Three is company?

I had an entirely different post planned for today and then…and then O threw the most dramatic temper tantrum in the history of temper tantrums that I just had to vent about it here. For those who are unfamiliar with Little Miss O and/or myself, we are cut from the same cloth. Raising her is a lot like I would imagine raising me was like (and suddenly I feel the need to make a bunch of apologies :)) She is very verbal, very stubborn and very opinionated. Fortunately, she is also very smart, very sweet and very funny…until she isn’t. Lately, O has been flexing her 3 year old muscles and it has not been easy on me and D.  This weekend, my usually unflappable D reached his limit and had to carry O screaming from a purim carnival at her school. She yelled the whole way home and  for a good 40 minutes before she was spent. Then bed time rolled around and O decided that she doesn’t like her bed anymore. She wants a new bed and she will not sleep until she gets it. She also hates her pajamas. My solutions for these problems were simple. Sleep on the floor in your underwear…done and done.  Alas, O didn’t go for that. Instead, she decided that she would scream and tantrum for an hour before finally falling asleep. These two incidents proved to be child’s play for what O had up her sleeve for me today.

I picked her up at school like usual. Most days we have snack with some of her friends and their parents in the lobby. We approached the snack bar and I asked her if she wanted to get mini muffins. She said “No, I want red Jello”. Perfecto. I paid for the jello and we settled in at the table. O and her friends noticed that there was a table with cookies that were free for the taking. I bet you think you know where this is going…but you would be wrong. She was allowed to have the cookie. I condoned the damn cookie. But the cookie wasn’t good enough for her.  No, No, No. Now, she wanted mini muffins. Cue me wanting to rip the hair from my head.

I told her that she couldn’t have the mini muffins because she already had two snacks. Welllllll…at this point there was no O, only Zuul. She marched over to the snack bar, and tried to grab the muffins herself. I was like 15 feet away and I saw what she was trying to do. I warned her about 3 times that she should rethink what she was about to do, but nope. She reached up and went for it. I swept in before anything actually fell and I put on her jacket while she screamed that she didn’t want to go. I managed to zip her up and I tried to grab her hand. Now we had an audience. My friends were trying to get Liv to calm down but their words were only fueling her ire. She was sobbing hysterically, yelling ” I don’t like you mommy. You aren’t my friend. Leave me alone”.  My 10 month old was now crying too because all she wanted was to be out of the stroller. I did everything I could think of. I pretended I was going to leave, I tried to grab her hand, my friends tried to grab her hand, staff members even tried to offer her another cookie (Note: I was not thrilled about this one because the last thing I wanted was to reward this behavior). I was mortified. I honestly didn’t know what to do. Finally, I had to pick her up and push my tank of a stroller to my car.   She screamed the entire way home and for a good 35 mins after. It was very relaxing.

Once she calmed down, we had a long talk about her behavior and how her actions affect other people. I have no idea if I got through to her at all.  The thing is, I get it. I used to throw tantrums like these also. I just wish I knew how to ward them off. I am now VERY afraid of the tween/teen years.

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4 thoughts on “Three is company?

  1. I love you and I love this. I felt your frustration every step of the way, because I have been there with E many times. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was every day for the past month. Although deep down, we know we’re all going through the same things with our “raging toddlers” (good band name??) we hate to be the ones “making the scene”. Well – what I have to say is this. We WILL make a scene. We will make it loud, and we will make it proud…because in the end that is how we will all learn. We will learn kicking and screaming out of the store. We will learn when we don’t get to go for ice cream with the other kids. We will learn when we cannot go to a friend’s house. AND we will learn…screaming and crying for the ENTIRE. 45 MINUTE. COMMUTE. HOME.

    Thank you for sharing. We’re all in this together!!! (seriously…I’m coming up with a LOGO and we’re making t-shirts and tote bags.)

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  2. For the record….I thought you handled it beautifully. I would have said I was leaving, and then actually left. And yes, I feel your fear over the tween/teen years, and I have a solution: boarding school!

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