The tantrum hangover

Today I’ve got what I call a ‘tantrum hangover’.              

Little B (age 4) had a rough time yesterday. What started as fun time stomping through the icy snow, turned into a full-blown, 45 minute long tantrum.  The topic of the tantrum shifted many times, as it wasn’t really *about* anything, it was just a lot of pent up feelings, and physical discomfort looking for an outlet.

The timing was less than ideal. I had to carry a thrashing, snowsuit-clad kid home through the deep snow, and then do my best to be present with him and accommodate his ever-changing needs…*while* cooking dinner and getting my older son ready for his Dad to pick him up. The rest of the evening was a write-off, and I surrendered and went to sleep with Little B at 7:30pm.

As a result, this it what my kitchen looks like today.

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So, I will follow Little B’s lead, and shift gears today.  Tonight, we’ll stay home instead of going to a much anticipated event.  Well, *I* have been anticipating this event.  I didn’t tell the kids about it yet, since I didn’t know yet if the stars would align for us to go…and I didn’t want my sensitive little kiddo to be burdened with guilt that it was ‘his fault’.  Because, truly, he has no ‘off switch’ for these tantrums.  He feels remorseful afterwards, and has trouble understanding why Mommy is tired and emotional and doesn’t have much energy left to play.  But this isn’t his fault.

And so, I am taking a step back today, and trying to reset things.  Shifting his vitamin protocol a bit.  Removing the gingerbread cookies from sight, so they won’t be so tempting.  Scheduling some quiet family time to fill his emotional tank.

 And being easy on myself too.  Tonight’s dinner will be simple.  We’ll lay low tonight, play a boardgame, and watch a Christmas show while cuddled on the couch.  I’ll refill *my* tank too, so that I can be prepared if another tantrum is brewing.

And yes, the kitchen might look like this for a couple more days.  And that’s okay.