Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Boss Gets Promoted to Mayor Of Tantrum Town

I don't know what to do with The Boss. Literally and figuratively. Any which way you look at it, smell it, taste it, hear it or touch it, I do not know what to do.

So I improvise. I read to her, a lot. I know I can do that much. We read Dr. Suess after Sesame Street after Happy Baby board book, because books don't cause tantrums. Then we read the "I Love My Daddy" book and my mind wanders to The Partner at work, who's probably right now thinking he has it so tough. Thinking I do nothing at home but shirk laundry duty and post to my blog. Thinking The Boss watches too much TV.

Eventually we leave the book case in favor of the open road. I strap her into her car seat and slink in front of the steering wheel. Since making eye contact only serves to rile the beast, I look ahead. I consult the rear view mirror in a traffic assessment, but I dare not even glance at The Boss. I know from experience that her mannerisms will be calm, her gaze all-seeing. Sometimes she folds her hands in front of her as the countryside rolls by. Other times she sprawls out, her arms hanging over the sides of her seat so that she looks like my dad watching football in his recliner. In my leather lemon of a car, we are relaxed.

Then we come home and again, I'm clueless. She's mad. I don't know how to make her eat or sleep. So I wing it. And maybe she eats. Maybe she sleeps. It's a crapshoot. Which reminds me of the diapers, which are the only easy constant. Then I remember that I should be teaching her to use the potty.

For twenty months she was docile and sweet. I illogically concluded that her behavior proved I was a good mother. Now I realize that I was not good at all. I was lucky.

And I have no idea what to do now that my luck's run out.

16 comments:

Michele said...

Ok, bear with me while I give unsolicited advice.

Maybe she needs someone to play with. Someone her age, to be a demanding toddler with her peers. My niece turned from sweet, easy going angel to demanding shrew right around the same age. My SAH sister was at a loss. She signed her up for a "Moms Day Out" program where she goes two half days a week to "School" and she is a new kid. She loves it, she naps for HOURS afterwards, and her vocab and modd have made huge strides in the few weeks she has been in it.

Just my two cents. I feel for you. I still dont know what to do with my two and they at least have each other to harass.

Lawyer Mama said...

I can't give you any advice on the sleeping thing, that we have no problems with. But the eating, well, everyone I ask keeps insisting that when H is hungry, he'll eat. It's frustrating, but he doesn't seem to be wasting away so I try not to stress about it.

My H is 30 months. The frustrated screamin started at about 10 months & he really hit his full toddler stride right at about 20 months. Sometimes he is the sweetest little boy ever & then 2 minutes later he's throwing a screaming hissy fit, hitting throwing, and doing everything he can to show us how upset he is. Totally normal. Frustrating, yes, but totally normal.

Just make sure you get some time for yourself! (You know, if you can tear yourself away from doing nothing all day!)

Amy said...

I thought I was such a good mom, then out came Brooks. And, now I realize Isabella is just a good girl.

Boz said...

As a parent, you are doing fine.

Gwen said...

Ugh. The tantrum stage is a nasty one. And one that, judging from my youngest child, can last a very long time.

No eye contact, huh? I should try that one, since my almost 4 year old spent 20 minutes glaring at me today, for no reason I could think of.

slouching mom said...

Aww, it's not you! She HAS to go through this, it's what toddlers DO.

She will be sweet again.

jen said...

oh, friend.

I can so relate. I thought i was home free..the good mommy.

crock of shit, that. tantrums and the like for the last four months and counting. and counting. and counting.

hang in there, friend. this too shall pass (for the love of god)

Kate L. said...

I'm winging it too. But then I've been winging it for almost two years.

Sigh, I hear the terrible twos turn into the tantrum threes. Can't WAIT to see what that's like.

Redneck Mommy said...

I remember that stage.

I still have nightmares about it.

Have no fear, Binky. It will pass. Like a plague.

Comforting, isn't it?

Hang in there. AND DON"T MAKE EYE CONTACT!!

Mrs. Chicken said...

The Poo hit me with her toothbrush last night when I told her that she had to get out of the tub - AFTER 30 MINUTES.

We call her Mayor Hink of Hinkeytown.

I feel your pain, my friend. Again, I really think we should lock The Boss and The Poo in a room and let them duke it out.

As for the sleeping, well. Let's just say I am getting well acquainted with her Pottery Barn area rug.

ps - I'm posting my interview tomorrow!

toyfoto said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
toyfoto said...

You are a good mom. Your kid's just at a difficult age. I figure this is how GOOD moms (or those we percieve to be GOOD moms) do it: They don't take their kids anywhere until they outgrow the tantrum phase and then the don't tell ANYONE about their kids' tantrums. Furthermore, they don't let on that they are at a loss of what to do.

That's what my mom did, anyway -- she lied.

Tell you what? I feel better knowing the truth.

Chris said...

Hmmm, maybe it's just you. She was a little angel with me tonight. Ate all her food, and even went to bed without a peep. It was pretty much an evening of nonstop laughter and happiness.

Yup, it's easy when you've got the magic touch.

Boz said...

My wife told me that my earlier comment might be misinterpreted due to the qualifier, "as a parent."

For example, when a man says to a woman, "You look good today." what they mean is, "I like the outfit you are wearing, it looks good on you and you look good in general." Instead, the woman interprets the comment as, "You look good today. Normally you look like crap, but today you look like some semblance of a passable human being. Let's see what you come up with tomorrow, and I'll judge you again, then."

So, when I said, "As a parent, you're doing fine.", what I meant to say was, "Keep a stiff upper lip, you've been doing great, you are doing great, and I believe you will continue to do great. You haven't made any mistakes. Your offspring is going through natural stages of childhood. Stop beating yourself up for the faults of humanity."

I hope that clears up any possible misinterpretation.

Jocelyn said...

Oh my. This sounds a bit like me and Will: the books, the open road, the attemps to quell the grumpster beast that emerges in Will sometimes, him stomping feet and fist on the floor.

I especially like that idea that when your wee one is good, you as a parent feel responsible for that goodness. But then they go bad, and you realize your vulnerablities.

Take heed. it will pass right?
It's probably teething, or new nap schedules, or a phase. That's what we tell ourselves as we wing it, trying to rear a sweet boy.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

We should find a way to get our peeps togetha:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlsgonechild/446970324/

If only to share the mayorship. Or whatever.