Negotiating with Terrorists… I mean Toddlers

Negotiating with Terrorists… I mean Toddlers

It’s the truth, it’s not that different.  Before you have a tiny, fierce, opinionated human in your home, you think…I won’t be that parent.  I’m not going to be a pushover, I’m not letting them control me.

I sat in restaurants and looked at parents and said…wow, they must not discipline her.  She’s out of control.  I saw kids throw temper tantrums and said in my head, “Not my kid!”

Now, here I am.  This three foot person is telling me she demands her water, a blanket and 2 blueberries in the proper bowl and if not…Who knows?!? She could burn my house down for all I know!

I was walking through Whole Foods with my daughter the other day, just minding my own business, talking about how much we both love daddy.   I ordered my coffee and my two and a half year old was looking around happily.  We stepped away from the coffee bar and she dropped her entire body to the ground in front of the buffet line screaming…I truly don’t know to this day.  She was so upset that I didn’t understand her request that she curled into a ball in the middle of the lunch rush at the buffet and would not move.  I tried picking her up and she kicked right back out of my arms.  To avoid dropping her on her head I stood by her and watched.  I got eye rolls, giggles, high 5’s and even a couple “holy shits.”  She was fierce and meant business.   About five minutes in to this insane display of emotion, an amazing Whole Foods staff member laid down on the ground next to her and slowly but surely talked her off the edge.  She negotiated with this tiny monster using every tactic under the sun.  She tried to talk princess, to offer chocolate (my kids don’t actually know what chocolate is…I’m considering teaching them if it works, lol), each offer she shook her head no and threw her head back on the floor.  My dreamy, beautiful, perfect daughter was the tiny terrorist that was requesting a helicopter and 10 million in small bills before she stood up. Ten minutes later, this sweet associate had shown her three videos of her own baby learning to crawl and my daughter was hit with amnesia and stood up pretending like nothing happened.

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After I thanked this nice woman and started walking away my daughter starts pointing at the cups next to the coffee bar and is starting to passionately wine and yell something again.  I started feeling my heart thump signaling PTSD from 20 minutes before and I realized after some sleuthing that she wanted her own coffee cup with water in it.  yep.  An espresso shot glass of water and she starts skipping…I repeat, Skipping through Whole Foods like it’s the best day of her life.  I am sweaty, shakey and my blood pressure has got to be out of this world, but no worries…she’s all good now.

A two year olds temperament reminds me of that of an unstable, PMSing, drunk 18 year old girl whose boyfriend just dumped her.  She’s laughing, she’s crying, she’s moving on, she wants you to hold her, NO, don’t touch her, she hates you, she loves you, it’s all so confusing.  My emotions are being toyed with on a 15 minute loop.

So, at the end of the day my biggest lesson is…give those poor mom’s a break.  I see them now and I am the one that high fives and tells them they will survive or I am happy to be the one to lay in the middle of a Whole Foods Buffet line if it means saving that mom 10 minutes of chaos in her day.



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