This is a post that I wrote a few months ago while we were away on holiday. Looking back I’m amazed how things have changed. Our three-year-old daughter doesn’t have tantrums anymore and is so calm in comparison. We have disagreements now instead, and the odd sulk! But reading this has made me remember how she used to be and how much can change in a few months.
At the moment we are on holiday in Malta, just the four of us, as in, myself, my husband and our two girls.
We are loving it, even though the first couple of days have been extremely tiring for all of us.
I managed ten minutes to myself yesterday (to get a few thoughts together about what to write) because we found ‘Ice Age’ on the television. It was in German, but animation is animation, it did the trick.
Anyway, our eldest daughter who is nearly three was really looking forward to going swimming today.
She was so tired yesterday evening and so grumpy, understandably so because of our busy day, however, it resulted in a bit of a tantrum.
We went through the usual, standing aside initially, then comforting, bribing, tough love, you name it, we did it.
I think she was past the actual feeling of upset by this point and just liked the sound of her own screams, which in a hotel room with no carpet and wide open balcony doors were very, very loud.
The only thing that worked in this instance was for us to say that if she didn’t stop, she wouldn’t be going swimming in the morning.
She calmed down and everything was ok. She knew we’d be going swimming and she was happy again, especially when it was bedtime.
(We were all happy by that point.)
This morning, I was the one who was tired, and yes, a little grumpy too. We were making breakfast for the girls as we have booked self-catering and my husband and I started arguing.
I honestly do not have a single clue what it was about. It was something and nothing and we were snapping at each other and all was certainly not very harmonious in our little kitchen.
Suddenly I heard our eldest speak but I didn’t hear what she said. My husband started laughing and so she smiled. When he repeated it for me, I couldn’t help smiling either.
She had actually said, ‘stop it mummy and daddy or you won’t be allowed to go swimming!’
We were being told off by an almost three-year-old child. It was funny, and it made me realise just how much of what we say to her (and to each other) actually goes in.
The other thing it made me realise is that I should be a little more understanding of her tantrums, hard as they are to deal with at the moment.
I had just had a mini one myself.
I was tired, hot and irritable. Whatever my husband had done that I’d disagreed with was obviously not the end of the world but I over-reacted.
The difference here being, I am much more in control of my emotions and more able to deal with them. If I was snapping because I was worn out then her tantrum was the childhood equivalent.
She is our eldest and it’s completely new territory for all of us, but considering everything, this holiday she is doing really well.
As long as I can remember that she is a human being, like me, with feelings and emotions, and as long as I can find my patience when she does exercise her right to voice her feelings, then we may make it through the rest of the holiday unscathed.
We did all go swimming in the end, we were all calm and stopped the shouting.
I think our daughter was proud of us! 😉