Sometimes the midafternoon sucks

Yeah, my title is crude. I’m at my desk unable to work because the Little Tiger, who is almost three, is throwing a temper tantrum over being forbidden to bring the outside slide into the house. I should get a prize for patience this afternoon. I ought to get a prize for parenting too! What a loud tantrum the Little Tiger throws.

It began with a small rebellion. I told my child “No, the outside slide must stay out here.” The child did not like this and said so. Daddy said he could watch while he worked nearby. I repeated, “no, the slide stays outside” and went into the house to begin fixing a beverage to take back to work with me.

A Thunk at the door, and said three year old has the slide partway in the front door. I push it back outside repeating that it is NOT an indoor toy and that the indoor toys were waiting to be played with upstairs. The tantrum began. Screaming, racing around the yard screaming, pounding on the closed door, demanding entry, only to run away again as soon as the door is opened.

We are careful to listen to each of our children.  We want them to know they are valued, and that their feelings matter. We teach them their letters and numbers, songs and prayers, and we home school them with an eye toward their future vocations and the dual importance of Faith and Science. DVD’s of Brother Francis, sit next to Sesame Street ABC’s and 123’s, and the educational TV is the most commonly watched programming.

Yet, all our best efforts will not remove the fact that children are immature and have temper tantrums. They will happen, and sometimes these are the moments that define how well we manage to live our Faith and our vocations.

So said child has now been put into bed for a nap. Of course, until the tantrum winds down, and this child has a fierce temper, the volume will not abate, and when it does, it will likely be replaced by an annoying droning noise that could go on and on and on.  In the midst of noise that I am sure the neighbors can hear half a mile away, I wonder if voice lessons would be in order to harness that incredible natural projection?

Meanwhile, the tantrum has upset the baby, who is teething and has a whine that can etch glass.

I’m writing on my blog because I cannot recall ANYTHING I just read because all the sounds of unhappy children do something to my nerves that scrambles my brain and reduces me to complaining about my children.  Yeah, I do think I ought to get a prize for staying calm and managing the temper tantrum firmly and without raising my voice.

The love we have for our children does NOT negate that sometimes they are little monsters no matter how carefully we parent and no matter how patiently we work with them. Sometimes ALL we can do is say “no” and stick by it. Even if they spend the next hour jangling our nerves with their personal expressions of just how much they HATE that word.

I say again, I ought to get an award today because I managed to handle the tantrum textbook: perfectly calmly.  Me, calm, is a miracle in itself. So maybe it’s God who ought to get the prize for my parenting instead of me.  I’ll just accept it in His honor.

Fortunately, Daddy just arrived and a totally sweet little child just went bounding down to go outside and play with Daddy. I wonder how long THAT will last, considering the Little Tiger didn’t nap one bit.

Yeah, the thought that Daddy gets to deal with the next temper fit is just a tiny bit satisfying. Does that make me bad?

Dear Lord, thank You for blessing me with children who are strong and healthy, intelligent and assertive, and who will hopefully learn from me that nobody is perfect so treat everyone kindly, live the Faith diligently, and enjoy life lived with Jesus in the heart. Amen.

UPDATE: Chubby babies giggling and cooing must be the most deliciously marvelous beings in the created universe.

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