Sunday, July 31, 2005


And this would be the flip-side of previously-posted Happy Sweet Puppy-Hugging Girl. Please, one and all, allow me to introduce you to Tantrum Child.
Tantrum Child shows up at unpredictable times--but she expresses herself in a predictable way: By stridently proclaiming, at the top of her lungs, how she will "NEVER", or sometimes "NEVER ANYMORE" do whatever it is that you are desperately wishing she would currently, please, for the love of flowers, puppies, Grandmommy and popsicles, please please do, stop doing, eat, or submit to.

Here is a recent series, all from the same day--I'll even spare you the first HALF of the day, which was much the same, and start with late afternoon, when I've picked her up from her short stint at the daycare a few doors down from the office (where Daddy and Grandmommy H. also are), and we're getting ready to go home.

"NO, I NEVER! I NEVER! I NEVER GO HOME ANYMORE!" We make it out the office door, and then,

"I NEVER GO IN THE ICE (ed.--white) TRUCK. I HAVE TO GO IN THE RED TRUCK!" Ten minutes later, she's finally in the white truck.

"I HAFFA GET OUT! I HAFFA GET OUT! I NEVER GO HOME AGAIN!" We make it home, She Who Will Not Be Quieted screaming, crying, and struggling against the 5-point restraint of her carseat (sometimes even managing to get an arm or two out through sheer force of will) all the way. We pull up in the driveway, I go around to her door, and open it. She is now desperately clutching her seatbelt straps for dear life, looking as if I am planning to pull her out of the vehicle and toss her directly into our conveniently-placed drivewayside alligator pit (note--alligator pit does not actually exist). Again screaming.

"I CAN'T GET OUT! I NEVER! I NEVER! I NEVER! I WANNA GO BACK! NOOOOO, MOMMEEEEE!" I pry her, with much difficulty, out of the car, whereupon she wrenches herself out of my arms and runs back to the car door, clutching the handle and still yelling. Now into the house. Luckily, she's still only 30 pounds or so, even if it is like 30 pounds of greased, rabid badger with 14 elbows. Once inside the house, we have several more NEVER NEVER spells, involving staying inside, getting undressed, me changing clothes (both the removing of my work clothes and the putting on of my comfy clothes gets its own tantrum. As does my taking off my shoes.) And letting the dogs out. And letting the dogs back in. She spends a while roaming around the house crying and forlornly clutching my shoes, purse, and her diaper bag.

Next we have an epic struggle to get her into the bathtub, starting with getting the Pull-Up off (this tantrum will be played out in reverse after the bath, when it's time to put a Pull-Up back on). Bathtime cheers her up considerably, as it always does. Until....that's right. It's gotta end sometime. No matter how sorely you are tempted, you simply cannot in good conscience leave a wet toddler in an empty bathtub overnight.

What is pictured above is the epicenter, if you will, of an "I NEVER! I NEVERNEVERNEVER GET OUT OF THE BAPTUB ANYMO-ERRR!" tantrum. She must have stayed in there a good half hour after the water was gone. I finally bribed her out with a popsicle, I's all a little blurry. I do remember her listing a litany (Daddy, Grandmommy, Andrea, Grayson, Chip, Grandmommy--she has two) of people who she would NEVER see again anymore ever.

I also remember that she was remarkably cheerful and sweet the rest of that evening. She seems to have an innate sense of preservation that lets her know just exactly how far she can push her Mommy and Daddy before we go screaming into the night.

And God, if you're listening (and I know you are), I gotta tell you...I love her more than the entire world, more than my own life, and wouldn't trade a second of any of it for all the years of pre-Bella existence.


  1. Times like this is when reading something like this may help parents. :)

    Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all I ask for. I’m only testing you.

    Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it; it makes me feel secure.

    Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.

    Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly "big."

    Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I’ll take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private.

    Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins. It upsets my sense of values.

    Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

    Don’t be too upset when I say "I hate you." Sometimes it isn’t you I hate but your power to thwart me.

    Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I need.

    Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.

    Don’t forget that I cannot explain myself as well as I should like. That is why I am not always accurate.

    Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do, you will find that I stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.

    Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.

    Don’t tell me my fears are silly. They are terribly real and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.

    Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover that you are neither.

    Don’t ever think that it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm toward you.

    Don’t say "It’s all right" when I am crying. It is NOT all right, and "I know it hurts" or "I understand you're feeling sad" helps me to know you see how I’m really feeling.

    Don’t forget I love experimenting. I couldn’t get along without it, so please put up with it. Let me be creative and discover!

    Don’t forget how quickly I am growing up. It must be very difficult for you to keep pace with me, but please do try.

    Don’t forget that I don’t thrive without lots of love and understanding, but I don’t need to tell you that, do I?!

    Please keep yourself fit and healthy. I NEED you and I LOVE you.

  2. All very sound. Caden is a lucky little dude! As trying as "the terrible twos" are, I'm hyper-aware of how I will mourn them when they're gone, as I already do all the phases of growth we've been through thus far. *sigh!*

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