June 11, 2011


Ask me most days and I'd tell you that I want to have three kids. Like it's no big deal. Like I'm talking about bicycles or piercings or stamps on my passport. Not so much today. Today's one of those days when I think I'd be nuts to have another kid. I've got enough on my plate with the kid I got.

This morning I woke up early and went to fetch Tessa from my mom's house, where she'd stayed the night. I was so excited to hold her and smell her baby breath and sit on the floor with her in my lap and tuck my chin into her curls and read her her favorite book about ladybugs.

She didn't seem particularly excited to see me, though, and within 10 minutes she'd hit me hard in the schnoz with this water-mister thing and gave me a nosebleed. I saw stars. Tears literally sprang from my eyes. I cried like a little girl. My mom was there to wipe my tears away, which was pretty ideal. We both told Tessa that she'd hurt mommy and to be more careful, and she got a solemn look in her eyes and pressed her lips together like maybe she understood.

Then I put Tessa into her car seat in the Mini Cooper (which I have to crawl into through the passenger side because the driver's side door is jammed) and I drove home to East Nashville (a 30-minute trek). When I got home I realized with utter horror that I'd forgotten her blankie at my mom's house. I tried to put her down for her nap but she was hysterical, inconsolable, no other blanket would do. I got her out of her crib, put her back in the car, crawled through the passenger side, and drove back to my mom's house to get the blankie.

An hour later, we finally made it back home. But by then the nap window had slammed shut, and she refused to sleep, instead crying on and off in her crib for 45 minutes. I got her up and fed her some lunch, which she mostly threw all over the floor. I sat on the couch in the living room while she ate and had a good cry myself. We were both in bad moods so I took her to run some errands just to make time pass.

Home Depot went alright, but she threw an epic tantrum in the fabric store because she wanted out of my arms to dump out the boxes of buttons and unspool the spools of ribbon. I probably should have just left the store because there were several people who were obviously not happy to have been jarred from their fabric-buying bliss. But I wanted my durn trim and by God I was gonna get it--baby screaming in my arms or not.

She fell asleep in the car on the way home. Almost the whole ride, I lamented the fact that it's illegal to leave a baby in the car long enough to run in someplace and get a six-pack. 

When we got home, I moved her to her crib and she slept for about an hour. She woke up in another nasty mood and threw another tantrum while I cooked her dinner. Look, here it is:

(Brace yourself. There's some high-decibel screaming in here.)

You'd better believe I sent that video to Nekos at Bonnaroo so he'd know what I'm up against. 

By the way, that was the tail-end of that tantrum. It had been going on for almost 10 minutes, despite my offering her apple juice, water, and milk. I can't hold her during one of these things because she stiffens up and arches back and kicks and flails against me.

So ... am I crazy? I thought tantrums were for two-year-olds? This kid isn't quite 15 months. Any tantrum tips from veteran parents? My approach has been to ignore them as best I can and then give her some love once she's settled down. 

And, also, most days are not this bad. There are lots of sweet moments, and there are days when I want to get on my roof and yell, "I. LOVE. THIS. CHILD!" over and over again because I can't even begin to put into words how much I do. Love her. Even today there were (a few) good times, but I chose not to include them for hyperbole's sake. 

Speaking of how awesome babies are, have you entered my giveaway for two packs of Pampers diapers? Get on it!

Signing off now. I hear the baby crying.


  1. Wow. Sounds like a rough day! I'm not a mommy (just yet, anyway!), but I've worked with children for years. If it makes you feel any better, I've seen lots of babies around your daughter's age do the same thing. Seems like you're doing a great job with her, tantrums and all. Hang in there!

  2. oh man, i used to work in daycare with infants and toddlers, and there would be this kinda thing every day (except there were 12 in a room). It's normal. But that doesn't mean it's not really hard to take! It would sometimes bring tears to my eyes too.

  3. Completely normal. Painstaking to watch..Yes. You are doing what you should be and ignoring it. One she picks up on that she won't be getting what she wants by doing this, she'll calm it down. ALSO... my son is occasionally grumpy after coming from Gmas. What I have read is that they miss you and that there are feelings there that they can't yet express, so they do it as they know how....
    Kids are creatures of habit, something gets all weird, combined with probably being over-tired and that's an ugly combination.
    Good thing is... tomorrow is a new day.

  4. Ugh, days like that are the worst! Of course not every day is like that and i do believe that they too are allowed off days just like we have off days.
    When Lily has a moment like that, i just tell her that if she wants to act like that that it's fine but i'm walking away, and I do. She soon comes to her senses and then everything is fine.
    Terrible 2's start way before 2 btw. I'm convinced!

  5. I feel So bad that you had such a terrible day on Sat! Maybe we should have met for that coffee after all. They could have screamed together! This is the best article on tantrums I've read so far:


    There is so much to take away in there, like that there are two kinds of tantrums and one should be ignored but the other shouldn't and not to take tantrums personally and that they have to do with their inability to express themselves but this will pass as they gain language and other skills.
    Hang in there! I'm right there with you.

  6. Happy I stumbled by your blog, your family is adorable and as for the tantrums, my oldest just turned three and I could pull my hair out!

  7. Just came across your blog today...and wanted to write you this tip. I'm a 47 yr. old mom of 4 ranging from 10 to 20. The best "tantrum" tip I ever got was from my husband's grandmother. Whenever the child is "tripping" (as I called it) take a glass of water, dip your hand in it, and sprinkle their face. They will take one long breath, and sort of "refocus"...and then DISTRACT. Now, you will be sorely tempted to throw the WHOLE glass of water in their face. Don't. We don't want any issues that have to be resolved with therapy later on. (smile) Anyway, this GENERALLY worked on my kids. But not if she is too far into it. So try to do this on the front side of the tantrum. (This is also great for night-terrors. It wakes them up when nothing will, and they just sort of take a big breath, look around, and you can talk to them while "awake".) Anyway, she's adorable, and you are a beautiful mother. (And love your blog...both content and design.) Love from Jamie in AZ