The other day, we were asked to pick Alice up early from day care. We think it was over a tantrum.
I made that sound like a disciplinary measure, and it wasn’t at all. The teachers just explained that Alice’s behavior was so uncharacteristically cranky, they figured she simply must be sick. (She had thrown herself on the floor when instructed to put on a jacket.)
But nope. Not sick.
I think we have learned that when her impatience and frustration spin into a fever, there are no helpful questions (What’s wrong? What do you want?) and no consolation (You’re OK. It’s going to be fine) that do anything but fuel her little flames.
So really, the only thing to do is watch for the moment when she realizes she’s adrift and wants to be pulled back in. And then you can reach out – literally, I mean – and she’ll hurl herself into your chest and calm down.
(It’s science, you guys. Ha. “Good data.”)
At the end of Alice’s last checkup, her doctor asked me whether she sometimes throws temper tantrums.
Sure she does, I told him.
He nodded and said, “That’s normal for 2-year-olds.”
Then he turned to Alice. “But not for 3-year-olds.”
So nine more months and we’re home-free, right?