I arrived home tonight to find Claire in one her I AM DETERMINED TO BE DISSATISFIED moods. Which is one of the less talked about aspects of being a parent. Well, at least less talked about by parents. Well, less talked about by parents of their own children. When it comes to parents there’s sort of a fatalistic denialism about the whole kids are just pissed sometimes thing. Of course other kids do that. And non parents are wholly obsessed by that side of parenting. But, parents discoursing on their own kids refuse to see this fact like a kid refuses to eat bite of food some nights. Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent.
Anyroad. There’s Claire in her Princess costume having a tantrum. And, in order to provide reassurance to someone she carefully bundled up all her dolls into the chair so they could be companionable to each other.
When Claire is like this we’re trying the “Well, if you’re going to have a tantrum, then you need to go to your room” route. It’s surprisingly effective. Claire will actually put herself in her room and shut the door on the outside world. Now, we aren’t exactly going to the 7-11 during this, but we’re also not right outside the door making sure she isn’t like, for example, smashing out her window to mount an escape. Basically, she finds something in her room to engage with, starts a game and then forgets she’s being angry. When the whirlwind settles down, we go and get her and bring her back out.
Of course, it’s less effective if the sun has gone down since the last time you were back there and your child shuts herself in a dark room. And then she starts yelling about that. But it takes you a minute to realize this is a whole different sort of episode. Then, yeah. Sure, you feel bad. But on the other hand. A breather is nice, at nearly any price, when you’re living with a pissed off two year old.
That’s just real, honest talk, that is.