We’ve all been there. We are at Target, just got Starbucks, we pull out the list, and the toddler sees something amazing in the dollar spot that he must have. We could cave… just this once. But just this once leads to an expectation that he may peruse the dollar spot every time we come, and, of course, that he may bring one of those useless items home. And hey, why stop at just one?
So, we don’t cave. We stand our ground. Because no means no. And I said so. And not today. And all of that good mom-lingo. Lingo that immediately alerts said toddler that he is not winning, and that he has NO shot at winning. So what does he do in desperate times? Assert his independence! His right to be heard! His right to a useless light-up toy at the dollar spot! Or, in my case, his right to drop to the floor like a limp noodle. Face down. Like he has no bones. Can you picture it? Well, here, let me help you out with a visual….
Here’s the scene…. Hubs, the toddler, and I are at Target, running errands on Hubby’s day off. Drake asks to look at toys, we oblige. Seeing as there are two of us to soften the blows of a tantrum. We are happily looking, touching, and playing with the toys. So happy and content, in fact, that Hubs feels confident that he can wander a bit. I do not remember what I said no to, but it ruined him and he immediately fell to the ground. Not a peep out of him. No flailing or wailing involved. Just limp. Through my giggles, I holler down a couple aisles, “Honey! He’s gone limp again!” To which a laughing Hubby comes strolling over to hoist him up over his shoulder.
Toddler tantrums can be exhausting, humiliating, or sometimes, they are honestly just funny. When did my sweet, cuddly, mama’s boy turn into such a frustrated little guy? As hard as it can be to keep your cool and help them get a grip, it is oh so worth it. This is a great time to find and assert our voices as parents. To be consistent and loving and let them be kids, but also to be firm and stand our ground. Tantrums are a time when they are finding their voice as well. What can I get away with? Why can’t I have that? I am just DONE. Can we go home? My dear friend, Linda, says that kids ask two questions their entire lives: “Do you love me?” And, “Can I do anything I want?” The answer to the first is always YES. And the answer to the second is always no.
Stand strong, mamas! And if you see me at Target, snapping a picture of my boneless child on the ground, please don’t judge me. Just giggle right along with me.