Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Trying Tyranny of Toddler Tantrums

The Trying Tyranny of Toddler Tantrums
6 July 2014

Few things are more sobering than a toddler tantrum.  Even an older kid tantrum too.  Cause here's the thing - it's not really reserved for three year olds only. 

It can rock your world.  In a very non-musical way. 

All three of mine, were pretty temperate, with regards to tantrums.  A miracle in itself.  They didn’t really do the whole screaming, wailing, thrashing thing.  Though there was the odd horrendous, ear deafening relapse.  A moment of meltdown, when they just plain couldn’t keep it together anymore.  Actually to be fair, I know the feeling.  And at times, wish I too had the indulgence.  An opportunity to throw my toys out of the cot so to speak.

The funny thing about kids and their tantrums, is the hair fine trigger.  And knowing exactly where that line lies.  What sets them off.

It’s all fun and games, and you’re having a great time, until you accidently remark that Superman’s cape looks a little bit like a dress.

I know – what was I thinking???  

Or you say, “Sweet-pea, it’s -17 degrees today, you can’t wear your red bikini top, pink gumboots, the dress-up Hawaiian skirt, your brother’s army beanie, rainbow fairy wings, and a pink tiara – you will freeze”.

Cause there’s the first problem.  You can’t reason with a toddler.  Don’t even bother.  Best to rather just remove the offending clothes from the wardrobe beforehand, in the case of potential fashion fiasco’s.  Or whatever else you think might set them off.

They have an uncanny knack for ensuring they have an audience when they have a tantrum.  And to give them some credit, this is actually rather clever.  If you’re going to put that much effort and theatrical prowess into a performance, it would be wasted on your mere mother alone.  Rather save the big guns for the most amount of people.  For example, if you really want that packet of Smarties at the check-out in the 3 metre long queue at Pick ‘n Pay on the end of the month pay-day, when the entire world is doing their grocery shopping – well the stage has been set.  Your audience is beckoning.  Practically begging you to unleash your brilliance.

Why disappoint?  I mean you could ask your mother quietly, but it would be a wasted opportunity.  The thing with theatre, and acting is this – it’s all about timing.  A true genius, knows exactly when the right moment is to debut, “The Voice”.  Yes, timing is everything.  Projecting your voice is also extremely important.  And a fine actor, nay a great actor will tell you, that the masters, the lucky few to have received an Oscar know this – body language is key.  Though overkill must be avoided.  Flinging of the hands in a strong downward movement is encouraged and effective.  Though going into a fully Jazz-hands dancing display, will convey the message to your audience that you are not truly sincere.  You are but merely playing with them.  Toying with them.  And belief is everything.  They need to buy into your desperation.  Because that is the only way you get there…..


And once you’ve got the empathy, and your mom’s gotten the death look from fellow shoppers, the battle is done.  She'll buckle.  And submit.  You might as well start planning on what fun it is going to be to unpack those Smarties in neat little colour rows.  Pinks with pinks, blues with blues.
Yip, at times, I really wish I could throw tantrums too.

1 comment:

  1. You are too clever....and ridiculously perceptive!!