Some people like replacing the "terrible" in the terrible twos with "terrific." These people have the idea that this "wonderful" developmental milestone is one that should not be immediately pigeon-holed as a negative period in parenthood. It should be embraced, reveled in even.
I had that mindset for about a week and a half.
Maybe not even that long.
The problem is that as wonderful as my dear, sweet Little Man is most of the time, there are moments--increasingly more frequent moments--during which some sort of anguish-ridden demon enters his body. This inevitably results in a tantrum, or a series of tantrums. For example, just in the last week, two of my favorites:
Exhibit 1: Little Man threw himself, face-down, onto the floor in the middle of the airport. It turns out, apparently, that when I hung up the pay phone and took it away from him, I somehow cut off his very happiness. His little body went limp, then stiff, then he fell to the floor. I, with stroller, multiple bags, all of our coats, and the parking information on hand stood there dumbfounded. The ladies working at the car rental booth chuckled, "I've never seen anything like that." As though I had. No, sir. This was a completely new experience for me. How lucky that I got to experience it with such a very, very large audience.
Exhibit 2: Just today, on the way home from the store, Little Man had a complete meltdown in the parking lot, when he decided that he wanted me and not his Papa to put him into the car. He refused, however, to ask nicely or to say please. Papa put him into the car, and we were treated to a symphonic melange of screams and whines for most of the drive home. Just as they subsided for a moment, we stopped to pick up some food. When he saw the drink that he couldn't have, we were treated to an encore. Or so we thought. It turns out that there was a second act. The child continued to scream and cry and kick and throw himself about for the next 20 minutes or so--it was a lovely, lovely lunch.
Here's the problem: he's not even two yet. I don't know how much more of this I can handle. Because the way I was brought up, this kind of behavior would get you a whack on the backside, and as I've written before, I'm not willing to do that to my child. I also don't believe it will work--I believe the science that says he's not in control of most of these "little" outbursts.
But somehow, I need to make it through the next, oh I dunno, year or so. So tell me-- how do I deal with tantrums without losing my cool? How can I help him learn to control himself? (And all those lurkers out there--I'm talking to you, too.) If you've never commented before, people, here is your big chance... I'm begging you.