Father Thoughts 2: The Wrath of Baby

At least as far as I know, the typical pattern for toddler tantrums involves a lot of screaming and falling to the ground.  Apparently my daughter has too much energy for that though.  Instead, while she still screams louder than any single person ought to be able to manage, she runs around at top speed, bouncing into furniture, walls, people, and the occasional law of physics.  Basically, her tantrums are indistinguishable from how she acts when she’s happy, except that when she’s angry she doesn’t hit me as much.

That’s probably my own fault:  I taught her about drums.  Now she thinks that playing “pitter patter” on someone is a sign of affection.  Unfortunately she has too much energy for gentleness, too.  When she finally goes to school, I pity any little boy she develops a crush on; he might not survive it.

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The other day my daughter and I needed to run a few errands.  As soon as I told her, she grabbed her enormous pink bouncy ball and ran excitedly for the door.  When I told her that she couldn’t bring the ball along, she sadly set it aside but picked up a smaller ball instead.  I rejected that too and immediately saw her little mind start to plot.  After a moment spent investigating options, she snatched one of her balloons off of the floor and looked at me with large gently entreating eyes.  I decided to have mercy.

She hates having to sit in a car seat.  Being strapped in place is anathema to her core being.  She’s surprisingly patient about it, but she can only endure so much.  I didn’t want her to be upset when something as simple as a balloon could alleviate her distress: I told her she could bring it along.

At that moment I forgot that our car doesn’t have air conditioning, which means that we have to drive with the windows down.  I also forgot that my daughter can untie knots, so I couldn’t even tie the balloon to her car seat to protect it.  Thus, because I tried to keep my daughter happy, I spent the afternoon driving around town while clutching a colorful balloon in one hand.  I’m pretty sure that I looked like some sort of demented sweaty clown.  On the plus side, my daughter has never enjoyed errands so much.


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