Lost: One feisty but ultimately manageable toddler.
Found: One feral little tantrum beast.
The tantrum beast’s likes: Getting what she wants. And bread. The tantrum beast is a bread fiend.
The tantrum beast’s dislikes:
- Having her nappy changed
- Getting dressed
- Going into her cot
- Taking a bath
- Brushing her teeth
- Sitting in a highchair
- Wearing a bib
- Playing with her toys
- Sitting in her pushchair
- The TV being shut off
- Being put down
- Being picked up
- Me. You. Pretty much anyone who stands in her way.
How to spot the tantrum beast: The tantrum beast can often be found flailing around on the floor and screaming at the top of her lungs.
The tantrum beast can make an appearance at any time, but she is especially prone to emerge on crowded buses during rush hour or in the middle of busy shops.
How to approach the tantrum beast: With caution. DO NOT, under any circumstances, let her hear you say the word ‘no’, even if it’s followed by, “You can’t do that, but [insert really reasonable and fun-sounding alternative here].”
The tantrum beast may reach up to you, implying that she wants to be picked up, but don’t be fooled. As soon as you pick her up, she will wiggle around until she has escaped. Then she will reach up again. The tantrum beast is an irrational creature who has no idea what the f*** she wants.
How to tame the tantrum beast: The following things can have a calming effect on the tantrum beast:
- A dummy
- Music videos
- An unlocked mobile phone or tablet (never give the tantrum beast a locked device – this will only make her angrier)
- Being allowed to play with something moderately dangerous, like a fork or a bottle opener
Note that none of these will work every time. Your only option is to try one thing after another until the tantrum beast is suitably distracted or simply runs out of steam.
How to recover from your encounter with the tantrum beast: ALL THE WINE.