We are at 15,5 months with the little guy, and today he had his first real, official temper tantrum.
As we go about our days, we have pretty typical routines and a predictable rhythm. In the mornings, we eat, then there is some playtime around the house and a lot of book reading, then a snack followed by a walk where he takes a nap.
Today he was a bit early in his timing, and he wanted to get going on the walk about 30 minutes before we normally go. To me this was no big deal, and I figured he must be a bit tired if he wants to go now, so I thought we can go ahead and leave as he wishes. But before we leave, he must have his shoes and jacket on, like always. And, BOOM, there we have our temper tantrum.
He cried and whined, flailed his arms around, threw his head back in a sob, and was completely unreasonable. Typically he will sit still for the shoes and the jacket, and maybe whine a little to say, “hey, I really want to go, hurry up!” But today it was like he was saying, “dude, seriously! I told you I want to go, and you want to waste my time putting on my jacket and shoes?! Are you crazy!”
So, I did what any rational parent would do who has no place to be but is at home with their kid on parental leave. I just calmly put his shoes and jacket on him anyway. Thru his meltdown, I talked to him like I normally would, as if he was not freaking out. He was eventually laying on the floor blue faced and angry, but that just made it easier to put his shoes on anyway, so that did not bother me. I think things would have been made easier had I given him his pacifier, but then he would have just learned that he just has to be a total freak and he will get his pacifier.
If I could do it all over again, I would have let him have a complete meltdown by the door while I sat and had a coffee, to begin the learning-lesson about how temper tantrums to not yield a positive response, but I guess the way I dealt with it works, too. Here we go, we now enter a new, exciting, terrifying phase.