I want to go on record to say that most of the time the Princess acts like an adorable, sweet girl. I routinely get compliments on her manners when I take her to the library or store. Her teachers at school tell the Queen and I that she mostly works well with others and respects personal boundaries. Even when disappointments do happen like school being closed because of snow, she tends to absorb the news, process it, then find something else to do. Frankly, if she didn't act kind and friendly the majority of the time, she would never be allowed to call herself Princess. She would instead be referred to as inmate 001.
I don't want to say all this stuff to make you think that my child poops perfection, but to put in context the stark difference her dark side can emote. Just like every three-year-old child, a megaton bomb of a tantrum lies just beneath the surface. Without warning and any reasonable trigger, the child stands ready to destroy the world around them and then flop to the ground in boneless hysterics. And since the Princess displays a pleasant attitude 85% of the time, the roid-raged toddler only will come out when you let your guard down.
If you don't have kids, or you drank enough to forget age 2-4, then let me explain the art of the tantrum.
1.) Choose an everyday action for the trigger. Remember that mega-fit can happen anytime, anywhere, and definitely about anything. Bonus points for if the child melts down because of something you and she have done 100 times before the exact same way. Here is a partial list of reasons the Princess went nuts in the past year or so:
2.) Everything to show displeasure is fair game except saying what's wrong. Parenting books tell me this is because a three-year-old may not have the mental capacity to articulate what's bothering them. That's crap. A three-year-old knows that if you say what's wrong the conflict may get resolved. Some ways to keep a fit going without any hope to find a resolution:
3.) Instantaneously emerge happy and carefree. Sure, the child went Hulk for 30 minutes or so, but now it's suddenly over. And don't try talking about the incident, because to them it never even happened. Perhaps you are in need of some good psychotropic drugs, because you sure are living in some alternate reality. The child was always happy, and you just misconstrued their joyful actions.
I believe if we treat three-year-olds like they're constantly inebriated with alcohol, then everything starts to make sense. Sure, it's "I love you, man" now, but after a while, the angry drunk will come out along with fist fights and peeing down the stairs. Of course, enough fits will also drive you to ol' Johnny Walker. I always wondered why my parents bought so much wine and left it untouched for months, then in a weekend -- POOF -- all gone. Now I know.
I could go on, but I have to go. Somebody's pillow is flufstopic -- whatever that means.
30 Days of Shameless Self Promotion progress:
Jack Grubb writes an incredible blog, Losing the Internets, which is read by at least 37 people and over 2,100 Russian SPAM bots. In his spare time he helps small companies find their marketing voice. Jack currently lives deliberately in Appalachia, Kentucky with his wife, two daughters, Jack Russell and a Lego collection beyond compare.