Mommy’s Temper Tantrum

By | May 17, 2012

I remember I had to wake up early to get there. I was so excited to finally have some spending money, I didn’t mind if I had to miss out on sleep. I wanted new clothes.

It was a babysitting gig. Three little kids, several mornings a week, while their mom caught up on sleep after working a nightshift. I grew to love those little kids, but I’ll never forget my first morning.

Since the mom was sleeping while I babysat it was kind of a given that I would keep them quiet. From the day I met her, that middle child seemed bent on sabotaging my efforts. I would come home and lament to my mom who would go into hysterics saying something about how what goes around comes around.

She does the same thing when I whine about Coco. Seriously, I WILL give some sympathy to Coco should she have a daughter with this genetic misfortune. But that’s getting off point.

It boiled down to a difference of opinion regarding breakfast. I thought she should eat oatmeal, and she thought she should have ice cream. She must have been about two or three years old. Now that I have two toddlers, I totally see where she was coming from. After all, what three year old doesn’t want to start the day off with ice cream?

We had a face-off with the cupboards. She’d slam one and scream, “I want ICE CREAM!”

I kind of wanted to slam a cupboard, too, but instead I would just answer, “You may have oatmeal.”


“I said I want ICE CREAM!”

“And I said you can have oatmeal.”


“Oat meal.”


“Oat meal.”

On and on it went. As a fourteen-year-old girl, I didn’t know I could just move her out of the kitchen and probably avoid that thirty-minute scream match.

She looked so absurd, standing there frizzy-haired and in her nightgown. A little bundle of wrath, she was.

Beyond the fact that I actually argued with a toddler for thirty minutes, the day was notable because I failed at my job. I was to keep the peace and make sure mom stayed asleep.

The cupboards won. Or I guess she won. No, she didn’t get her ice cream, but she  succeeded in making me look bad. Her mom woke out of a deep slumber and had to deal with the both of us.Talk about embarrassing. The girl in the nightgown beat the one with the braces. How was I to handle high school—never mind life, if couldn’t handle a toddler’s tantrum? Funny, I ask myself this same question on a daily basis. High school was nothing compared to terrible toddlerhood.

The other day I had my own little meltdown with a cupboard. The short story is I banged my head on it. The longer story is I KEEP banging my head on the darned contraption. I have so many knots on my head from being clumsy. And you know what? It hurts.

I deal with pain on a regular basis. I never seem to get away from it, and so when a stinking cupboard adds to my misery I get really pissed off.

Like my outrageous little babysitting charge, I lost it. I slammed the crap out of that freaking cupboard. Three times—for good measure. I believe there were also some choice words reverberating off of the rotten wood, but I can’t be too sure. After all, I was seeing red.

Ultimately, the cupboard won. I screwed up my job as a mom because—guess what? The kids witnessed the whole shebang. And bang it did. 

I flounced off to my bedroom and promptly threw myself onto the bed, sobbing. I grieved over the absurdity of it all. A stupid cupboard. That’s all it takes to throw me into hysteria? Apparently. How am I going to handle the rest of their lives if something so small can send me into the red zone? This is what I swore I would never do as a mom: I would never lose it in front of my kids. Whoops. Guess I’ve done that.

As I lay there nursing my shame, I realized that while I might not be a silly three year old, I sort of want the same things in life. I do. I’d like for once to just have someone cook, cut up, and clean up all of my food for me. And then I’d tell them I wanted something else. I would like it if I could throw a fit without feeling like a huge failure and wonder if I need therapy. I would like it if someone would childproof the cupboards where I bang my head–the ones my kids can’t yet reach. Also, I would like to dress up like a Disney princess and be barefoot. I would like it if someone would send me off to bed when I’ve had enough.

Simply put, you can keep your oatmeal; I want ice-cream.

I want yummy, easy, and fun. I don’t want consequences. I don’t want to have to think about indigestion or my jeans being too tight the next day. I want ice-cream.

I want life to be easy. I’m sick of being sick. I’m sick of being tired. And I’m sick of seeing other people be sick and tired. How do I get to Candyland?

Slam, slam, slam! Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!

There. I’m done. Off to go heat up some oatmeal.
Mommy's Temper Tantrum

20 thoughts on “Mommy’s Temper Tantrum

  1. hilljean

    If only we knew about counting to three to get a kid to straighten up when we were teens, eh?

  2. hilljean

    Your blogs are always a freakishly accurate depiction of my life/habits

  3. hilljean

    Sometimes it feels good to slam a cupboard door- or to eat ice cream for breakfast.

  4. hilljean

    i always love your direct voice; you always make me laugh, and I know it’s always honest!

  5. hilljean

    Now that brought back some memories… I do kind of remember your baby-sitting adventures. I guess what I love best about your writing is your transparency – because we’ve all “lost it” when we didn’t want to (as you know I have many times). Being real (with the sorrow and forgiveness that comes with it) is so much more attractive than perfection:)

  6. hilljean

    Fantabulous temper tantrum. I kicked a bottom cabinet once and succeeded in breaking my toe. It was worth it…

  7. hilljean

    Yah, and not just a three year old, a three year old GIRL, right? I watch the little boys and fear we share nothing in common with the whole mud, bugs, and boogers thing. But Disney princesses, sparkles, and hissy fits? Oh yes. I’m there.

  8. hilljean

    don’t worry. You aren’t the only one this happens to! Except with me it usually involves my enormous feet and the stupid stools in my kitchen!

  9. hilljean

    Yes, my daughter was really shaken up by it. She cried too ???? I hated that she had a guilt trip for my ridiculous fit.

  10. hilljean

    Ay yay yay! That sounds awful! And I’m afraid that will inevitably happen to me one day…

  11. hilljean

    Aww. You are too sweet! Or how about you and I just go get coffee and finally catch up on the last ten years? I feel like we’re better friends now than ever – oh technology ???? I’m thankful I have it to keep me in touch with old friends.

  12. hilljean

    All I can say is this was an awesome post. I had NEVER thought about really just wanting the same things in life as a 3 year old. You were 100% on the mark really.

  13. hilljean

    Oh man! Sometimes a good slam, or scream, does the trick. I’ve given myself time outs before (of course when they were old enough to be in a room themselves). You sound like the rest of us and gimme that ice cream too and right out of the carton with my spoon!

  14. hilljean

    Definitely coffee. and marriage advice. and catching up. It’s been quite the journey and, yes, technology is weird. =)

  15. hilljean

    Thanks Mama ???? Oh those babysitting days…there are many more stories in that chapter of life. thanks for the sweet words ????


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