Ultimate patience means dealing with a two-year-old tantrum

This is the entrance to the Automotive Museum we went to this morning:

Which is also about as far as we got even after forking over $18 in tickets, $6 in parking and buying food at the restaurant. My toddler was having a tantrum. First, he didn’t want to go into any of the exhibits and toys that he could play with. So then we went to the restaurant so that he could have his snack, figuring that he was hungry. He was okay here and there, except that he would bang his elbows on the table and only want to eat blueberries. Once the blueberries ran out, he cried and wanted more. He was so loud we just had to leave the restaurant.

We then gave him the option of exploring the museum or going home. He wanted to stay at the museum. So we go further in, but he starts acting up again. He was so loud that we pretty much had to leave. He cried most of the car ride home and finally calmed down as we got closer.

I don’t know what else we could have done. We could have fed him more and more, but it didn’t seem like that was what was really bothering him, considering that he was complaining about everything. We couldn’t force him to go to the exhibits; he’d just be miserable and he’d be disruptive to everyone else there. Maybe we could have sat him in the car and waited til he calmed down and then tried going in. I didn’t think of that option til later, and perhaps we were just too exhausted that we subconsciously wanted to go home.

What a waste of money. In the car, the terrible in me wanted to yell right back at him. I just had to hold it in and tell myself that whatever frustration I feel, he probably feels five times more. At least I have a sense and definition of the situation; he doesn’t yet.

Ultimate patience also extends even after he’s done with his tantrum and is acting normally again. Because after all that exhaustion and frustration, all I wanted to do was to be alone for five hours. So when my toddler comes bouncing over to me all happy and cheerful saying he wants to read and play, it takes all the patience in me to respond with similar cheer. But ugh, cheer was nowhere near me. At least I did get to lie down a little bit and let him play with puzzles alone or with his dad.

I know there are kids who tantrum every day and multiple times at that, but oh how different we are in temperaments. Oh, well… in the end this is petty considering our blessings, and of course I still love him indescribably. And sometimes he even makes up for it. Like right now, he’s supposed to be napping but instead he’s next to the door chanting Swahili folk songs that he learned from a CD. You can’t stay mad at a kid who’s singing, “Ka mate, ka mate! Wiki dera! Wiki dera!”


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