This week we’ve been playing Tantrum Bingo, It’s very competitive, Mr Cameron would surely approve.
Sonny won with the four corners of the Market, the Park, the Library, and Sainsburys.
Luca however scored a Full House, quite literally. The front bedroom to the back door.
The park was Sonny’s best performance with a hands-in-the-air, high-pitched, woe-is-me, this-is-my-loudest, wail. The busy playground froze, the silence only broken by my shameful long walk to pick him up, and Luca’s frantic scramble up the slide to get a better view. All I’d ‘suggested’ was that we might, maybe, possibly, could have to go home at some point in the next few hours or so…or not?
The library was less a tantrum, more a disagreement. Naturally he wanted to talk to the automated voice in the photo booth, who wouldn’t? In hindsight though, I suppose you don’t want your passport photos being blighted by the face of a confused toddler.
“Can you control your child please?” was the lady’s not-so polite request.
“I have control of my children thank-you!” I replied, oblivious to Luca sat behind me playing Frisbee with some CD’s, and Sonny who for some reason had decided that his protest would be taken more seriously if he stripped to his nappy and with hands on hips growled like a pack animal.
Sainsburys involved a polite telling off for playing hide-and-seek behind a signboard. To be fair it was a damn good hiding place, I’d walked straight past him twice, It took a startled granny to flush him out and give him a good old fashioned talking to, leaving me with a terrorised toddler all afternoon.
The Market was more of a classic stand-off outside the Sweet Shop. He wanted sweets, I proposed cucumber. We compromised on a small bag of sweets if he ate all his sandwiches. He didn’t, he got his sweets, I’m not proud.
He did though give us the funniest tantrum of the week played out through a kazoo. Even Luca was rolling around with the giggles at that one, much to Sonny’s increasing frustration.
It was possibly a little unfair of Luca to then mock him with a guitar accompaniment, and I suppose it was a wee bit harsh of me to join in with the harmonica too, but at least it’s something to tell his therapist when he’s older.
To be fair to Luca, his tantrums are far more genuine and born out of the frustration of not being able to say,
“You know I want a biscuit, I’m pointing at the tin, don’t take me for a fool now! Banana isn’t even the same number of syllables, I can say Banana! Why the hell would I ask for a satsuma? Give me a damn biscuit!”
He’s too lazy for all out drama, he knows the way to break me is to just attach himself to a limb and hang tight. If he’s hungry it’s like walking in treacle, when grumpy he has his mothers cold-eyed, unamused, stare that would break a weaker man. If he decides he wants to play outside he’ll latch on in the bedroom and by the time I’ve made it to the back door he’ll have twice as many limbs attached and a pair of sandals between his teeth.
His fail-safe technique is an all-out, you’re mocking me now, explosion of tears. To give him his dues he does give warning of the impending tantrum. The number of seconds between his first intake of breath and the eventual scream = the number of minutes you can expect this tantrum to last, plus any interruptions from Sonny .
When they collude on a tantrum shift-rota they don’t know how often they push me to being within one tantrum of me caving in to ice-lollies and crisps for lunch.
In-between tantrums, although they don’t yet acknowledge it, they’re sharing the same play space more often, and heaven forbid, enjoying each others company more than they don’t.
They play ‘tic’, race their cars against each other, and with me as an arbitrator they’ll even sit either side and share a story. Stick them in a dark room and blood really becomes thicker. The alarm is when Sonny asks me to go downstairs while Luca is making sure the door is fully closed behind me.
The deal appears to be, I leave whilst they’re still awake, but they reserve the right to a couple of hours of being found in our cupboard, the shower, on the stairs, or having taken camp under our duvet with a torch they somehow always manage to find?
On a plus note, there’s now loads of times when we all laugh, and sometimes we’re even laughing at the same thing, so happy days.