I think 2-year-olds are designed to drive their parents batty with frustration one second and then be so heartbreakingly adorable the next second that mom and dad look at each other with thinly veiled tears in their eyes and wonder how they created such a wonderful person during a quick afternoon roll in the hay in the Hotel Cai’ d’Conti in Venice.
R is in this stage – or maybe it’s her lifelong personality, God help me – in which she freaks out at the tiniest of perceived problems – a brownie crumb on her skirt, a missing Barbie shoe or wanting to go to Disney World RIGHT F-ING NOW, NOT WHEN WE SAVE UP SOME MORE MONEY AND I AM A LITTLE BIGGER. LET’S GET IN THE CAR RIGHT NOW.
Last night’s tantrum (and I mean the ENTIRE EVENING) was over Disney World. She saw a commercial that depicted Cinderella and Cinderella’s castle, after which she immediately decided she and Cinderella were best friends. Never mind that not 24 hours earlier, she and Mommy were best friends. I’ve been replaced by a fairy tale. Sniff.
It started with a simple request to go to Disney World. We approached the situation with a variety of failed parenting strategies.
Acquiesce: Okay, we said. We’ll go. Then she wanted to go to Disney World right now. She actually got up to go to the car.
Manipulate: We told her we would have to use money from her piggy bank, figuring she’d refuse. She went to retrieve her stash.
Stall: We told her we had to wait to go with other people in our family, she said she wanted them to go too. RIGHT NOW.
The truth: When we told her we couldn’t go now, we just got back from vacation and we don’t have enough money and she really isn’t big enough to enjoy (and remember) Disney World yet, the tantrums started coming in waves.
She’d scream and cry and demand to go to the happiest place on earth. When she calmed herself down, she’d raise her little tear-stained face to look up at us and tell us again, “I want to go to Disney World.” Following another refusal, she threw another tantrum. And so it went: through dinner, bath time and tooth-brushing.
I finally got her to bed (and asleep), only to begin again this morning, though her demands were not quite as vehement or angry. She has downgraded her attack to simply insistent. I am hoping that by the time I pick her up from school, she has thought of something else she wants right now. Hopefully it’s a brownie, cause that’s all I’ve got.