Tag Archives: Tantrums

Kitchen Redecoration – Toddler Style

Earlier this afternoon, I was giving Cherub #1 and Cherub #2 lunch.  Nothing fancy, just some homemade soup (which Darling Wife made yesterday) with bread sticks and houmous.  Any parent will know just how messy two little tykes can get when they ‘consume’ such things, but I figured that as they are bathing with Mummy tonight, I can afford to let them redecorate themselves.

As it was, they didn’t make that much mess at all.  I will admit to being pleasantly surprised that I didn’t need to wash the floor, or wipe the table, or steam clean the walls and ceiling.  Cherub #1 wasn’t really that hungry so he left his soup pretty much untouched, his spoon sitting forlornly, partially submerged in the bright orange goop.

Although I didn’t need to clean the kitchen, I did need to contend with the whingeing from Spawn #2 regarding the leftover bread sticks that she wanted to claim.  Not usually a problem, but she had already scoffed her share of crumpets, banana, cucumber and cherry tomatoes at their children’s group about an hour earlier, so I didn’t want her to gorge herself silly on bread sticks.  So she changed tactics and demanded a drink instead.

“Good”, I thought.  She needed to keep up her fluids and a weak juice would help.  But then I clocked her hands.  They were covered in soup, houmous, and bits of soggy bread stick.  I mean, honestly, she looked like the bloke who gets doused in toxic waste in the original Robocop!

I needed to wipe her hands before I gave her the cup, so I left the room to get the baby wipes from the lounge.  Now, our lounge and kitchen are immediately next to each other, separated by a wall, but you can see into our lounge from the kitchen table.  I could only have been out of the kitchen for, oh let’s see, the amount of time it takes the average person to say “Tantrum”.

Then Spawn #2 began screaming, a high-pitched, blood curdling scream that only a one year-old girl can.  Never mind the fact that I was still in the house.  Never mind that I was talking to her the WHOLE TIME.  I left the room, and that was enough.  And it annoyed me.  It frustrated me that I could not just leave the room for 10 seconds to get a packet of wipes.

I grabbed up the wipes and stomped back to the kitchen to deal with the little banshee.

As I entered the room, I pulled a wipe out and threw the packet onto the table in frustration.  The wipe hit Cherub #1’s spoon.  The spoon took flight.  And orange Butternut Squash soup splattered everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  It was all across the table, on the floor, up the walls, and even on the ceiling.  In true bloke style, I turned to Spawn #2, fully intending to utter those immortal words, “Now look what you made me do!”

Then I noticed that I had managed to get the soup all over her too.  I don’t know what was worse; the fact that in my mood I had managed to make more mess than two young children, or the look that Cherub #2 was giving me, as if to say “Now what did you do that for?”.

The room was silent.  I took a deep breath and, in my head, counted to ten.  And as I was just about to turn towards the cupboard for the anti-bacterial wipes, a small voice piped up from behind me.

Cherub #1: Uh oh. (Pause) Daddy made the wall orange!

Well, yes. Yes I did.

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The Terrible Two’s (or A Father’s Authoritative Dilemma)

Spawn #1 turned two.  That’s all that seemed to happen.  He turned two, and began to have tantrums.  There is nothing unusual in that, I suppose, and Darling Wife and I were prepared for it.  But he has been developing a nasty temperamental streak of late (which unfortunately is rubbing off on Cherub #2 in small doses) but while this is not something we want to laugh about, it can occasionally create some truly hilarious moments.

A little while ago, Spawn #1 did something naughty (I forget what it was now, probably something like pushing his sister over, but it was enough to land him in trouble) and I had to resort to the Naughty Mat.  I grabbed him by the hand, led him to the front door and plopped him on the mat, making sure to shut the door to the lounge on the way – or at least, I thought I had.

Spawn #1 was crying.  He had been taken away from his toys and the TV and his sister and taken to the Naughty Mat.  And now Daddy was kneeling in front of him and speaking in a stern voice.  He was upset because he was in trouble.

And yet, as I spoke to him, explaining the reason why I was putting him on the step, I saw his eyes flick to something over my shoulder.  His crying stopped and gradually a small smile crept across his face.  I couldn’t understand it.  Here I was, imposing discipline on him and telling him off and there he was beginning to laugh.

At this point, I turned around to find out just what it was that was undermining my authority and making him laugh.  I should have guessed…

I had not closed the lounge door properly and there was Cherub #2 trying heavens hard to come and join us in the hallway.  But whenever she opened the door wide enough for her body, she would start to crawl through the gap, and that’s when she would catch the door with her knee and close it on herself.  So she was trying and failing multiple times to get out of the lounge, trapped halfway through the door, and Spawn #1 and I were there absolutely transfixed by this sight.

That’s when Cherub #2 looks up at us and breaks into the biggest, happiest smile in the world.  My heart melted and Spawn #1 burst out into a fit of giggles.

And that was that.  Discipline crumbled and we all just sat there in the hall giggling away, my authority destroyed by a one-year-old with clearance issues…

But at what point should I try to curb this temperament issue that Spawn #1 is developing?  I mean, the above example probably didn’t aid me in my endeavors, but I am hardly helping myself in other instances either.

Only a few weeks ago, I told Spawn #1 it was time for bath and bed.  “No, Daddy.  I not want it.”  Oh, well, that’s OK then!  Wait, no it’s not!!!

“Come on, upstairs, bath – NOW!”  Spawn #1 slaps his hands on top of the TV cabinet, and stomps across the lounge, out of the door and as he approached the open stair-gate, he decides to slam it shut!

Except, it’s not one of those gates that slams and snaps into place, but has a handle that has to be lowered into position.  The end result of this action was that the gate banged into the frame and bounced back, hitting Spawn #1 in his stroppy face as he stomped onward and producing an audible “Oof” from him!

He wasn’t hurt, but this put him in such a thunder-strop that I could do nothing – but laugh my ass off!

The thing with laughing at two-year-olds is that they don’t always understand that you’re laughing AT them, and this must have been the case with Spawn #1.  Upon hearing my cackling, he turned around and grinned at me, his shiny brown eyes twinkling in a way that seemed to say “Oh, you liked that, huh?  Well, I’m gonna bash my face into the gate every time I get near it, because it makes you laugh.”

And then, just before he turned and climbed the stairs, his expression shifted slightly, as if to add “Then you can explain THAT to Mummy!”

I’m beginning to worry about that boy…

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