After breakfast, before work, she wanted to "draw a pisher." But there wasn't time.
Her body is board straight: legs pressing agilely against the back of the driver's seat, arms stock still and clamped to the rim of her car carrier. Her bottom will never make contact with seat.
Her ability to wedge her tiny weight against me, leveraging it against my will, is a sight to behold. No matter how I beg, plead or push there’s no physical way to for me to buckle her in.
Regardless of our divergent goals, we sound alike.
"I. Have. To. Go. To. Work."
"But. I. Have. TOooo."
"But. I. DON’T WAAAAAAAAAAANT you TOOOOOOOOOOO! I wanna DRAWWER!"
As crazy as it sounds, this is nowhere near as dangerous as the Lunch Strike of '05, when Ittybit refused to eat anything put on a plate in her presence, unless the sustenance in question belonged in the ice cream family.
Nor is it as frightening as the early Sleep Strikes of '04, when her tiny infant body, worn in a Snugli frontpack by a sleep deprived mommy, writhed uncontrollably amid cat-like sobs until suddenly falling slack-limbed into a scream-induced sleep. The immediacy of which caused a hand mirror to be placed under her nasal passages to assure life signs.
In some ways, I suppose, the latest incarnation of histrionics – this real, honest-to-badness frustration fest — is just more entertaining. I'm beginning to think of it as TANTRUM yoga.
For those of you unaware of the persistence that is necessary to perform such feats, let me go over some of the poses:
Sitting poses are especially appealing for capture avoidance. In them, toddlers can easily avoid interception by one of two variations. First, they may ball up into a tight little package. If the sheer force of will were enough, giant spikes would protrude up from their overalls and onesies to repel meddling parents. Another option at their disposal from this position is to turn into a noodle. This is when the toddler relaxes every muscle in her body at the very same rate as each and every one of yours tenses.
While neither variation will aid the child in staving off the inevitable, it will throw a parent off long enough for them to bring out the big guns, known to all grown people as the "wriggling fish."
This is the pose, in which you finally are able to get the child into your arms, they struggle with the vim of a brown trout trying to get away from a black bear.
Tantrum yoga is an art every toddler tries to perfect and every parent tries to counteract. It’s the yin and yang that brings us together.
Sometimes when I witness these escalations — usually before work, going out to dinner or even just to go to the bathroom by myself — the positions I find her in, and often have to extract her from, are truly astounding. Each episode, I think, would make a good exercise program. Before I can plan my cable access debut, however, I realize the routines are really too taxing and should be less routine.
Every parent finds themselves in the position of defusing these minor catastrophes. We decide which battles to wage, which to relinquish and which to handle diplomatically. Sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we draw.