Tantrums: Help! I’m living with a Twoligan

Toddler having an almighty strop

The Characteristics

Stubbornness, crying, screaming, defiance. No, this isn’t an article on the characteristics of Kanye West . . .but an account of what the last few months have been like living with a teeny chubby wilful, dictating, almost 2 year old. Having smugly congratulated myself on conquering the ‘terrible two’s’ with Ruby Rose a couple of years ago, I have now begun to quickly realise that I emerged totally unscathed because Ruby was an angel in stark comparison to her bulldozing, biting and dramatic baby brother. I am now experiencing the harsh reality of Oscar winning tantrums multiple times each day!Toddler holding cake

Most of Frankie’s tantrums seem to be linked to food (I’m not one to assign blame, but he may be role modelling his Dad’s behaviours here – yes Dave is pretty partial to a food mood)

Despite Frankie having a fairly narrow diet (due to his food allergies) he is a big fan of food . . .but on his terms. I initially rejoiced when an allergy Mum friend of mine gave me a heads up on the fab ‘free from’ Cherry Bakewells that Sainsburys offer. Now that he has discovered ‘proper’ cake, this has become his go to tantrum trigger. He requests ‘caaakkeee’ before, during and after every meal – including breakfast. When I decline this appeal, he usually moves down the hierarchy to ‘lollies’ . . . and when the penny drops that Mummy means business and he is instead being cajoled into eating something slightly more nutritious – like – God forbid – a sandwich – ALL.HELL.BREAKS.LOOSE.

Toddler tantrum

The Performance

He’s been known to bust out the choreographed routine of, hand slam, scream, frisbee plate of food, object with “no mama, no mama, no mama!”, head butt the table, scream “caaakkeeee”, throwing residual food in front of him on the floor. He will then pull my hair as I bend down in an attempt to retrieve food and then usually one last head butt at me whilst I remove his hands from my hair whilst I tell him ‘calmly, firmly and clearly’ (yeah cheers Super Nanny!) that he shouldn’t pull hair and that he needs to use ‘kind hands’.

I’ve tried ignoring him, timing him out and telling him off, but on every occasion he laughs squarely into my face. I know that it’s likely he’s looking for a reaction, but even when I don’t react he becomes so intent on hitting out (usually at me or Ruby) I have to take action and move him away, which then I guess is probably providing a degree of attention.

His nursery tell me that he’s angelic and that they’re shocked at my tales of his latest performances, but he has that whole charm offensive going on with them , and will flash a smile or plant a smacker to get his own way.  They reassure me that these home tantrums are just a phase. The problem is, that whilst I’m waiting out this phase I’m having to constantly referee his antisocial behaviour with others, and suffer my own war wounds along the way (how can his finger nails be that sharp?!)

I swear he plans his tantrums strategically to make it look as though I’m fabricating my tales of woe.

Tantrum Highlights of 2017

  • High scale food mood melt down because “Box took fooood” (the microwave “took” his food)
  • Head butting hissy fit when Dave wouldn’t allow him to drive the car 
  • Massive frustration at my stupidity when I couldn’t work out that “like it” actually means “DON’T LIKE IT”
  • Chips. He’s pretty obsessed with chips (I promise I do feed him nutritious food!). If someone within ear shot even dares to whisper the word “chips” that c-bomb is explosive in gargantuan proportions. He will not stop repeating “Chiipppss. CHIIIPPSSS” until a chip is in his mouth.
  • Cake. See above.
  • When he is hungry he will physically push me into the kitchen and keep shoving my legs calling me “cooker” (much to his Fathers amusement) until I present him with a plate of food. Honestly the pressure I’m under in the kitchen is enough to make Gordon Ramsay break!
  • The car. If I successfully manage to karate chop him into his car seat after he transforms into a human pencil, I’m then treated to a journey of screams that he is “STUCK”. Nope that’ll just be your seatbelt for safety buddy! This also applies to the high chair.
  • One of the more recent and breathtaking efforts was last week in the garden when I wouldn’t allow him to eat a worm.

And after all of this, I look at him when he is sleeping or when he grabs each of my cheeks with both of his sticky little chubby hands, and forgive all of the challenges and bad bits. He might be a diva but he’s my diva.

Baby boy sleeping

How do you cope with twoligans? Does the naughty step work? Please share your tips before Amy ups her medicinal gin quota!

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

We’re two Mums who are getting through motherhood one day at a time whilst enjoying Yoga and other ‘me time’ activities. We don’t profess to be experts in Yoga, Pilates, exercise, meditation, the human anatomy or medicine and we’re certainly not experts in parenting. We are simply sharing our experience and opinions and occasionally those of people who’s advice we value, and we’ll always reference them. If you’re unsure of starting any new exercise or practice, please consult your GP. And if you’re unsure of purchasing any products we suggest, please consult your bank balance!

  • Kerry

    Great blog Amy. It sounds like you are having a very hard time. (have to admit to a few chuckles at your expense… Sorry 😂). It’s so hard to be tough at this age but sadly so necessary. Any “normal” parent finds discipline so very difficult and I’m sorry to say it doesn’t get much easier but there will be easier times along the way. The only thing that gets you through is sheer determination and bucket loads of patience. Keep breathing. Do what you’re instinct tells you, it usually proves to be right. Lots of love xx

    • mantrasandmayhem

      Thanks for the advice Kerry. Frankie is hard work, but he does make me smile, a lot…funny little thing! I found that with my daughter things got a lot easier around age 3 1/2 but she is a saint and always has been. I guess karma has served me this challenge to balance it out 😂 xxxxx