I Owe My Mother an Apology

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I sat there in the tiny doctor’s office waiting patiently for the pediatrician to finish telling me about the shots fussy butts would be getting and going over her suggestions for safety and nutrition. But what I really wanted to know was what the heck I’m supposed to do about the temper tantrums that currently rule the roost (that’s the diva on the right, probably ticked off because I wouldn’t let her eat a sticker or put her sock in my coffee).

The moment I’ve been awaiting arrives. “Do you have any questions?” she asked, knowing I would by the long list I clutched in my hands. I can’t imagine any mom of a toddler (at least the first time moms) arriving at the pediatrician’s office without a long list of “whys” and “what the hell is up with thats.” When I told her how the diva acts when told no or I take away something she can’t have, she laughed. She LAUGHED. Now, if you’re reading this, I assume you have a child and I assume you have dealt with the same screaming matches in your house. There’s nothing funny about it. But instead of clocking her, I just waited for her to stop cackling.

She goes on to explain that the best thing to do is just ignore her. She said that the diva will realize that she’s not getting the reaction she wants and stop. Now that’s some good news, right there. I can ignore her! I don’t have to tell her no or do a time out or even get off the couch? Just ignore her?! That’s the best parenting advice I’ve gotten yet. Write it down, people!

At the next sign of a temper tantrum, I enact her advice. Ha! Yeah, right. Ignoring her only exacerbates her anger. She goes from tepid to boiling over in two seconds flat. If I actually manage to dodge the tiny fingers flying at my face, she’ll stop only long enough to find something to throw, anything she thinks I deem valuable (aka things she’s not allowed to touch). Pens, cups, my phone, the remote… If I walk away, the beast follows me like a lion stalking its prey.

While I hope the doctor’s advice will work … eventually, right now ignoring her is very hard. No. Scratch that. It’s the most frustrating and patience-testing thing you will ever have to endure (I hope). You want to train soldiers and judges and police, you know the people who need to remain calm in the face of adversity? Stick them in a room with a bunch of 16-month-olds. Sometimes you want to scream “shut up!” but you don’t. You wait. Willing yourself to block out the noise, go to your happy place or remember how to count to 10 amid the storm. And when it finally ends, you pray your ears aren’t bleeding and social services doesn’t end up on your doorstep.


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  1. Well, if it’s any comfort, at least we’re going through the same thing together! lol

  2. Better to have a toddler diva than a teenage diva. Give you and her a timeout and keep your fingers crossed. It won’t last forever!

  3. And so the testing begins….battle of the wills. Good Luck – Don’t show any weakness or you are in deep trouble!

  4. Just wait until the terrible twos and trying threes! Ignoring is so hard but it will eventually work.

  5. Oh I so remember THOSE days! And NO “ignoring” didn’t work with my little “beast” either. Good news, they out grow the “temper-tantrum” phase! Good thing because I was about ready to hang myself! 😉

  6. I have been there over and over! Hang in there. I’ve had to try a pack-n-play for his/her safety. Very funny! I am visiting from Finding the Funny.

  7. Ignoring is hard, especially when they’re as loud as a fire truck siren! You made me laugh out loud about her maybe wanting to eat a sticker or put a sock in your coffee. Haha!! Loved that. So glad you linked up with us at #findingthefunny!

  8. Oh – we are so on the same page here! Please let me know if you find anything that works! 🙂

    Thanks for linking up!

    • Momma on the Rocks momma on the rocks says:

      Lots and lots of alcohol! 😉

      • OMG- so funny! I happened across your blog through pinterest and the drunk person/toddler comparison…so true!! And this was true too. I could only laugh because my 14 month old acts the same way. They must have met 🙂

  9. Woo hoo! You were one of the top 5 links at #findingthefunny! We’re featuring you on Wednesday, and I pinned this to the Finding the Funny Pinterest board. Thanks!

  10. Gosh, that brought back some memories of the toddler years. If ever there’s a prisoner your trying to break, forget the waterboarding. Stick them in a room of about 20 toddlers and watch them spill their guts.

  11. Lol! Ian has Been there, though so far it’s not too bad. Have you ever seen the America’s Funniest Home Video clip of the toddler throwing a temper tantrum and every time mom and dad would leave the room, he’d stop, get up and go find them, then throw himself on the floor again. Somebody on a forum I’m following said that they’d heard that the children of deaf don’t really do tantrums bc the parents don’t hear and therefore don’t respond. Huh. I never wanted to be deaf BEFORE.. Good luck with the D-Eva.

