Friday, July 2, 2010

Go crazy? Don't mind if I do...

DISCLAIMER: For the most part, I am a reasonable human being and I know I have a lot of patience. Sometimes I'm so virtuous, I'm almost saintly... hey, I said 'almost'.

There is only one person that can send me to a little 'crazy' place. It's my five-year-old son. No one else can do it. No one else can make me lose my cool, or squeeze my patience sponge until it's bone-dry. Of course, no one else can go on a screaming rampage for one hour straight. No other child I know will persist with a tantrum for so long. But here's the thing. I always start off as the model parent: stand firm, talk calmly, repeat directions, force time-out, ignore his hitting, smacking and pants-dacking and try with some dignity (albeit, not much) to encourage good behaviour. I do all that.

But... the parenting gurus busy publishing their advice never talk about the tantrum that doesn't end... They never mention what happens when time-out doesn't work. Even better, they never mention what happens if a child doesn't care for the consequence you've issued. And so, I get stuck. Because I've done all the parenting things I should have done and still, the child screams. And as he screams, he's throwing things, slamming doors, stomping his feet, grabbing my arms.



And so it happens... I snap. I physically cannot bear to listen to his ranting anymore, and so I point my head skyward and let off a bit of steam, or should I say 'scream'.

Yep, that's my 'crazy' point, where the only way to stay sane, is to rip out a scream. Don't  they say, 'If you can't beat them, join them'? Never a truer word spoken. You see, he always drives me to that point. He hammers me until he finally sees that he's worn me down to the ground...and so, after jumping out of his skin from hearing my gorilla-like 'Auugrrrhhhh', he stops.

Ah the serenity.

In an effort to keep my voice from sounding horse, I refer to those moments as 'mummy going 'crazy''. And these days - now that he's seen it a few times, all I have to do is say, "If you keep going, Mummy is going to go to that 'crazy' place and nobody wants that, so it's time to stop." And give or take another 10 minutes, he stops.

After mentioning this to a few mummy friends, I've realised that most mums have an element of 'crazy' and they need to. It's like a lioness giving a sharp roar to let her cubs know that her tolerance has waned. A quick squeal to the heavens, and suddenly the kids realise that this time, their mum is well and truly p****d off.

Thankfully something works...


  1. The Book is currently being written by a non- guru.

    I feel your pain.

    I'd also like to be anointed with my sainthood for not throwing child through nearest window - 'defenestrate' is my word of the day, most days - after being smacked in the face with a wooden train.

    Again. I'll even go out an buy a new frock for the ceremoney.

  2. I can TOTALLY relate to your post! My almost-5-year-old son, and now my very-two-year-old-toddler can send me to screaming point. Love your honesty, it lifts my motherload knowing I'm not the only one who can feel exasperated by children's tantrums.

  3. Misery loves company - loving that you guys go through this too!!!