Boo is mostly even-tempered — she’s almost always happy. She’s not immune to occasional snit over a toy, but compared to some I’ve seen, I think we got a pretty decent B-level prize in the disposition lottery.
So normally, none of these things would cause more than a short-lived jag in her jig:
- A major morning diaper leak.
- An inexplicably stuffy nose — allergies, I guess?
- Mommy at work.
- Daddy didn’t make himself coffee.
- Too much distraction to eat enough food.
- The let-down of the day after getting to see Buddy Boy again for the first time in weeks.
- A potty reward with a bit too much poorly-timed sugar.
Put all those things together, though, and add to it the indignity of not being allowed to watch the Barack Obama video during the day, and, of course, the waning full moon, and you get today’s titular Worst. Tantrum. Ever.
(I’m not a big fan of the Full. Stop. Emphasis. but am using it today because It. Just. Works.)
Screams of a timbre I’ve never heard from any mammal. Kicking. Saying “No!” and “Playground!” and “Mommy!” so forcefully it makes her cough. Worst of all, the thing escalated in the car, so most of my usual de-escalation techniques had to wait until we got home.
Finally, fully 20 minutes after we arrived at the house and through much Karp-technique calming and old-fashioned hugging and a damp washcloth to the forehead, Boo calmed down enough to settle on the sofa with me. She did it all, really — I could see the frustration etched on her face as she worked hard to pull herself out of the tantrum.
I read to her and she ate pinches of salt from a tiny wooden bowl.
Finally, she accepted some milk and pretzels, and a few minutes later headed up for a much-needed nap.
Here’s something they need to add to the parenting books:
Some of your best days will drive you to tears.
Some of your worst days will make you proud of your ability — and your child’s — to overcome.
And those days will probably be the same.