So we had our first 'real' tantrum today. It was gonna happen, as today started out sketchy and just kept on that way until the end.
Pre-tantrum we had a morning of furrowed brows, snappy comments and the whine-factor was high. I braced myself because I knew this would be a no-nap day and we already seemed to need one. Both of our social events went well, shockingly; it was the in-between times that got our patience muscles some good practice.
We were in Target. I told her that she could choose one thing from the dollar bins. She waffled, she asked for two things, she finally chose a purple plastic cup. As we wandered on through aisles of crap we really wanted and didn't need, she re-employed the snotty voice and stinky attitude.
Warning number one: lose the 'tude or lose the cup.
Response: I want my cup!
Rebuttle: Great, I want you to have your cup too. Please change the way you are speaking or we will put it back.
Fast forward 60 seconds. Snotty McSnotterson is at it again. My worst nightmare happens: follow through. OK, I say, let's put the cup back then.
Oh, man. It's on. Tears, big fat heavy tears. Screaming about how she wants her cup. Me: holding the cup in one hand and wrangling the writhing child as she tries to escape my intentions to scoop her up and replace the cherished cup. I was THAT person. All eyes on me. My kid screaming about a dumb purple cup, me trying not to drop her, my bulging belly not helping one iota. I chose not to look around, not to make direct eye contact and I could see them watching me. Reinvented screeches as the cup actually makes it back to it's home, piled with other purple, blue and green cups. Pleading and promises of her new found attitude blocking out all other sounds.
Wow, I think, this is shitty.
Again at bed time, we had a similar incident. Warning, continued pushing of the envelope, consequence. Melt down.
Now she's asleep. I wish I felt relief, and I do a little, but I feel more like I want to hug and kiss and cuddle her. To have her tell me that the crappiness that happened today was perfectly handled and any other response wouldn't have helped her along the path of being the best person she can be. I feel in my gut that this is true, or our house wouldn't operate this way. It doesn't make my heart feel less heavy though.