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When do I get to have my tantrum?

He was 16 months when he stood with me in the kitchen, asking for an “Ookie.”

“No cookies now. After dinner. Okay?”  I said and away he toddled.

A moment later I found him on the floor in the hall, writhing and screaming. Immediately, I was alarmed. What was happening? Should I call a doctor? What was he doing?

I bent down. “Baby? What’s the matter? Are you okay? Baby?”

Still squirming like Linda Blair from the Exorcist, he wailed, “Wan ookie!!”

Huh? Was this a tantrum? It was my first. My older son had never had one. I watched with fascination.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. This was the same child who when I tried sleep training, absolutely trained me. I didn’t think a seven month old could cry that long and continuously. Ultimately, I spent the next two years sitting at the base of his crib every night until he fell asleep. Well trained, but not exactly what I was going for.

When we potty trained, it was the same business. Forget the stickers or M&M’s. No bribery, reason or compromise could make him go. Finally, I threw my hands in the air and gave up. The next day, he decided he was ready and went on his own.

Now eight years-old, he is my most charming, social and independent child. Yet he is still a spit fire, who has spent the last seven years mastering his button pushing technique. He no longer writhes on the floor, now his tantrums are much more manipulative and exhausting.

Yesterday, when we were about to leave, he decided that he didn’t want to go to his brother’s baseball game. While I understood, frankly, he had no choice.

I took a deep breath. “We are going. Please don’t make this difficult.”

Hands over the ears. “Lalalalala! I can’t hear you!”

I hate when he does that.

“Your friends will be there.” I said nicely, through gritted teeth.


“I’m going to have to take away your iTouch.”

“Good! Take it! I don’t want it anyway!”

“Come on!” I practically begged.

He went to hide behind a chair. “NO! You can’t make me!”

That was it. I could make him and sadly, I showed him how, by dragging him by the arm into the car.

His little body felt even lighter than the fifty pounds it was. He screamed the whole time and embarrassingly, I screamed back.

Once in the car, I took deep breaths. I was so angry, I couldn’t speak. I was mad at him and at myself. He was making me a bad parent, I thought spitefully.

Why not blame the eight year-old?

“Baby,” I said calmly. “None of that was okay. I’m sorry I lost my temper.”

He just shrugged. “Okay, me too.” Now that he was in the car, the drama was over. “When do you think I can get my iTouch back?” he asked sweetly.

He can turn off as quick as he turns it on. I’ll give him that.

He has always been unbreakable, but every so often it would nice if he could just give me a break.

I know it's hard to believe.

I know it’s hard to believe.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

11 responses »

  1. you’re such a great mom.

  2. I always scream back. Always. I can’t seem to stop. It’s so embarassing.

  3. OMG my 3-year-old is making me lose my mind lately and I have yelled and screamed more than I ever have before. Thank you for being honest about that–that’s why I love your blog so much!

    • thank you. i hate when it comes to that. I try really hard not to let any of them take me to that place, but sometimes….arrrgghg!! it’s amazing how these little creatures can create such big emotion. and there’s always one that’s extremely good at it. 😉

  4. I hate it when I loose it along with my kids! I got to say, it must be very hard to say no to those gorgeous eyes!!! They really keep you on your toes, don’t they? You are a great mom!! xo

  5. Oh, I know this scenario all too well. I scream back more often than I’d like to admit and then apologize just as you did. It’s the best I can do sometimes. And, damn, he’s so cute I could squeeze him! Hugs!

  6. My 2.5-year-old had her first public temper tantrum a couple of weeks ago, in the produce aisle of the grocery store. I felt like EVERYONE was staring at me, clucking their tongues in disapproval. I almost walked out, but we needed food and I could fathom going back again later when she called down. So I started to cry. Because that seemed like a good idea. At least now, after reading this post, I feel less alone! Big hugs! xo

    • right back at you. those moments are so frustrating. but i think more people are likely to want to hug you than pass judgement. we’ve all been there. that’s why wine (and ice cream) are so popular. xo


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