The upside of temper tantrums

tempermental family

Kids.  I love them.  Well, I love all five of mine. I’d probably like yours, but I’ll reserve judgement on that point for the moment. Anyway, my kids are the highlight of my day life. They say, do and completely loss their shit over the greatest stuff ever. With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a running list of the best kidlet melt-downs of 2014. The cause, duration and magnitude, the resolution and any notable quotes thereof will be shared herein. I’m only doing 2014 because this is a blog, not a novel and with five kids, ain’t no one got time for that many tantrums.

So, because I came up with this brain child in the middle of the last week of February, I’ll name today’s entry as Tantrum Number One (TNO), otherwise known as the You-WILL-Wipe-My-Bum-Or-Else! tantrum.

Without going into too many gory details (good luck with that!), one of my adorable minions has proven to be resistant to owing the responsibility for wiping her own bottom after using the potty (number one, not two). And since (I have been told) I will not be allowed to accompany her to junior kindergarten next September (whose stupid policy is that, anyway?!?), I have decided that this particular minion must learn not only how to, but also commit to performing the wiping ritual by herself, even at home. Part one, done.  She understands how it is done and that it is necessary. Part two. She wants none of.  And so therein lies the conflict that lead to the aforementioned TNO.

Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar, but I dare you not to not laugh (and I mean really laugh, like out loud and expelling tea from your nose) when confronted by a very angry, short, red-faced minion of your own making, who is repeatedly screaming at you to ‘WIPE MY A-GIIINA NOOOOOOWWWWW!’ while standing in the doorway wearing only a tee-shirt and knee-high socks, raising her shaking fist full of toilet paper at you, and stomping her foot so hard the windows shake in the next room. And then, once you’ve recovered from nearly drowning in your own tea, I dare you to sit back down and resume eating your lunch while that same possessed minion continues to rage and demand your immediate assistance, despite your constant and gentle yet firm assertions that you WILL NOT be helping anyone do anything right now, particularly anyone who is screaming demands at you.  You are on a ‘break.’  (Hell, if the minions are going to treat you like hired help, you’re damned well entitled to a frickin’ lunch break – workers UNITE!).

And, after the third kick to your shins, push on your arm (causing you to miss your mouth with your fork and drop the once much-wanted food right into your lap), I would suggest that you may choose to carry that mostly naked, enraged, tear and snot covered minion-of-fury up to her room and gently close the door after telling her that “when you calm down, and would like to apologize, you may come back downstairs, apologize, wipe your bottom (which has now been air-drying for half an hour) and put on your clothes, then you are more than welcome to do so.”  Then you may close the minion’s door and pat yourself on the back while you limp back downstairs to finish your now cold and unappetizing lunch.  But, you didn’t give in.  You PARENTED.  You parented the shit out of the situation and that is more far more gratifying than sustenance.  And because you held your ground, your kid will be a huge success in life. Right?!? Um, right?  For the small price of a pounding headache, two very small shin bone-chips, a crappy lunch and 45 minutes of your life, you didn’t have to wipe a bum and you taught a three-year-old that you can’t be bullied into doing it either. So there. Hmmm. Now that I think of it, I kind of totally won and lost at the same time. But, because I’m the grown up, and she doesn’t read my blog, I’m taking the win for the whole “I stuck to my guns” thing. There are no ‘tie games’ during these times of battle.

But, hind sight is 20/20 and you know what? Next time (and there will be a next time, bank on it), I’m just going to wipe the minion’s butt and get one with our otherwise peaceful afternoon together. This was probably one of those battles I didn’t need to engage in. Live and learn. Besides, I’m pretty sure that my bum-wiping days are on borrowed time – even kids get weirded out about it after a while, and when it’s all just a memory, I know I’ll be a little sad and miss these days.

2014 Tantrum Success Score:  Mama – 1        Minion Army – 0

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17 Days to Spring and counting.  Not sure I’m a believer yet, but I’m SO OVER this sub-zero weather, that I’ll take any hope that is thrown at me.

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