At this remote point in history, I haven’t the faintest idea what triggered it, but there was our toddler son, throwing a classic tantrum on the kitchen floor. We had tears, a beet-red face, continuous screaming, pounding feet, and flailing arms. His father and I exchanged looks high above the rampage, eyebrows arched: this was a most impressive display. After a few more seconds, one of us shrugged and cocked a head toward the door. The other nodded, and we left the room.
We resumed our interrupted conversation on the living room couch, two rooms removed from the din. Suddenly the noise from the kitchen ceased. We heard small feet pound through the dining room. Having located his stray audience, the indignant little performer flung himself at our feet and began the tantrum anew. After a brief, amazed silence, we burst into laughter, unable to help ourselves.
This was not at all the intended effect, and the offended actor stopped mid-fit and sat up to fix us with such a look of annoyance that we were further reduced to tears of hilarity. Summoning the autocratic dignity with which all children are born, he picked himself up, surveyed us with disgust, and walked out of the room.
A long moment later, we had recovered sufficiently to go in search of our budding Machiavelli. We found him in his room, busy at some new thing, the entire affair apparently blown over. Its lessons were not forgotten, however, for he’s a cagey little creature, possessed of a shrewdness that his sweet disposition both belies and (fortunately) moderates. He’s also a quick study: this was his one and only tantrum.
Good thing it was so memorable.
(I want to thank Marie of 1000 Reasons I’m a Bad Mom for inspiring this post, via Mamapedia: http://www.mamapedia.com/voices/barbarism-begins-at-home.)