Becoming a mother is the greatest blessing in the world and we all love our children more than anything, but no one can really prepare you for the toddler years.
You occasionally hear about ‘the terrible twos’ and think it sounds adorable. Then there’s the ‘threenager threes’. Miniature teenagers — how sweet! But until you are actually living with these small individuals, you will never fully understand how intense a toddler’s emotions can be.
Not until it’s happening will you find out how that mini-human you have created can morph into the hulk with the strength of Godzilla in a single second. How quickly they can drop to the floor and flap around like a barramundi out of water. It would be impressive if it wasn’t so intense.
The smallest of things of can trigger them and flip their entire world on its head, and on the spot, you have to quickly learn how to negotiate (by not really negotiating) with the most headstrong person on earth.
Toddlers have a limited set of tools that they use to try and make you give in to their demands. They usually begin with repetitive sentences or questions over and over to really get under your skin but are also known to employ hysterical crying, screaming, throwing things, going limp, or their finishing move, the barra.
I am a big believer in holding space and validating my kids’ feelings, but I also think that having a sense of humour whilst parenting children is absolutely imperative.
Work through and help validate your children on things you can control and have a good laugh over the things you cannot (not in front of their face, but to your partner, mum or friend, when they aren’t looking).
Because if you can’t laugh at aspects of motherhood and how absurd some of their tantrums will be, you will most likely cry or develop a nervous twitch and rock ungraciously in the corner somewhere.
For the purpose of this article, I decided to jot down all the reasons my kids had tantrums/tears in the day and what they were over.
1. Kobe’s bottle of milk finished. To be fair, this is an ongoing tantrum and it always involves anything edible of his coming to an end.
2. I made Charli’s cereal in the red bowl when she wanted the pink one. Also, I put milk on her cereal. Because unbeknownst to me, she likes her cereal DRY on Mondays.
3. I gave Bobby a hug before Dad did. The favouritism is rife and I’m not Bobby’s favourite.
4. Because I wouldn’t let Kobe push a soggy biscuit into a powerpoint. “No Kobe, we don’t share Milk Arrowroots with the powerpoints.”
5. I wouldn’t let Bobby eat corn chips for breakfast. I’d probs have a tantrum too over this if I’m honest. Corn chips are life.
6. I wouldn’t spend the entire morning going through outfit changes with Charli (for her to stay home). I’m living with Mariah Carey.
7. Bobby kept asking to ride the horse, and he was distraught that I wouldn’t let him. We don’t have a horse. 10 points for a good imagination. Lose 11 points for crying over a pet we’ve never owned.
8. I wouldn’t let Kobe eat a dishwashing tablet. This is a crowd fave tanty-inducer in this house. My kids must think that dishwashing tablets are some kind of magical treat because we’ve had plenty of tantrums over them. “NO, YOU CANNOT EAT THE CHEMICALS THAT ARE USED TO CLEAN CUTLERY.”
9. I asked them to put their shoes on. All three of them hate wearing shoes. Am I missing something? Are they made of lava?
10. Bobby wanted Charli’s purple lunchbox. I’ll just be buying them all three of the same things from now on.
11. The bird that Bobby was chasing flew away. I mean, COME ON…
12. I couldn’t do Charli’s hair like Sophia from preschool and I was the worst mum ever. I don’t even know who Sophia is, and does anyone know if there’s a TAFE course on learning how to do a four-year-old’s hair?
13. Charli looked out Bobby’s side of the window. Who made you owner and look occupier of the right side window, Bobby?
14. I stopped them from trying to inflate their own heads with a bike bump. Real cute dual tantrum. The other alternative is that I watched on as they blew their own eardrums up.
15. Stopped Bobby from wearing his bike helmet to bed. Won’t wear his helmet whilst riding a bike but wants to wear it to bed. Can someone explain this logic to me? Oh, wait. There is none.
16. I put Kobe down. I should know better. Pick up immediately and release in 2022.
17. I wouldn’t let all three of them sit on my lap while I was trying to do a number two. The health and safety officers would probably have something to say about this situation.
18. Bobby’s apple had a bite in it. After he took one. And no you aren’t getting a second apple.
I wish I could say that the above is merely a rough day in a nutshell, but unfortunately, all of the above has happened before 10.45am.
Tantrums are a regular occurrence. Some are larger in magnitude than others, but with three small kids under the age of five at home (some better at regulating their emotions more than others) each day tends to be a constant roller coaster of highs and lows and tears and laughs, and above all, a whole lotta love!
If you can’t beat ’em, just join ’em! And by join ’em I mean, treat yourself to a glass of wine at lunch disguised in a coffee mug, have a laugh at the hilarious minefield your life has become, swap stories with other mummas, and just pray the afternoon sails on by quicker than the morning has. GODSPEED!