So, I have a daughter who is nearly two.
I always thought the ‘terrible twos’ was a rather shrill cliché. As it turns out, it’s closer to euphemism.
It’s also, I’ve learned, a misrepresentation. That 15 minute floppy-fit in a busy thoroughfare this morning was actually an expression of yearning for some form of control, some leverage.
None of which knowledge makes a tantrum any less annoying to put up with.
So, The Urban Daddy has been taking notes…
1. I’m learning the territory: My daughter’s skies tend to darken when she’s tired or still sulking about something else.
2. I make an arse of myself: A mid-range hissy-fit can sometimes be nipped in the bud with a quick Mr. Tumble impression (my Mr. Tumble impersonation is rubbish. Maybe that’s why it works).
3. I pick my battles: My daughter has more stamina than me. I let the low-level stuff slide.
4. I’m learning to feint: Here’s a snippet of a conversation between my daughter and me the other day…
Me: Can Daddy have his phone back?
Me: No – give it to Daddy please
Daughter: Mine! Waaaaaa!
Here’s how it should have gone:
Me: Want to play Duplo bricks?
Me: OK, you start. *Quietly moves phone to high shelf*
5. I’m learning to love her tantrums: Every so often, my daughter’s hissy-fits contain moments of pure comedy gold; often she’ll over-cook her protest and stray into parody. That moment is my (and her) ticket out of the mayhem.