Monday, October 1, 2007

Tantrumers Anonymous

I’m thinking of launching a support group for Will and other toddlers who are addicted to throwing crying, screaming fits about the most minute details on a semi-regular basis. Tantrumers Anonymous, we’ll call it.

If the first step is admitting you have a problem, Will has at least done that. I remember making a deliberate decision during that long ago first tantrum not to call it a tantrum to Will. Maybe I thought that by labeling it I was giving the beastly behavior some validity? But somewhere along the way, Will picked up the term and started using it on himself. He likes to talk with us after the fact about his tantrums, with that label attached. And he tries so hard to reform. Find Will in a period of happiness and sweetness (which describes him most of the time – I just focus on tantruming Will, poor guy, because it sort of amuses me to write about his primitive behaviors and because I’m always puzzling about how to help him through them)… Anyway, find him in a happy moment and he’ll tell you, totally unprompted and out of the blue, that he’s made up his mind to quit the stuff for good.

Here’s a quote from this weekend, again unprompted, during breakfast on a morning when there’d been no tantrums.

“I’m not going to do tantrums anymore. I’m sorry I did every each tantrum I don’t like. ‘Cause I don’t like tantrums. Tantrums are not fun.”
He keeps swearing off the stuff, but then that terrible concoction -- an ounce of frustration, a pinch of weariness and a body full of toddler impulsiveness – lures him back for more. Let me know if you’re willing to host the first TA meeting at your house? Because we’re not having it at mine.

1 comment:

Monkey's Mommy said...

We could hold TA at my house but I'd like to request they not be held at church or Target or the post office if possible (wink). Last night I learned that the massive hissy thrown by my child during Sunday School was heard upstairs by an adult class. They couldn't tell just what he was screaming, but I informed them it was a mantra of "Eli Stand Up Eli Time Out All Doooone" Sadly it was one of those times lacking in the "Been There" looks from other mothers. More like Someone Page His Mother Now looks and I was standing right there. What ya gonna do ya know?