I actually didn’t expect to write this blog today, but it just so happens that my son thought to himself, “hey, my mom should write about how crazy and insane toddlers can be while out and about, so I’m gonna have a tantrum right here in Food For Less so she can blog about it later”. True story.
We were in the grocery store, as we always are on Mondays, when I decided to let my 20 month old help me with the produce. He picked up apples, peaches, and bananas and set them in their bags. All was going well, and I was feeling like a pretty good mom for getting my son involved in the grocery shopping. And then the tantrum happened. You know what I’m talking about. As we were finishing scooping up the rice, I said, “Okay, thanks bubs. We’re all done now” and I tried getting the rice scooper from him. Wrong thing to do. He threw himself back like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, came back up and slapped me in the face. I looked at him very sternly, as if my eyes were my mouth and he knew what I was thinking. Well he didn’t get my facial cue. He busted out in high-pitched screaming, with his face turning red and tears streaking down his cheeks. He tried grabbing my shirt as I started pushing the cart away. Yet, my intentions on ignoring this tantrum did not work. Fellow shoppers stared at us and I think I even heard an elderly lady say, “Oh, my”, as if she’s never seen a kid throw a tantrum.
Needless to say, kids do this. Especially toddlers. And as it’s happening, it can be embarrassing and completely frustrating. So, my fellow warrior mamas, I wanted to say I’m here with you. I get you. I’m not judging you if your kid looks like the Hulk in the produce section. This whole mothering gig is not for the faint. This takes patience, skill, and a whole lot of strength. Yet, I hope you remember that even while you feel like you’re going to scream yourself, you are doing an amazing job at raising your children. Yes, they drive us nuts sometimes (if not daily). But don’t forget, they are rewards (see Psalm 127:3). God entrusted you to take care of these beautiful messes, and he’s given you the strength to endure even the longest tantrums.
In the meantime, here are some tips that I try (key word, TRY) to remember when my little one is losing it:
- Put your feet in their shoes. Imagine if you really wanted to say something, or do something, but couldn’t. These little ones can’t express themselves or their desires appropriately yet, so they scream and cry. I always try to see if he’s just frustrated and I can easily help him, or if he needs correction instead.
- Keep calm. This is the hardest part for me. I always feel frazzled every time he screams so violently, especially in public. If need be, leave and go outside to collect yourself. If you’re in public, take your toddler out and sit outside with him until he’s calm…and you are too 😉
- Laugh about it. After the public display of emotions, I called my husband. At first, it was to vent. But then we started laughing at it. There’s humor in almost anything. You just got to search for it.
Friends, the little years are tough. Hard. Emotionally draining. Patience trying. But oh so beautiful. Our blessings are learning about themselves, their world, and yes, boundaries. May you be filled with patience for the ever so ruthless tantrums, and may you be able to love on their little souls.