, and silently thank your lucky stars that your children are nothing like those.

We decided to get our meals to take away (fortunately, that was an option).  The Dad took Pearl and Fainjin outside to run around and do their moaning out there, and I kept Babess with me.  While we were waiting, I noticed a sign above the tap on the wall behind the bar.

The water from this tap often comes out


Use with caution!

Next time, instead of telling off the kids myself, I’ll ask for a glass of the scolding water to do it for me.  Perhaps they’ll listen more to that.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Never admit it

September 14, 2010

I don’t think Babess can have had a nap at daycare today. Most unusually, she fell asleep in the car on the way home.  And of course, after what can only have been a quarter-hour sleep, she was cranky and fragile when she woke up.

After the third mini-meltdown in as many minutes, I scooped her up for a cuddle and said, “Aw, sweetie, you’re totally worn out, aren’t you?”

“No I not!” she hiccoughed, “I just like crying!”

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Another first…

April 12, 2009

… although this is one I’d happily have put off!  Babess has thrown her first tantrum.  It was a micro-tantrum, as befits a nine-month-old, but very definitely a hissy fit.

Pearl and Fainjin were playing football (soccer) outside with their dad, who had been carrying Babess so she could “play” too.  But the washing needed to come in off the line, and it’s hard to do that with a baby on your hip.  I was busy in the kitchen, so suggested he leave her on the floor near me, and close the door to prevent an escape.

She threw him a dirty look as he closed the door, and barked out a “Wah!”.  What a world of meaning that girl can put into a simple “Wah”!  Then she rolled onto her back, made eye contact with me, gently but audibly put her head back on the floor, and wailed very briefly, waving arms and legs.   Attracting very little sympathy (“Them’s the breaks, kid”), she decided there were probably better things to do with her time and crawled off to find a toy.

Her mother smothered a grin, and went back to the dishes.  If only all tantrums in this house were so brief!

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