Patience is NOT my Virtue

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Two weekends ago, after a hurried and stressful mall outing with Lucca, my husband said to me "You don't handle tantrums well."
This came after Lucca refused to sit in his stroller then ran back and forth with it in the dressing room hallway of Banana Republic, banging it into the walls and doors and running over anyone in his path. (My apologies again to the victims). Then he wanted to run toward the escalators on the second floor and I wouldn't let him near it. Our little Sunday afternoon outing ending after I used several quick one-armed lifts to get him out of other people's way, only to be 'toddler-ed' and thus making the situation worse.
No, I'd say I don't handle tantrums well. My patience level has absolutely deteriorated in the last year, and I believe I can thank the terrible-twos for this. Sometimes I wonder how I ever was a teacher in my previous life. As a teacher, I had an abundance of patience. Not just for one child, but for 14 children. I had rocks thrown at my face, I've had punches and kicks thrown my way, I've been yelled at, and endured a countless amount of tantrums on a daily basis. 
So why the hell can't I handle this with the same grace as I did before?
I know I'm not the only one experiencing this. I know this comes with the territory. My friend assured me the other day (as my son was running around dangerously close to the parking lot outside of Starbucks) that it will, in fact, get better. But right now, it's tough. It's exhausting. It's a constant battle. More and more I see how strong-willed Lucca is, how much I fight back, and usually the fight just isn't worth fighting.
I'm all about finding a method to the madness, the calming techniques, setting boundaries, and blah blah blah. But in that moment, all of that is bullshit to me. In that moment, I'm fighting against the will of a thirty-pound mini-person who has just recently discovered his ability to scream at the top of his lungs. My patience for this usually lasts about all of 30 seconds. After about the third or fourth attempt to "calm down", I CAN'T CALM THE F*&$ DOWN. Enter the one-armed scoop, the over the shoulder-potato-bag lift, the under-the-armpit-kicking-and-screaming pick-up, and I'm just looking for a way out.

My husband is a saint. He'd be a great teacher. He's calm. He's cool. He's collected. Complete opposite of how I handle these situations. But being home with him every single day, ALL day, I'd say I get the majority of the meltdowns. My husband probably experiences 2% of the tantrums that I encounter on a daily basis. God love him, but I think he'd probably lose his shit too three days in.

I'm not looking for any advice or suggestions to parenting books. I just need the "girl, I'm right there with you" camaraderie. I love this age--I love to watch him become more independent, to see him explore, make friends, show emotions, ask questions. But HOLY CRAP, people. Toddler tantrums are enough to put any mother in a nut house. 


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