  12. I’m sorry, I don’t want to laugh at your misfortune, but this post is hilarious. I’m happy to say, my 13 month old has not started the temper tantrums yet (at least not this bad). I hope it gets better for you.

  13. I agree with Motherhood is messy, wait until she is 16 and you think to yourself, who are you and what did you do with my daughter? But it gets better, when about 10 years later she comes back and says, Mom I owe you an apology! LOL

  14. You just described my son 100%. He would through extremely violent tantrums. I can tell you ignoring does work. There were days I had to go and physically hold him (hugging) telling him to take deep breaths. But after many times of ignoring.. the tantrums have stopped. The only thing I would suggest is putting her in her room so she can do less throwing. They do not want to break their own toys. It is hard, especially if they are screaming mean things but it does work and will get easier. I would be happy to give you more tips if you would like to talk more.

  15. It really does work…sometimes. It did when my four year old was that age. My two year old though…not at all. She just screams and hollers even louder. *sigh*

  16. Wow. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. My daughter is now almost 11 and I still vividly remember her tantrums and screaming fits. Ugh. I feel your pain, girl! When Marley got really pissed, she’d throw herself out of her crib and start hitting her head up against the wall…on purpose…just for attention. It was horrifying as a mother to have to get through that without sending her off to some British nanny until she was 27 or something, but we made it. She is now a very sweet and wonderful (and NOT brain-damaged) child!

    Now I’m just saddling in for those impending teenage years that are right around the corner. (Did I mention I have a bar in my basement? Yep. Fully stocked. Wanna come over some time? LOL)

    Happy SITS Day! So happy I stopped by!

    • Momma on the Rocks Momma on the Rocks says:

      My daughter started banging her head at one point too. Her doctor said “let her go! She’ll only do it too hard once!” But it was so so hard to watch. Luckily it didn’t last long. The things no one ever tells you about being a parent…

  17. “She said that the diva will realize that she’s not getting the reaction she wants and stop.” Ignoring is not the only way to show her she’s not getting the reaction she wants. Laugh; cry in an exaggerated way; join in–“hey, that looks fun, can I try it?” and start screaming along with her and then giggling; call your husband in to stare at her together like she’s the entertainment–take pictures and tell her she’s sooooo cute; tell her mommy can’t understand her when she’s not using her normal voice (I guess she prolly isn’t talking yet–or many she can say words or sounds to tell you what she wants.); put her in timeout (but with you in timeout, too. She should be on your lap and you hug her and just wait for her to be quiet and when she tries to leave just say “NO, timeout.” and put her back on your lap.) or put her in her room/crib (“mommy is ALL DONE. You can come out when you are all done.)
    If her tantrums are really bad, then for sure remove her to a different room–that’s a physical break from whatever caused the tantrum. It is also NOT what she wants.
    Lots of tantrums at this age are because she doesn’t know how to communicate and get what she wants. She can’t be reasoned with. It’ll get a little better as she talks more and more. Some parents teach baby signing to help kids get through this stage faster.
    Sounds like she’s a handful….she’s super cute, though.

    • Momma on the Rocks Momma on the Rocks says:

      We did finally realize that sitting in time out with her helped to calm the tantrums. Now when she gets whiny I’ll fake cry with her and it gets her giggling. But no, ignoring never worked. Just made her louder. 🙂

  18. I tried ignoring my son during a tempter tantrum… yeah major mistake. He climbed onto the back of the sofa and kicked me in the face, like a total Ninja or something.

    I think that the key is to remain as devoid of emotion as possible and to be firm when you say NO!

    Great post by the way~

  19. I am so glad that you wrote that your diva eats stickers! My lil’ monster LOVES to munch on stickers…I seriously thought something was wrong with her…

  20. This is too funny. We have had a three year old living with us for the last month (foster type situation), and she is a professional temper tantrum thrower. We were looking for solutions to the screaming and found that if the ignoring isn’t working, you can ask them to cry louder so it will be over sooner. So far, telling her to cry louder has worked every time! She usually sucks it right up and says “I don’t want to.” Then, just as quickly as it started, it is over and she is back to her happy little self!

  21. Just wait until the diva is almost a teenager! You will be calling your mother, crying your eyes out,and apologizing for everything you’ve ever done. What’s worse…..it’s only the beginning of your nightmare. Haha I can laugh now


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