The Upside Down Tantrum

There’s an up side to a tantrum, right? You think?

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It’s the hair, right?

Tell me it’s not just bad parenting that dumped me into a 45-minute long kickboxing spar with Boo.

Assure me that the screaming, the attacks, the inconsolable crying — that all means that Boo is developing normally, or maybe even that she’s showing aptitude for executive power or judo or, hell, floristry.

Convince me that I handled it right — even though I tried a different approach every five minutes. I comforted, ignored, cooled with a damp cloth. I did my Karp firm and loud and I whispered. I stayed in the room. I left. I came back. I wound up sitting next to a spitting-mad Boo on her bed, keeping her from hurting herself or me, but not really doing much else.

Agree with me that not offering a bribe was the right plan. Even though a Sesame Street podcast or a cookie might have curtailed the hour-long fit that left both poor Boo and her dad confused and exhausted, console me with the hypothesis that having come through a hardcore tantrum by herself, without sugar or distraction or promises of future manna, Boo has gained some self-sufficiency.

Do it. Tell me Boo is emotionally complex, or going through a sleep schedule change, or needs to eat more wheat grass. Seriously — any theory that removes the weight from my shoulders, spit it out.

And if you do all that — if you convince and point out and wheedle and persuade me, if you agree with what I want to believe — well that’ll make one of you.