My daughter is beautiful and sweet and cuddly and everything anyone could hope for in a little girl, but she’s also a lot more. Inside that cute, chubby body is a bag of terrible; after all, she is two.
Hannah Grace gives the best hugs I have ever received–she wraps her arms and legs completely around me like we’re two koalas–and then she finishes with a kiss, and it’s not little by any means! She is extremely affectionate. The other day, she caressed my mother’s face while saying, “My beautiful, my precious.”
Hannah Grace also gives the best tantrums I have ever seen. I was not aware that a child could muster up the strength or energy to have a temper tantrum for two hours straight IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. I am not exaggerating–two hours.
Let me paint a quick picture for you: I am stirring in my bed somewhat as Matt has gone to check on Hannah Grace who has summoned him. All of sudden, I sit upright, startled, as I hear a fire engine wailing down our street in our neighborhood. Oh, wait; it’s just Hannah Grace. And to make sure that Matt and I know that she is really the one screaming the most obnoxious sound you will ever hear, she continues the tantrum by attempting to kick down her door. Well, her half of a door. Her daddy sawed her door in half so that we could lock the bottom portion yet still see her through the open top portion. That’s what happens when naughty children won’t stay in their beds!
Obviously, Mommy was not happy after a few nights of listening to these types of tantrums, so she had a talk with Hannah Grace before bedtime last night: “Hannah Grace, listen to me. If you wake up in the middle of the night, I want you to squeeze your bear, and go back to sleep. Do not scream for Mommy or Daddy or kick your door. We will not come. Now, if you wake up, and it’s still dark outside, what are you going to do?”
“I kick my door.”
“No, Hannah Grace. Do not kick your door. If you wake up, and it’s still dark, you are going to hug your bear, and go back to sleep. What are you going to do if you wake up?”
“I going to kick my door.”
“No, Hannah Grace. Do NOT kick your door because I will not come for you. You are going to go back to sleep. What are you going to do?”
“I go back to sleep.”
I got the answer that I wanted, but I certainly was not reassured.
At four A.M., I hear a quiet call for me: “Mommy? Mommy?”
I was panicked. My little angel was awake. “Okay, Hannah, I hear you. Give me a minute.” I really had to go to the bathroom, but I was hoping I wasn’t making a big mistake. After taking care of my business, I quietly walked down the hallway to Hannah Grace’s room. She was lying on the floor in a ball right in front of her door–NOT kicking or screaming.
I was so proud, and at her request, I lay down next to hear on the floor for a couple of minutes. We snuggled together until I thought she was asleep, and then I got up to leave. “Two more minutes?” she softly petitioned. “Okay, Hannah, but after two minutes, I’m going to go.” She nodded her head in affirmation as she closed her eyes. About two minutes later, I heard heavy breathing assuring me she was asleep.
As I snuck out of her room, I had to smile. My little girl had actually practiced restraint. She quietly called for me and then trusted that I would come if she did not kick or scream. She had tamed her tantrum.
And on that same walk back to my bedroom, I had another thought: “If a two-year-old can tame her tantrum, why can’t you tame yours?” Sure, I don’t literally try to kick down a door in the middle of the night, but I could pick my words or tone more carefully during the day.
When the kids or Matt don’t behave, how do I react? If I don’t get my way, do I pout, or do I deal with it? Am I overly critical with those I love most, not giving them the grace that I give strangers?
Aarghh. Why do these thoughts come to me in the middle of the night? I REALLY hate learning lessons from my kids.
But the reality of the situation is, when I’m terrible, I’m just not nearly as adorable as they are!
8 thoughts on “Taming the Tantrum”
You make me feel so much better everyday…I love reading your blog and I have got my friend (Jennifer of course) who is living in Maryland with her two kids for the next 6 months while he husband finishes a contract hooked too. They are raw and refreshing…I love them. I think Hannah Grace and Callie could be friends.
Thanks, Jen! I am flattered! I write for myself but share it because I know other women benefit from hearing they're not alone in their struggles with marriage, kids, faith–whatever the struggle may be. As far as Callie and Hannah Grace being friends, we should get them together and see what happens! We don't live that far from each other!
Oh my lands, she sounds so much like my Tongginator about three years ago! (How do you think she earned her nickname — she's the terminator from Tonggu County, also known as the Tongginator. Heh.)
Great story. She is so precious. I can testify, she gives the best hugs and kisses! To all my friends, she may have her moments but she is still perfect!
I’ve NEVER felt so loved in all my life when Hannah Grace called
me “my precious, my beautiful.” She is the sweetest, most adorable,
fun to be with grandbaby. And, yes, I’m biased but Hannah, Max,
Caleb and Chloe show us all the time what love is about.
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