The Truth about Tantrums

Imagine talking to your parents and explaining your deepest feelings and fears just to have them respond with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
They ask you questions like “what was that?” or look at eachother and ask “what does he/she mean?”.
That would probably be the most frustrating feeling.
This can cause hurt feelings and potentially a fight.
Now think about your two year old.
They have finally developed all of the skill sets to conquor their universe.
The stairs are no longer a journey but a quick few steps.
They’re communication skills, just like their flavor palate, are now developed enough to point out the things they like and the things that they don’t like.
Once in awhile they get really tired and irratble because of that nap that they fought off.
Since they are new to the art of speaking and are very comfortable with the language of crying this now becomes their default response when they are too tired to think.
Here comes the famous tantrum.
It’ a tornado of emotions, screams, yelps, tears and on occassion a stop, drop and roll motion.
It also usually happens in a very public place.
INSERT EMBARRASSMENT HERE.
Nate is not a huge tantrum guy.
For that reason exactly, when he goes into tantrum mode it is exteme.
The first time it happened we were at a mall that is chock full of everyone that I would rather avoid when in these types of situations.
He was very young and insisted on walking alone even though he fell after a few steps.
The moment I tried to put him into the stroller he went into full meltdown mode and there was nothing stopping him.
Rather than try to argue or bargain with him I just let him get his frustration out.
He noticed that his behaviour was not affecting me and slowly began to unwind.
It was in that moment that I realized he wasn’t crying because he was being a brat, he was crying because he was having a hard time communicating his feelings.
As adults we verbalise most everything and the things we don’t say we show through our facial expressions.
This has become second nature to us and we forget that it’s a skill set that takes time to develop.
To toddlers this is a brand new skill that is extremely elaborate. Like with all new endeavors, they face challenges and set backs. Different facial expressions to convey different messages.
Different vocal tones to explain our emotions.
This is all really complicated stuff so it’s no wonder that they lose it once in awhile.
If you ask a dentist to explain the theory of relativitey they would probably feel frustrated too because it’s something foreign to them.
So next time your toddler has a Rambo style meltdown at the mall, ask yourself what they are trying to tell you rather than getting annoyed and yelling.

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Meal Time Mission Impossible

Feeding Ben is like running a marathon for me; terrifying and exhausting.
At his ripe old age of ten months he is convinced that he is capable of eating independently.
Anytime I try to feed him with a spoon he swats at it faster than I swat at a fly that lands on my fresh apple pie.
So today I took a new approach; I took the oatmeal and poured it out onto his tray.
As I watch him slather oatmeal all over himself without getting much into his mouth, all I can feel is my OCD creeping in quietly but I talk myself down.
He seems happy to be doing what he’s doing so I guess I’m going to be doing a lot of cleaning for the next little while!
Oh, and hyperventilating, a lot of hyperventilating.

The Lunch Mission

The other day I took it upon myself to go to lunch with one of my best friends Ivy and both kids. In hindsight this was obviously a bad decision but I try to be optimistic whilst in the moment.
We hit up one of my favorite spots, Lady Marmalade.
It’s a small, quaint and very eclectic restaurant.
Furnished with mismatched chairs and tables, showcasing local artists work on the walls (for sale, of course).
They have by far the BEST eggs Benedict in town and their food in general is fresh, locally grown and delectable.
We get in and Ivy helps me get the kids out of their thick layers and settled into their seats.
I situate myself between both kids and am about to glance at the menu.
Suddenly Ben grabs the menu and throws it on the floor, Nate starts demanding apple juice and the lunch begins to come undone.

Me: Nate do you want a sandwich or rice with chicken?
Nate: SANDWICH!

Me: Can I please have the club sandwich for him (pointing at Nate) and the scrambled eggs with a side of brown bread for him (pointing at Ben).
Server: Anything for you? (with a look of horror knowing that this is about to get messy)
Me: I need a few minutes, thanks (with a look of horror knowing that it’s about to get messy)

Ivy chimes in: Apple juice please!

Nate has the biggest smile, Ben is exploring the room with a big grin and we decide on what we’ll eat.

So far so goodish.

This is where the fun begins.

Lunch arrives and Ben is loving the bread while Nate is spitting out his sandwich.

Me: Take a bite Nati!
Nate: No tomatoes!
Me: Fine! (I remove all signs of the tomato)
Me: Okay can you take a bite now?
Nate: No! It’s yucky!

On a side note, this is one of the best Club Sandwiches in town!

This battle goes on for a bit when I realize that Ben needs more food.
To my surprise he eats some egg and continues gnawing on the bread.

Nate is now fidgety and is demanding Bens food.
OF COURSE HE IS!

At this point I am livid annoyed!

I can’t even remember what it is that I’m eating and my blood pressure is through the roof.

I decide to take a pic of the food, knowing that I’ll be venting about this later, and the result is the photo heading of this post (while I try and take the pic, Ben throws his plate with the eggs on the floor. I think he’s trying to tell me something)

Much like that lunch the photo is blurry and out of focus.

Modern Sisterhood

Historically speaking, my friends have essentially been family members to me. They have watched me grow up, break down, laugh hysterically and cry just as hysterically. They have been my partners in crime and my truest confidents.
As my life evolved, like the dinosaurs, some of those friends didn’t make it in my journey.
Marriage and definitely kids have a way of changing relationships that you think will last forever.
The friends that are still in my life are, for the most part, the ones that are involved in my children’s lives in one way or another.
They are the ones that came to see me when I was not so interesting to be around.
The ones that understood my absence and relished in my irregular appearances.
The ones that get it when I’m not being social.
They are also the ones that hold a massive part of my heart.
The ones that I will do anything for at the drop of a dime.
The ones that are always remembered for their compassion, involvement, love and efforts.
The ones that my kids call doda, tsautsia and auntie.
They are my truest sisters and for that I know that my family and I are blessed to have them.
Love you bitches! (You know who you are)

From Sunshine to Sour Grapes

Being a parent is such a manic experience.
I go from being exhausted to being fully awake within seconds; of course this is usually due to some explosive behaviour from one of my kids.
I go from being sublimely happy to being gloomily mellow; this on account of hormones, sudden life changes, abnormal sleep patterns and the eating habits that replicate my kids’ (let’s face it, I am officially the kiddie leftover garbage can).
The kids will go from doing something truly extraordinary, like singing the lyrics to a song that I haven’t even gotten yet, to vomiting all over me in extraordinary fashion.
With all of these mood/life fluctuations I am astounded that I have managed to be dressed and somewhat composed on a daily basis.