For multiple and obvious reasons, the most important thing to have when dealing with toddlers is plenty of patience. Even with a large amount they can turn you into a raving lunatic. Without it, you are completely screwed.
This hasn’t always been my strongest personality trait, particularly when things don’t work the way they should or when I’m unable to do something that I think I should be able. For a long time I was that a-hole kicking the lawnmower when it wouldn’t start or throwing my golf clubs all over the course. My ability to string together whole sentences of nothing but intricate variations of vulgarity was legendary. I was the poet laureate of profane.
Alaina seems to have some of these same tendencies. We’ve been working a lot on puzzles lately, which she really seems to be taking to, but there have also been times I’ve entered the living room to find pieces thrown about and a very ticked off little girl. She doesn’t get mad often but when she does it is usually because she can’t figure something out or get something to work the way she feels it should.
In my efforts to try and set a good example and teach her how to cope with disappointment I have calmed down considerably over the past several years. When the DVR started acting up last week I was perfectly fine with it. Last night the hard drive failed completely, taking with it almost 90 hours of recorded programming, and I was only a little annoyed. Somehow I seemed to have fried my expensive external hard drive trying to recover some of this information, taking with it my music and picture back-ups, and there was some frustration. When I downloaded a virus onto my PC trying to find last Sunday’s episode of Salem I lost my mind.
But it took a long time. And I didn’t throw anything.
Having a child unconsciously forces you to try and become a better person. Besides the example you are setting there is also a radical change in perspective. Little things become much smaller now that this huge thing has happened in your life.
It also helps seeing how ridiculous she looks during one of her fits. Everyone has a breaking point, but we can’t have two people in the house that throw tantrums.