I have to say that between Adam and I, MC didn't have a chance. While I am a logical, practical, overly analytical, emotional OCD perfectionist, Adam is a creative, independent, energetic, and confident "think outside the box"-er. Definately more of a free spirit. Now, combine the two and what do you get? MC. I would describe MC as quite a balance between the two of us. She inherited my practicality (the kid will perfectly place her shoes back on the shelf of her closet and adjust them until the are in line) and "high maintenance", and inherited Adam's strong will and independence. Sadly though, she inherited both of our emotional expressiveness. I cry at the drop of a hat and Adam has an anger fuse about as long as my pinky nail. Now granted these characteristics are what make us "us", they aren't exactly the best combination in an 18 month old.
Maggie Claire has developed quite the little personality. She LOVES to help with whatever you are doing (she is actually insistant upon it as I will soon explain further), she is a complete daredevil and has no fear of anything, she operates on full throddle every second of the day and will ONLY sit still a max of 20 minutes and thats only when she's watching Baby Einstein, she doesn't like you to tell her how to do things - but then gets frustrated very easily when things dont do what she wants them to. Now, you might have guess where I am going with this extremely long personality analysis...
Maggie Claire has a tantrum problem. Mommy, therefore, has a "clueless" problem. I have NO idea how to handle these tantrums. I have done the research and there seems to be a great divide as to the proper approach - cuddle and comfort or ignore.
I feel in order to receive proper advise on the subject I need to give you a little insight into how, when, and for what reason these crazy spells arise. Its quite simple really - anything and everything makes MC cry. I kid you not. You might think I'm being overly dramatic (not that I have ever been known to do that....) but the kid really does get mad/frustrated/psycho ALL THE TIME. Examples:
(PS, if you haven't already figured it out, this is going to be an extremely long post. If you have to get back to work or start dinner, I strongly suggest you save this post for a day in which you have at least 2 hours to devote to reading/analyzing my situation and offering award winning advice....)
Its raining. MC sees daddy go outside to put something on the deck. MC wants to go outside. Mommy says "MC baby its raining, we can't play outside right now - how about we read a book?" MC runs to door, bangs on it, screams. Mommy lets MC play on deck. MC wants to go down the stairs into the rain - mommy says no and attempts to find something to play with on the deck. MC falls into a pile in the middle of the deck and screams. Mommy takes MC inside and MC continues flailing on the floor screaming.
MC tries to put her shoe on and can't get it on - screaming begins. Mommy or daddy try to help and she shakes her foot making it quite impossible. Screaming escalates. Mommy or daddy try to explain what they are doing and why - MC grabs shoe, throws it, and repeats above mentioned flailing and screaming.
We are playing happily with MC when she asks for a cracker. Mommy goes to the kitchen and gets out a cracker to hand to her. She turns away and starts screaming. Mommy says "MC you asked for a cracker baby, so here is a cracker." Screaming escalates and MC falls to floor. Mommy gets a drink.... haha j/k... well, slightly-depends on the hour ;)
In mass daddy is holding MC. MC wants to get down and run around the cry room like a hoodlum. Daddy refuses to let her down. MC screams like she's being attacked and forces herself out of daddy's hands. Daddy wants to join MC in screaming.
Daddy smells poo-poo. Daddy takes MC to change her diaper. MC screams and wriggles like a friggin' worm all over the changing table while screaming at a decible known to shatter glass.
It goes on and on like this each and every day. MC does something/tries to do something, she gets mad and throws a tantrum. She can't do/get what she wants, she throws a tantrum. I understand that this is a "normal part of her development" and that "she can't effectively communicate her feelings, needs, and emotions" but this is madness. The last thing Adam and I both want is to raise "that kid". Ya know, the one who runs rampant through the grocery store screaming "I WANT A CANDY BAR!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!" to the poor, unfortunate looking mother who appears as though she could be the spokesmodel for the suicide hotline. No thank you. We want a child who understands that her way is not "THE" way. A child who is capable of being reasoned with and doesn't throw a tantrum when she doesn't get her way. A child who is able to exhibit persistance and hard work in order to acheive a desired outcome. Did I just describe an adult? Maybe I did. I realize I am throwing things out there that are not able to be acheived until MC is much older, but there has got to be a way to deal with the current situation in a way that will put us on the right path.
My question to you after this long, drawn out rant is this - WHAT DO WE DO? When MC throws a tantrum what should our reaction be. Ignore it? Comfort her? I have to say that in our attempts to cover all the bases we have tried comforting her - this only leads to her becoming even MORE angry and pushing us away. If any of you veteran mothers out there have a solution PLEASE comment. Any input is appreciated! Have a great Monday everyone!!