Monday, September 15, 2014

Tantrum




According to Dictionary.com a tantrum is "a violent demonstration of rage or frustration; a sudden outburst of ill temper."

Synonyms include: fit, outburst, paroxysm, frenzy, huff, scene and hissy fit. See also: my son, 9. My son, 9, is a freaking tantrum expert.

It's surprising because he was such a mellow baby.  He burbled and cooed and looked at me with vast affection. When he was a toddler,  I thought of him as Wilbur from Charlotte's Web, the innocent everyman and friend of all in the barnyard. In kindergarten, he had a wittle lisp.

I think testosterone has just kicked in, maybe, in third grade?

He's suddenly become like those young male elephants that dig up trees. He smells, a little. His shoe laces are a large knot. When he plays with other nine-year-old boys they make gun noises and bomb noises and the noises of jet planes losing altitude at a clip.

He gets sweaty and aggressive if his way is blocked.  Sometimes he gives me this blank-eyed stare --  like if I've told him we're having Swiss chard as a side dish for dinner -- he gives me this blank-eyed stare and it's snake-y.

This morning he didn't want the granola I made and he dropped to the floor flailing and screaming: "I could run away if I wanted; I could go right now."

Carefully stepping over him to pour milk into my coffee, I didn't follow the advice of the modern parenting guidebooks, I didn't say, "Oh, honey, you're showing me you don't like granola." "Instead of flailing and biting my leg, why don't you make a drawing for me of how angry you are we're not having Sweetums Sugar Blaster Sugar Coated Nibbles?"

Instead I said, "I could run away too."