Thursday, June 2, 2011

The anatomy of a tantrum.

I am writing this post primarily so that when Alex is a parent I have proof that he did, in fact, freak out a little every now and then.

I'll start by saying that little Alex- with the exception of a few months surrounding his 3rd birthday- is NOT an argumentative child. He is happy. Things don't bug my Al B. The world can be crashing down around Alex- give him a banana, a good haircut, a Wii and some pretzels and he is on top of the world. But not today. No sir.

Today, Alex's shoes were left at Grandma's house. His favorite shoes. And this is just NOT acceptable to little BigHam.

It all started when I asked the boys to please, for the love of all that is sane, BE QUIETER while playing the Wii. After repeated requests, I sent the boys to time out. Skyler quickly headed to time out and sat silently. (Recently Skyler could be heard telling Alex "It's ok to get in trouble sometimes, dude. I get in trouble all the time!") Sky knows the drill.

For Alex, getting in trouble is a personal insult. Naturally, this led to sobbing and tears of frustration and general screams of "this isn't FAIR!!!". That happens to everyone, right? Huh. Perhaps it's just Alex and I. Darn cancers.

With all this carrying on, I realized quickly that productivity was no longer a possibility. At this realization, Skyler was instructed to put away the Wii while Alex, still in the throes of desperation, was given two choices: put his shoes on to go, or be carried out shoeless.

As any reasonable person would do, Alex opted to continue laying on the floor and carrying on like a maniac. Two minutes later, Grandma Val's neighborhood was treated to a jarring rendition of "MY MOMMY IS THE MEANEST MOM EVER!" while I carried a shoeless and screaming almost 5 year old to the car. In the car, Alex did a fabulous impression of a caged raccoon and I found myself thinking fondly of the days when Alex's carseat resembled a straightjacket.

A child unbuckling and scrambling to exit the vehicle is not conducive to safe driving conditions. As a result, we sat for about 15 minutes on the side of the road, showing the whole neighborhood just how dysfunctional a family could really be. Good times.

After a drive home that was longer than a cross country trip in a Geo Metro, my eyes were closing and Alex was completely certain that he is literally the most unfortuante person in the whole entire world. He proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes hiding in various spots around his room (which, by the way, is not very large) while stewing over the fact that no reasonable parent would EVER make a child leave Grandma's house shoeless. Finally, at 5pm, Alex fell asleep. Thank heaven for not-so-small miracles.

Alex woke up an hour later and left a defeated message for Grandma pleading for the return of his shoes. Slowly, he began to consider that while I may be the meanest parent ever, I was also the holder of the mac n' cheese that he wanted to eat for dinner. As happens with children, his stomach eventually won out. By 8pm, I had my little Al B. back. And a glass of wine in my hand.

They are so cute when they sleep. And for the record, I WILL save this blog post for 30 years down the road when Alex calls me to tell me how frustrating my grandchildren are.


Grandmommy M said...

The absolute best part of the whole ordeal is that Alex's Mommy, at the end of the day, still had enough wits, humor and energy to use writing therapy and get this important event documented. A toast to the Mommy! And what a wonderful one she is!

lmtrusky said...


Figbert said...

Great stuff, and fantastic writing...very engaging.
As bad as things may seem sometimes, and from what I've seen, you guys are quite far from anything dysfunctional. Kids have meltdowns; parents have to go to extremes at times to contain them; but, in the end...all will be right with the world — and your kids will be better people for having been disciplined by their responsible and ever-caring parents.

*Brianna* said...

Figbert, that was about the kindest compliment I've ever received. Thank you!