The Tale of the Terrible Twos and Tantrums

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 I was laying on the table anxiously awaiting the doctor to reveal the gender of our baby. “Girl, congratulations!” Tears of happiness streamed down my face! On the ride home I had already begun fantasizing about tutus and dance class. My oldest child is also a girl and I felt fairly confident that I knew all about things sugar spice and everything nice.

Twelve years ago I became a mom to a sweet little girl who was well tempered, easy to please,  liked to eat cookies, and be held. Imagine my surprise when we had another little girl in our house who is the polar opposite of her sister. I thought I must be doing something wrong. Has parenting really changed this much in twelve years, or has my patience just completely dwindled away?

unnamed-2-2I don’t remember the toddler tantrums…..

I enrolled in a mommy and me dance class for tots.  My toddler likes to be active and run around, so I thought this would be the perfect class to take her to. The Monday morning 10am class time seemed ideal to let her burn off her energy before a nap.  Extra bonus … the studio happens to be next door to my favorite coffee shop!  In my head, I planned this as a perfect Monday morning to start each week.  

Imagine my surprise on our first Monday in dance class, as I watch all the other moms twirl their tots, dressed in bright pink tutus, complete with giggles and smiles as my little tot proceeded to scream in the corner, rip off her tutu, and refused to be consoled no matter how hard I tried.   “Hang in their mom, you’redoing great,” the teacher said!  Who was she kidding?  I mean, I realize she has to say that … I just paid $200 to take this class.  And just as I was about to bolt for the door and call it a loss, the twirling teacher says, “whatever you do moms, DON’T LEAVE.”  Are you KIDDING ME?  So, there I was, literally stuck in class with the only screaming child.  I felt like Jill from Odd Mom Out. (If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor, and binge watch immediately!)

So, what’s the takeaway here?  Well, I’ve had to come up with a positive way to look at all of this, and I know I’m not alone … even though that Monday dance class sure made me feel like I was.  

Here are my mom tips for surviving the terrible twos and tantrums:

  1. Kids have tantrums and no, it’s not your fault.
  2. Kids have tantrums even when they have napped, aren’t hungry, and have dry diapers.
  3. Take a deep breath.  The moms staring are sympathizing, because you know they HAVE been there too, and if they haven’t, their turn is coming!
  4. Don’t give up on your activity.  Stick it out.  Your child will begin to adjust.  It can take time.  
  5. When the tantrum is over and you have a sleeping tot, do yourself a favor and take a rest.  Your sanity depends on it, and the endless list of other to-do items can probably wait for an hour.

How many of you moms have felt completely helpless during these toddler twos and tantrums?  I would love to hear some of your coping methods.

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Michelle is a mom to three minis: a Queen Tween, a nine year old standup comedian, and a sweet baby who hasn’t let anyone sleep for 14 months (and counting). Michelle was born and raised a Southern California girl, but relocated to the Pacific Northwest where she has spent the past 4 years living in Seattle. Michelle is a brunch enthusiast by nature; filling her weekends exploring the town’s best offerings and searching for the next, best, perfect latte. Naturally, Seattle was the perfect fit. But after four years, Michelle, her husband, and her three minis moved to Phoenix in search of more opportunity, and, hopefully, better brunching. Michelle is a makeup artist by trade, with ten years experience in beauty, bridal, and fashion makeup. When Michelle isn’t busy packing lunches, driving to basketball practice, or attending PTA meetings, she can be found beautifying her clients. “Everyone has a story” says Michelle, “This is mine; it isn't boring.”

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