The terrible twos have wormed their way into our lives, destroying food shops, causing chaos on the school run and turning getting dressed into a 2 hour screaming session.
Leo has mastered the art of throwing himself down on the floor and crying just at the mention of the word “no.” It can be quite the performance and of course, he saves his best oscar winning performances for the general public.
On a bad day, I’m 95% sure the majority of staff at B&M and ALDI hear us coming in and I’ve even considered buying a new pram so the staff won’t recognise us next time we have to go back.
I always feel really guilty as when Henry was a baby and toddler we did so many activities together yet second time round with Leo we just don’t. Between working, school runs and the never ending list of jobs we barely have the time to go to regular playgroups.
Last week I felt particularly guilty so I decided that we would go swimming. Perfect idea I cleverly told myself. Im sure to win “mum of the year for this” I thought smugly!
Smiling, I packed all our things and headed out and I totally proved myself RIGHT (shocker!) because Leo loved being in the water. He got himself one of those noodle float things and sat on a frog shaped float pretending to fish. (Fishing is his new obsession.)
All was going smoothly until the end when the lifeguard declared that the session was over.
I felt the tantrum brewing.
I saw him cling to his noodle float tightly.
He looked around as he watched the others get out and shot me dagger looks as I dared to suggest we do the same and put the floats away.
SHITT!! HERE IT COMES!
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to wrestle a float out of your screaming childs wet arms but its both slightly heartbreaking and very infuriating. Once the noodle was released that’s when the spaghetti legs kicked in and something I refer to as the “ the worm” made its appearance.
You may or may not have had the pleasure of seeing a drunken friend attempt “the worm” dance move on a night out in your youth. If not, its basically moving across the floor on your belly in a wormly fashion.
Anyway Leo has his own version where he thrashes about worm style in your grip in an attempt to get down. Please note however if you do put him down he will scream more to get back up.
The only way to tackle the worm is to use it’s a counter attack AKA “the rugby ball.”
So there I am rugby balling Leo into the changing rooms, squatting as I try to get into my ankle height locker and begin the process to evacuation!
Leo doesn’t like getting dressed at the best of times but I think its fair to say he hates it even more when he is squished into a cubicle, wet and not getting his own way.
He screamed all the way through getting dressed, screamed as I carried him out to the car and screamed all the way home until he fell asleep!
Im not gonna lie, I did mutter a few swear words under my breath as he slept and then thought he looked cute and felt guilty AGAIN!
Brew in hand, I had a little think and mentally noted that these tantrums don’t last forever and that as Leo’s speech and understanding improves I will be able to reason with him, distract him more and prevent meltdowns.
Jut for a laugh, here are some of the reasons why Leo has tantrumed this week:
- I wouldn’t let him use a Melon as a ball.
- He wanted to pick up dried duck poo, pretend it was a stick and throw it in the pond
- He wanted to pour juice all over his lunch
- His cheese wasn’t grated
- I wouldn’t let him use his fishing rod in the toilet
Jokes aside ……………………….
These are a few tricks I have learnt along my tantruming journey:
- STAY CALM – Hard to do, I know, but if I let myself get stressed I’m the only one that ends up miserable and im not as resilient as the kids and it puts me in a bad mood all day.
- SNACKS – Always be armed with healthy snacks to distract or prevent a tantrum. I like to carry individually wrapped soreen, raisins, a pot of cereal, normal apples or apple crisps (baby isle in Asda)
- PRAM – As Leo is getting older we tend to use the pram less and less. However I do still tend to take it with us. This helps if you are with other kids as you just have a place where you can “strap and exit quickly” if things aren’t going to plan.
- DON’T GIVE IN – If you give in the tantrums will go on and on. If you don’t they will have stopped by the time they are 3. This is the turning point where you can start reasoning more.
- SOMETIMES THEY JUST NEED A HUG