Monday, April 02, 2007

During the past two days I lost count of Faith's tantrums and the reasons behind them. There was the ice cream that she wanted when we were all in the car, the pink balloon she wanted that belonged to another child and the video she wanted to watch when it was time for bed. And those were all just episodes from last night. The terrible twos. Right.

Never has the difference between Joshua and Faith been more apparent than now. Nobody in the family remembers a similar tantrum from my eldest. He's usually sweet and even tempered and, when upset about something, is usually very easy to distract. Not so with my little girl. She screams her lungs out and cries pitifully when she wants something and doesn't get it. We realized early on that to give in to her screams and tantrums would not be very good idea.

So we've learned to harden ourselves against the tears and the screaming. I can tell when she's just trying to manipulate the grown ups into doing her bidding and when she's genuinely upset or scared or hurt. The former gets her no attention and I am quick to tell the softening grandparents to let her cry in the corner. Sure enough, the volume lessens and the screaming subsides into soft sobs after about five minutes of non-stop crying. Like last night, I put her in the corner of the room to cry it out while I went about the business of preparing the room for bedtime. Even Joshua has learned not to interfere during these times and just keeps quiet on the couch. I could see her watching me, increasing the volume when I looked her way but I kept ignoring her. When I was done, I turned off the main light and called Joshua to bed. She quieted and when I asked her if she wanted to go to bed now, she nodded and went to me, took her bottle, lay down with my fingers on her face and went to sleep.

She's only two years old. I wonder what she'll be like when she's a teenager?

16 comments:

Ces said...

Oh Menchie, I sympathize with you about tantrums. My children did not have tantrums in fact they stared at other children and wondered why they were crying or screaming. I thanked them both. Both my son, now a teenager and my daughter a "tweenager" were happy little tykes who knew what "no" meant, probably overwhelmed by the overwhelmingly verbose explanation of a mother who used big words. There is no telling what will happen. My sone is giving me a run for my money and heartaches and my daughter is so sweet. Count your blessings. You are in the Philippines. You are very lucky in that respect.

Aidan said...

One of the funniest things i have seen in 24 amazing years... was a kid in a supermarket throwing a tantrum over a chocolate bar, on the ground pounding the lino with his fists. because i couldnt have it...

Instead of caving in his dad throws himself to the floor and starts copying the kid (of about 4), he starts pounding his fists, crying blue murder about it being unfair... The kid stands up, get all embarrassed seeing how silly his father looked, and nothing more is said as they walk out of the shop, without the candy bar:)

Aidan said...

i should read he..... nope wasnt me sorry...

Stace said...

It sounds very difficult to deal with... I used to have similar problems when I was babysitting a family of four young children. You get used to ignoring the screams. Faith will probably mellow as she gets older, so don't stress.

Menchie said...

Ces,
Joshua is like your children -- no tantrums at all even in the supermarket. You're right in that I'm lucky I am where I am at least in that respect. I think Faith is delightful with her spunk and I accept that the tantrums come with the territory. It's just so loud sometimes!

Aidan,
Would you believe me if I say that while Faith's drama was going on in the van I also mimicked her and it made her stop her crying and look at me? That dad at the grocery store had the right idea. It works but I'm thinking it's the shock -- after a while they'll catch on.

Stace,
I think I can handle the screaming since I'm used to it now. What scares me the most is when she becomes older. *shudder*

Keshi said...

she sounds like a cutie tho...awwww and she sounds so like me when I was lil. My mum used to ignore my stubborn tanties and then I used to cry n cry n cry until I myself gave it up.

Keshi.

Laurie said...

My son never had tantrums, but my best friend's daughter did. I think she outgrew them in time. So hang in there!

Menchie said...

keshi,
well, she IS a cutie. that's why she can get away with a lot! I can just imagine you with your mom! LOL!

Laurie,
i know. for such a little kid, she makes a lot of noise!

Marie said...

I don't have any kids, so I'm no expert, but you're right in not giving into her tantrums, Menchie.

I do feel for you though, and she's certainly a cutie!

Homo Escapeons said...

Ah the terrible twos!
But look at that face she is sooo cute.
This too shall pass(sigh)but somedays aarrrrgghh.
Just be consistent..sometimes the most irrascible toddlers turn into the nicest teenagers...it just doesn't happen very often..HA!
Good Luck.
Focus on how happy you were when she was born.

Hildegarde said...

You are a very wise mom, so strengthen your nerves, it's only a period (and one that I don't like to think back about, one of my daughters had that too, but it actually stops !!)
You make very original portraits, Menchie. Of course you have a very cute model, but the way you picture her is absolutely super.

Menchie said...

Marie,
One thing about being a parent is after a while you become selectively deaf and blind. :D

HE,
That face is the reason she has most people wrapped around her little finger. Add to that the cutest little girl voice you have ever heard and you have the reason most people can't say no -- esp her grandparents.

I actually feel sorry for her future husband. He doesn't stand a chance.

Hildegarde,
I hope it stops. Like I said, my eldest is nowhere like her. But it keeps things interesting.

About the portrait, I'm afraid I can't take credit -- this was taken at a studio that specializes in children's portraits. :D

Cazzie!!! said...

I know, I been there with that age group 4 times now. You can survive it, and she will survive you being tough and ignoring her escapades. They just do it to test boundaries. Also, they do it when they cannot verbalise what it is they exactly want.
So, my favourite sa=yying is, "Use your words, TELL me what you want, do NOT use anger and tantrums".
The other thing I have been known to do when they chuck a wobbly is this...get down on the floor and kick and scream like they do...they end up laughing, and you just say, "Well, did that look silly? Because that is how you look when you do it! "
Worked for me :)

Menchie said...

cazzie,
four times! you're the expert. I do sometimes imitate her crying and whining and it really works. I don't know if i want to go through it for four times though. :D

kj said...

mench, you can handle this. fortunately for both of you! and as you know, spunk is good.

Menchie said...

kj,
yep, spunk is good. though I wince when she uses it to make her brother cry.