Temper Tantrums

I came home from work tonight to my oldest kid in rare form. For the most part, Olivia is a pretty good kid, exceptional even at times. Tonight, she was once again exceptional, but not in a good way. I don’t know who invaded her body and soul, but whoever did, I hope that invader never returns. It was pure evil.

She had not one, but two temper tantrums, and these were not your run of the mill cry for a couple of minutes then it’s done tantrums. These were full on meltdowns that went on, and on, and on, and on, and wouldn’t stop. And what prompted these tantrums? I apparently sparked the first one by refusing to allow her to hit the hot tub because she has a rash, probably as a result of all the time she’s been soaking in said hot tub. Listening to her screams and cries you’d think I had locked her in a closet with flesh-eating rats. Let me tell you, by the end of the night, I was tempted to do just that.

My usually darling oldest daughter launched into the second tantrum almost seamlessly from the first. I once again refused one of her requests. This time, I said no to a slumber party in the living room with her sisters and cousin. Her earlier behavior got that idea nixed. I thought the tantrum would last about 10 minutes, 15 minutes max. Nope. This kid has temper tantrum skills. She kept it up for at least 45 minutes. As a toddler, Olivia also tested our will by getting out of bed 120 times. No joke, she really did. I actually had to leave the house while Van got a sore back from picking her up and plopping her back into bed over and over and over.

I’ve also noticed when she gets on a temper tantrum roll, my behavior starts to resemble hers. At one point she screamed at me, “I don’t want to ever talk to you again!” I screamed back, “Good! I don’t want to hear your whiny voice!” Yep, mom of the year moment right there. If this is what’s happening at 8, I really don’t want to imagine what our fights will be like when she’s a teenager.

Olivia’s silent treatment was short-lived. A few minutes later, she came upstairs and asked in heaving sobs if I would still read Erin a chapter from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book “Farmer Boy.” I said I would, and the tantrum ended just like that. No more screams. No more hurled insults. Just my relatively sweet kid sitting on her sister’s bed while I read about life in the pioneer days.

Oh, to go back to the 1900’s where children are seen and not heard. Well, truth be told, I don’t think I’d want that. Even with the tantrums, vocal kids are way more entertaining than silent ones. Good thing I have three vocal ones.

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