Friday, April 9, 2021

Are you having a tantrum?

It was time to get dressed for the day and she insisted on wearing yesterday's dirty pants and her blueberry-stained pink nightshirt, which was now soaking wet due to her post-breakfast sojourn washing dishes.

Frog is 2 1/2 years old, so "insisted" is very evident - you see it on her face, hear it in her voice, watch it explode throughout her body. 

I set out some clean clothes choices on my bed, for her to choose from. This was a bit of a 'redirect' move on my part - she loves to jump on my bed and hide under my pillows, so if I could get her to the bed, perhaps she'd stop digging in her heels about the clothes.


She ran around the bedroom in circles looking for the dirty pants of yesterday, while yelling "I want those pants!"

I moved to the bathroom, prepping her toothbrush, knowing if I just moved ahead with the next thing on the agenda, we might lessen her wrath and dispel the impending tantrum. Frog enjoys brushing her teeth. Completely ignoring the pants request, I cheerily called out "Let's brush our teeth!" 

She runs to the bathroom door, glaring at me, and yells "YES, PANTS! YES, PINK SHIRT!," as in I WILL NOT ABIDE ANY OTHER IDEA THAT YOU MAY HAVE, NANA! and I turn to look at her, instantaneously taking in the full beautiful roaring picture -

  • not quite three feet high
  • not even thirty pounds
  • that precious, beautiful face 
  • head full of brown hair
  • wearing nothing but a pull-up and that soaking wet dirty pink shirt
Have I ever seen anything sweeter? I want to smile, she's so adorable, but I don't want to minimize the frustration she is obviously feeling. Then she throws in a STOMP of her foot. This stomp was obviously quite new to her - it looks more like an old lady exercise for the hips, where you raise your knee wide to your side. Yes, a stretch not a stomp. Seriously.

How was I supposed to keep composed? 

I couldn't help it, I couldn't hold it, I burst out laughing - she was just so darn cute! 

I said, "Frog, are you stomping your foot? Like this?" and I mirrored her move, throwing in an additional sound effect as I raised the knee to the side, "woo HOO!" 

She took one look at my move, and started laughing, too - finding me oh so silly. She said, "Yes! Stomp! See!" and then she repeats her wide stomp again, and I do it, too, and I dared to repeat the move with my other leg, alternating back and forth, leg to leg, and she laughs more at how funny this looks and stomps more and we are dancing together and laughing. 

I said, "You are so funny and amazing and I love you so!," as I gently pulled the pink shirt off. 

She chose new clothes without protest.

That was the most unexpected and delightful way I have ever diffused a tantrum - and it's made me chuckle so many times, thinking of that sweet image of her.