Epic Temper Tantrums

January 14, 2011

Bella has always been a fairly compliant child. When she’d find a fuzzy she’d bring it to us. Pieces of paper, small bits of carpet fibers, a poof of lint from the dryer. All placed lovingly in our hands and she’d happily toddle off for more.

I felt very blessed to have such a sweet child. So thoughtful. So kind. So generous. So peaceful.

Then one day? I took a pencil away from her. “No, no Bella, this is sharp. Give it to Mommy.”

For a split second, her hand reached out, but as I went to take it, she closed her little fist back up around it.

Surprised, I thought maybe she didn’t understand. “It’s blah honey, blah. Let me have it.” Blah stands for anything we don’t want her to play with – toilet seats, the kitty food, an old bean on the carpet…

No response. I could see her contemplating the value of the pencil. Then she looked up and in her eyes was total and complete defiance. A look of, 

“Screw you Mommy. It’s mine.”

She started to back away from me, so I grabbed it out of her hand to keep her from walking off with it. I figured she might whine about it for a second and then find something else to play with.

What I got was a full scale, out of proportion, epic temper tantrum. She instantly collapsed on the floor, almost as if she had no bones, and screamed at the top of her lungs while tears ran down her cheeks. Howling and choking on sobs, she rolled back and forth in despair, getting up only to somehow lose her balance and dramatically crash to the floor again and again.

I was shocked. What on earth?

After she calmed down I told myself it was just a fluke. She must have been tired.

3,274,569 temper tantrums later I’m pretty sure this might be her new phase.

And as sad as this might sound? I actually giggle through most of them. Because Bella looks so funny, and I don’t know any other way to deal with the evil glares from people when she throws herself backwards in the shopping cart at Target because she can’t crunch up the Goldfish and toss them all over the floor – then bangs her head in her anger and acts as if she was shot while flailing around as the seat belt keeps her from falling out of the cart but prevents her from really being able to be as physically dramatic as she would like so she decides to amp up the vocals a few more notches until people are looking at me with suspicion in their eyes like, “Did you just beat your kid because no child acts like that over Goldfish?”

That’s when I have to nervously giggle. From sheer terror of, “OMG make it stop.”


  • InTheBabyhood

    January 16, 2011 at 12:28 am

    This is just what I needed to hear today…soooo funny! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • TheNextMartha

    January 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    My son Tegan used to head butt me. I then started carrying him face down. Once I forgot. He broke one of my teeth. Little shit. Once their over? You’ll wonder “who WAS that child”

  • Law Momma

    January 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I laugh at J’s temper tantrums, too. I can’t help it. It’s funny!

  • Hollie

    January 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Please forgive me..I had to have a serious laugh at loud moment, no..a hysterical 10 minutes of laughing so hard, as I read this to my husband. I just want you to know.. My daughter Madison is 19 months..and she is going through ~ the same. exact. thing. I feel your pain/anguish/little giggles…Oh..It was almost as what you were describing a mirror reflection of our little girl.
    Today while at work I recieved this text from my husband :
    Evidently they just had some snacks and Madison was drinking water
    from a new sippy the babysitter had. Well, since it wasn’t ours, he simply
    set it aside and proceeded to get her ready to go home. And it was
    as IF it was the end of the world. She had become so attached to the new sippy and the water in it..she just didn’t want to part with it…
    Yeah. That’s my girl.
    And oh yeah, I get it. The lying on the floor rolling around —overdramatic-
    kicking the feet –its the end of the world.. Your girl and my girl..I bet they could win Oscars, for dramatic portrayal. Oh my goodness..Know your not alone… and may the force be with you!!! 🙂

  • Branson

    January 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Lol! Love this, but at the same time scared because I am quite attached to my even-tempered little man. Not looking forward to the inevitable change!

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

      It might not! I do know some kids that really never do this kind of stuff, they are always mild mannered. Bella is high strung (can’t imagine where she gets it from) so I knew it was coming eventually.

  • Brooke

    January 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Ugh – Ruby is starting to do this too. I kind of laugh about it too and then try to distract her with something slightly more interesting/less life-threatening… it’s about 50/50 effective…

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm

      I like the distracting approach – usually it works if I can get her to hear/see me.

  • Not There Yet

    January 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I was laughing the whole way through reading this. They get so wiggly it IS like they have no bones…. great!

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      You just wait lady 🙂 you’ll be there in no time and I’ll be reading your posts on this. And then we’ll commiserate together. Hopefully I’ll be able to give you some advice. Or just massive sympathy. lol

  • Amber

    January 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    OMG I am so there! My 2 year old is exactly like that. I have had to just leave a few places. It sucks

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      I’m dreading the day she actually wants to be somewhere and I have to follow through on “Do you want to leave?” Because I know it’s going to be somewhere I could have sat and had a break that she chooses to melt down. 🙂

  • kim

    January 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Ohh, yes! Welcome!! You’re new here, aren’t you? I can tell by the shattered look on your face. Soon you’ll be wearing the face that says, “BRING.IT.” And it IS funny. I STILL laugh. Because really? You’re going to scream b/c I took a sharp object- that could potentially blind you- out of your tiny hand, and in 2.5 seconds you will see something shiney and forget what you are even upset about? Yeah. Cry, baby, cry. And when those moms in Target give me the stink eye? I smile sweetly and say, “I bet your kid was this kid yesterday, right?” and giggle like we’re in on some secret.

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      BWAHAHAHAHA – I am fairly new to it! You’d think after being a nanny – but in those cases I just blamed it on the parents. Like with the eye roll and a “You might do this with mommy, but not with me.” Just to let everyone know I CERTAINLY wasn’t going to tolerate that.

      And yet, here I am…

  • Scott aka This Daddy

    January 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    This happens to us all. You cant avoid it. It hits just when you dont expect it. As for other people looking, I like to look at them and blow them a kiss or ask them if they would like a turn or just ignore them. Thats is the best when you act like you have no clue. And my wife and I laugh too, what else are you to do.

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      LOVE the “asking if they would like a turn” part!! That cracked me up.

  • melissa

    January 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Haha! Lady, you are SO not alone!

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      I can’t see your little man doing that! But then again, Bella looks so innocent in her pics too lol.

  • Jen

    January 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Oh welcome to the terrible twos. Which in my case starts at about 18 months and lasts….well forever. lol I find it best to not react to it, otherwise they keep it up. Good luck one of the not so fun mommy moment.

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      I guess mine started at 13 months. :/ And since she’s fairly persistant at things, we’ll just have to wait and see how long it lasts. Maybe by college…

  • Renee Podtburg

    January 14, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for putting that into words! There have been numerous times that I have left the grocery store completely mortified and called my mom in the parking lot just to apologize for whatever it was I did to her when I was little!

    1. Diana

      January 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      I’ve done that as well. It’s a very, very humbing experience to have a child.

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