Monday, April 14, 2008

Puddles on the Floor, No More!

I have heard most parents use the word "meltdown" to describe either the current or impending behavior of their child. But that one word is used in so many circumstances, I propose a new system...just as we need 50 words for "snow" and 100 words for "love", I think we need at least 5 different words for "meltdown."

Wriggle-Fit. When a baby has been changed, fed, burped, rocked, hugged, picked up, put down, medicated, jiggled, swaddled, and unswaddled, and will still not stop crying, and will not stop wriggling.

Temporal Wriggle-Fit. When the wriggle-fit happens at the same time every day, for no apparent reason. For about 2 months, E had a wriggle-fit from 6pm to 8pm EVERY DAY.

Noodle-Flop. When a toddler's tantrum leaves her limp on the floor, impossible to console, impossible to lift. E noodle-flopped at the pet store this weekend when I tried to pay for the goldfish antibiotic she had been carrying around.

Tasmanian Tear. If you've ever seen one, you'll never forget it...when a toddler is angry and runs full speed in any direction (sometimes in circles), screaming with arms flailing. The Tasmanian tear often proceeds the noodle-flop.

Love Melt. This one's not so bad...when a toddler is so upset, tired, and crying, and you are the solution rather than the cause. She runs to you instead of away, and melts in a sobbing mess in your arms, often repeating, "Mommy," or "Daddy." Poor little thing.

The common thread here is lack of control...the child is in desperate need, and there is very little you can do to help. Welcome to parenthood.


Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr