One Tantrum’s Teachable Moment and the Tale of the Mommy Who Laughed Her Way Through It.


I just couldn’t control myself.  The laughter was contagious to no one but the interior of my Chevy Tahoe and it was hilarious.  I’m sure it was quite the spectacle to other drivers on the road because I was the only person in the car laughing.  My other two passengers in the back seat were apparently not amused.

What was so funny?

The temper tantrum my boys were having over not being allowed to get ice cream after school. 

I am not a bad mother – on my good days, and I have been known to surprise my children with a random trip to our favorite ice cream place after school, a treat while doing homework, or even watching a show during the school week all just because.  I say that makes me a pretty great mother.  (Just sayin.)  So, when I told my children that particular day was NOT going to entail a trip to the ice cream shop the chaos of the entire universe dropped into my vehicle and provided a symphony of tantrums and mayhem.

You know this noise right? 

I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old so I would venture to guess that we might even be experts in the tantrum department.  My kids are so good at tantrums that they know how to pull a tantrum at the exact right moment in church when all falls silent and peaceful and their screaming bodies must be removed before an elderly parishioner has a heart attack from the noise surprise.  My children are so good at throwing tantrums that they have given themselves the hiccups from crying so hard.  My children are so good at throwing tantrums that they are able to be seething mad at each other and yet somehow manage to unite in tantrum harmony even though the origin of said tantrum came from being angry at each other.

I tell you what; my kids are great at having tantrums. 

Because of their amazing skill, my husband and I have learned some tricks to help us through them.  Up until this point I had never experienced a car tantrum so I was caught off guard when Carpocolypse 2012 went down.  I heard things that afternoon that were so creative and amusing that I couldn’t help but laugh.  I was so glad that I was alone in the front seat and my children didn’t know I was laughing “with” them.  As screams of “I WILL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER BITE OF ICE CREAM IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!” and “EVERY OTHER KID FROM MY SCHOOL IS GETTING ICE CREAM TODAY, I JUST KNOW IT!” came from the back seat I just smiled.  It had been a long day and I just didn’t have it in me to pull the car over and make this a teachable moment.

This tantrum didn’t need a teachable moment, it just needed to happen, and it was actually pretty amusing. 

My kids needed to vent and I needed to laugh.

So while we drove home and somehow managed to make it into the house without police intervention due to noise complaints I would like to think that it was an all around successful emotional release.  My kids got over their sadness and I learned something.  I had to smile, not only at their passion for trying to get their way but also my ability to just roll with it.

That might have been a bigger lesson than learning to live with disappointment.

Sometimes Mommies need a teachable moment too. 

What about you?  Have you learned anything in the most in-opportune of times?  Do you ever secretly laugh when your kids are acting out?  Tell me about it in the comments section and let’s see how alike we really are!