I was at book club tonight, and a new-ish mom had brought along her adorable 4 month old son. Towards the end of the evening, he began to fuss in that sweet, soft way, and his mom warned us that he might have a bit of a tantrum. Hmmmm....was there a time when I considered the soft protests of a tiny one a tantrum? I am sure there was. Now, however, I have learned what tantrum really means.
Take tonight, for example. With the time change, the twins decided to refuse to take an afternoon nap. That meant no sleeping from around 10:15 to 6:00, a superhuman task for 18 month olds. Things were going okay--they were distracted by the presence of a fun babysitter--until I took back over at 4:00. They wanted a snack. I gave them blueberries. When I told them that half a container was probably enough blueberries, chaos ensued. They crawled around the floor pushing their bowls and yelling. Finally, at 4:30 I gave in and said they could just have an early dinner. Homemade lasagna and veggies. Barnes sat happily in his high chair, but would only eat cheerios that had been placed in the cupholder portion of his tray. Frances wanted to eat her lasagna, but if you got her anywhere near her high chair seat wailing ensued. Somewhere in the midst of the dinner crisis, Andrew came home.
We gave up on Barnes eating and sent him on his way with a bowl of cheerios (most of which he fed to the dogs). At some point, Andrew asked me what Barnes was doing, to which I replied "going through the trash." Barnes had chosen tonight to figure out how to un-childproof the trash. Sidenote--Barnes has suddenly become an eighty year old man. He loves to blow his nose (he makes a blowing sound with his mouth) and cries multiple times a day for me to clip his nails. So, while wading through the garbage, he pulled out a used paper towel and blew his nose. In an effort to remove the soiled paper towel yet keep the peace, I traded him a clean napkin for his dirty garbage. He took the bait. Crisis averted, I thought. Not so fast. Seconds later, he proceeded to shred the napkin and eat the pieces. I saw him begin to gag on the napkin pieces, called out to Andrew that he was about to lose his cheerios, and Andrew got there just in time. And what master plan did dad have? He tipped him over like a teapot so that the puke would only get on the floor, not on B's clothes, and therefore be easier to clean.
The night ended with drinking dirty water out of our bathtime boats, crying because we had to get out of the tub, crying because we had to wear pajamas, and generally crying because we existed. Yes, tantrums look much different than they did at 4 months. And I can tell they are only going to get more interesting from here.