One of my twins is notorious for having tantrums. And I don't mean crying, begging, whining tantrums. His tantrums are legendary. Kicking, screaming, biting, scratching, foaming-at-the-mouth tantrums are his specialty. He can bring down an entire building. People come from miles around to see him. Get the picture?
Let me say, this child is beautiful-- as are his brothers-- but when these tantrums start, he turns into Linda Blair in The Exorcist. I have never seen such a transformation. His big blue eyes glow, his lips poke out, his cheeks puff up, and he opens his mouth as wide as he can and lets out the loudest, blood curdling scream he can. He could shatter glass with this scream. He reaches volumes that you can't believe are coming from a 49 pound body.
The most recent tantrum occurred in the grocery store. He wasn't especially tired or cranky at the start. I have learned to be wary of that. But he went from angel to full-blown hellion in a matter of seconds. It all started with the word no.
He and his twin asked if they could both push the cart. I said yes. Then they proceeded to push the cart straight toward a display of expensive liquor. Now, I may have wanted this liquor by the end of the grocery shopping fiasco, but at this point I was still in denial. I very quietly, but firmly said, "No, we can't do that. Let's just step aside and let Mom push the cart, please." I know you're thinking I couldn't have been that calm or the tantrum wouldn't have started. But I kid you not, I was.
It began. They both refused to let go of the cart. Then they started fighting against me, getting closer and closer to the display. The liquor was starting to look much more appealing to me now. I pried fingers off the cart and let them know we were done. We were leaving without groceries. Then the madness truly began.
Twin 2, whom I shall refer to as Lightening, because he causes the most damage, threw himself to the floor and started screaming. I attemped to talk to him. That was SO not happening. I picked him up and called to the other two to follow me. Twin 1, whom I shall refer to as Thunder ( because he's loud but is, for the most part, just a lot of noise) started crying and saying he wanted to stay in the store. My oldest child, Earthquake got "that look" in his eyes. I stopped, looked him in the eyes and reminded him he wasn't in trouble YET. Thankfully, he backed down. Thunder continued to cry, but followed me out of the store. In the meantime, Lightening was kicking, screaming, slapping me, and calling me names. I had him in a tight grip and continued out of the store and into the parking lot.
Keep in mind, that no less than a thousand or so people were witnessing this (okay, a slight exaggeration), including some people who knew us, and NO ONE offered to help. (And in all fairness, I didn't really expect them to. I mean, Linda Blair was scary in this role, but Lightening is pure horror.) I was trying to decide if I REALLY want to be a mother at this point. I mean, they have that law so you can return them to the hospital, right?
I finally got them to the car and ordered, yes ordered, the other two to get in their seats. By this point, I was so NOT calm and reasonable. I'm not even sure I remembered what those words meant. I was angry. No, not angry. I was MAD!! I fought with Lightening for around 30 minutes, trying to get him into his seat and strapped in to no avail. I finally resorted to a pretend call to the police to assist me with this deliquent child. (I know, not the best move, but at this point I was mentally, physically, and emotionally done.) It worked. He stopped fighting, got in his seat and strapped in.
My clothes were soaking wet, my arms and legs shaking, and THEN these lovely children wanted to know if we could go get a milkshake for a treat. They HAD to be joking, tight? We went straight home. I know, you're shocked. Milk shake, my eye.
On the way home, Lightening started to amp up again. When I pulled into the garage, my husband heard the screaming all the way in the house --the child, not me. I was on my way around to get the little DARLING out of the van, not sure if I'd bother with the door or just aim him out the window, and Dad came out and offered to get him out. Good idea, VERY good idea.
We got all three boys inside and two of the three settled down. Lightening, on the other hand, was still going strong. He was put in his room and calmed down after about 30 minutes. Tantrum done and so was I.
(Copyright 2010, Linda Rosendale)