Surviving the toddler tantrum

Baby with Little Tikes orange jelly bean

This may not be your idea of the worst tantrum. Maybe even in your particular spectrum but at 15 months old, Pumpkinella has just started to have what I consider are tantrums. So far I’ve only experienced this in the house and most notably since she has started taking an interest in moving toys like her Little Tikes Jelly bean racer, her baby shopping basket and her toy trolley.

So she’ll start by wheeling her toy back and forth around the long and narrow living room area. I’ll rush around picking up all the toys around her preempting her indifference to the fact that they are in her way. When she reaches the end of the room she grabs her toy by its scruff and thrust it in the opposite direction to allow her to continue pushing it along. About 2 minutes into this, she’ll pick up the pace and the panic will start to set in with my husband and I. She’ll start to bump the coffee table with a little more vigour and shove the toy around in frustration that it’s not doing exactly what she’s willing it to. And then comes the running; running along so fast she falls over her toy. She’ll shout, complain and eventually lose her cool. ‘It’s not fast enough!!’, ‘It WON’T go around the sofa no matter how hard I push it!!’, ‘AGHHHHH!!!!!’

And what does mummy do at this stage? Well I take the toy away naturally. She’s developing a greater sense of self, realising she can control her environment but not everything is in her control. She will eventually understand that the laws of physics also apply to her and her toys don’t fly, can’t go through other solid objects, and can most definitely not think by themselves.

It’s cute to watch at first but that slowly wears off as soon as you see she can’t quite understand why she can’t get it to do what she wants.

I only take the toys away for a little while, maybe a couple of hours, and we read a book, have a snack, anything to take attention away from the frustrating situation. And thank God it works a treat.

She is growing up sooo quickly that I’m sure she’ll understand her limitations and be on to the next developmental goal in no time at all.

I feel blessed to be a part of her journey, it’s wonderful to witness.

At what age do you think they develop this level of awareness and acceptance of their environment?

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