Thursday, September 24, 2009

temper tantrums

(i realize i have used this picture before, but it seems really fitting for this post...)

so lately the tantrums have ramped up around our house. with the 2-year-old, you ask? certainly. i hate labeling stages as "terrible," but we have seriously entered the terrible 2s around here.

oh, and we are in the terrible 7s and terrible 6s too. lately we seem to have been living a version of alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

which has me confessing. you know, sometimes i just feel like having a good mommy tantrum myself. in some ways, kids have it so great. see, it's not socially acceptable for me to go in the bathroom, lock the door, and jump up and down and yell. that would be called "oh no, mommy's having a breakdown."

but my kids get to do it anytime they don't like something. like, if we are having zucchini and they wanted cupcakes for dinner. if they wanted to go to the park and instead we had to go run boring grown-up errands. if they wanted to run barefoot outside and we *dared* to make them wear shoes (who gives a crap about the bees and pokey sticks all over the yard).

i am exaggerating of course. they don't throw full-blown tantrums. but they definitely try to strongly express themselves.

as grown-ups, we are taught, hold everything in. it's a big no-no to let out how you feel. if you express too much dissent you become unlikeable.

of course, i know this is true. and despite what you are probably thinking at this moment about me, we do work on properly expressing your feelings around here.

but i just have those days when i don't feel like working on it. when it seems to take too much energy to keep it together. (anytime i say that phrase i think of the movie bowfinger, where murphy's character is a huge star playing a role in martin's movie, and he has serious psychological issues and is always reciting "keepittogetherkeepittogetherkeepittogether" really fast over and over.)

and you know as well as i do that most of the time it really *does* take so much more energy to be the things we all know we are supposed to be: nice, kind, patient, loving.

maybe it's like honking your horn if someone cuts you off in traffic. there was always this theory we had while living in boston that there were less accidents and less road rage because people let out how they felt by constantly honking their horns. so if we extrapolate this theory to motherhood, maybe we would have less inappropriate outbursts if we allowed ourselves the occasional tantrum.

maybe a national mommy tantrum day. or week. or once a month. i can think of way less healthy ways to deal with mommyhood and all it entails!

so here's to those occasional outbursts. may they help us be happier and healthier mommies in the long run.

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