Wednesday, 4 May 2016

When the Terrible Two's Get Terrible

I once read that having a toddler is like having a blender with no lid. I can only nod my head in agreement with this statement.

Last year we had those initial tantrums when Squish did not quite have the vocabulary to express his needs. Since then he has picked up almost every word in the English dictionary (okay, not quite but he does know a lot of big words for his age) and we thought we were done with the tantrums. No such luck. At two years and four months, Squish has a truly terrible case of the terrible two's and we are slap bang in the middle of it. I don't remember Noodle's outbursts being quite as severe or frequent (unless time has dulled the memories of these) and they are getting incredibly frustrating to deal with. 

We have all seen funny forwards showing reasons why toddlers have tantrums. Well our little man has added his own bizarre, illogical ones this week. Ridiculous reasons for tantrums this week include:

1. His roll had a hole in it (now bear in mind that the aforementioned hole was there as a result of him biting the roll);
2. Big sister had a bowl of HIS Cheerios (the ones I recall paying for) and they are apparently only for boys. 
3. The wheels of his new HotWheels car (which came free in the Cheerios box) were cold. They can't be HotWheels if the wheels are not hot!  The tantrum came when I refused to microwave the wheels of the car.
4. He was not allowed to drive the Hotwheels car IN the cereal. (Hmmm... maybe we need a ban on Cheerios and Hotwheels).
5. He wanted chicken with chocolate sprinkles for supper. 
6.  He had to go the pink bathroom at grandma's house and pink is for girls (I have no idea where the sudden gender stereotypes are coming from because he did not learn it from us). 
7. We would not let him to watch Youtube (at 5 a.m.).
8. This morning he had a tantrum because the toothbrush 'didn't feel right'.
9. This morning he also had a full blown tantrum as he did not want to wear a jacket (and it is pretty cold in Jozi this morning).

While it is tempting to laugh at some of these seemingly irrational meltdowns, we deal with these as recommended by the experts- remove toddler from harms way, ignore the tantrums and do not give in to demands. We also deal with obvious causes for meltdowns (usually hunger, tiredness or over stimulation). We have our 'calm jars' (P.S. you can click on the link to find out how to make your own one). Hugs are provided when needed or, more often, time-outs are given where the tantrums in some way infringe on the rights of those around him. 

However, even if you have the skills to cope with toddler tantrums, I think it is a universal parental experience to be left drained and questioning your own parenting abilities. There is light at the end of the tunnel though. I know that this behavior is (mostly) normal and I know that this too shall pass. Most of the time, my son is the most loving and affectionate boy known to mankind. He is funny, entertaining and super cute and hopefully some day really soon the tiny little tantrum monster will go away.

What is the funniest thing your toddler had a meltdown over? Also, what are your proven methods for dealing with tantrums? Please share.