Little goblin

At nineteen months, little elf is learning how to do tantrums.  We’re used to the decisive “NO!”, generally teamed with a pout, beetling little brows and a vigourous shake of the head, but she’s starting to throw howling, raging temper fits whenever she’s made to do something or denied something she’s set her heart on.  And the earlier she wakes up, the worse they’re liable to be.

This morning, she woke up at 5:25am and lasted about five minutes in our bed before she was attempting to drag off the duvet and wake up a very sleepy and grumpy supermum.  Resistance met with growls, shakes of the head and wails.  Finally, I plonked her in front of the TV (I KNOW, I KNOW! BAAAAAD DAD) and staggered off to put the kettle on.  Thirty seconds later, she was back in our room screeching for attention, assault-coursing around the bed and demanding that supermum left her cave immediately.

(Note: Supermum is a bear in the mornings.  A bear in the middle of winter.  With claws.)

Finally, dudelet charged into the room and decoyed her out with a cunningly deployed miniature Pepperoni.  I chose to strategically overlook the ‘no food out of the kitchen’ rule.

Eventually, I got them both into the kitchen, though Little Elf continued to pinball between supermum, by now getting ready for work, and attempting to empty the fridge.  Removing her from the fridge generated the first major tantrum of the day.  Supermum leaving provided another.  The piece de resistance (and I do mean resistance), however, came when I tried to get her dressed.  It escalated from “NO!” to “EEEEEE!” to “GRAAAAHHHHHH!” in about two minutes and remained at the level of a coruscatingly violent death metal growl for the subsequent ten while I stuffed her into the bare minimum of clothing.  More or less dressed, she carried on screeching and growling on the floor.

Yes, I really was expecting her head to start revolving like a police light.

Eventually, I had to leave her where she was to calm down, having removed anything breakable or liable to cause injuries from the immediate vicinity. Meanwhile, Dudelet was watching a few minutes of CBBC.

“She’s shouting,” he told me.

“I know,” I said.  I went back to get her and see if she’d accept a cuddle as the noise died down, only to find that she’d shut her door and was lying with her feet against it.  Everytime I or dudelet tried to open it, she’d push it shut. We were due to leave – if we don’t get to the childminder’s by a certain point, she heads out to take her other charge to school.

I rang up supermum for advice.

“Try going downstairs and letting her think you’re leaving,” she suggested, heartlessly.  So we did.  I stomped down the stairs and dudelet stood outside her door (which possibly undermined the effect a little) shouting “‘Bye!”. Thirty seconds later, she emerged clutching her rabbit, scrambled down the stairs and got into her pram.

She gurgled and sang happily to herself all the way there and beamed at the childminder as she opened the door.

“You look happy today, ” said the childminder.

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About Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

Writing, reading, listening, parenting... On Twitter as @dadwhowrites. View all posts by Dad Who Writes (Gabriel)

13 responses to “Little goblin

  • Gumbomum

    I’m sorry, I know it’s difficult, but I think Little Goblin/Elf is brilliant and hilarious. If I could help out and take her off your hands for a day or two, I would!

  • SingleParentDad

    I really enjoy your pain too. My apologies.

  • henitsirk

    I hate that, when they’re so kind and sweet with others and rampaging at home. Happens all the time, unfortunately.

    Sounds like Little Elf is exploring boundaries (asking for them, rather) and her expanding sense of self. All good, if ear-splitting.

  • phoenixaeon

    Oh, I sympathise! But I have to disagree with you about Supermum’s remark being heartless. Sometimes that is the only option that works.

  • Dan

    We do the “I’m leaving!” trick quite frequently. Works for me.

  • Achelois

    I cannot tell a lie – I enjoyed this too 🙂

    PS: Message from Aly – you are very eloquent.

  • dadwhowrites

    Well, yes – she is so funny. When she’s a little older, she’s going to find that very, very irritating.

    Oh, and I really need to investigate Aly’s blog – he must have one!

  • bsouth

    I often want to poke out the eyes of people who say to me – “your children are so sweet and well behaved”. I have so far managed to contain that urge and restrain myself to “would you like to take them then?”. Why are they so awful at home and then so jolly (mostly) when out?

    I like the mini-peperami trick though. Must remember that one. Lure the little monsters out with tiny sticks of meat.

  • Mizmell

    The terrible twos, already?
    The course of all power struggles between parent and child begin at this age. Just remember to set the tone for the years that follow. Don’t let her “win.”

  • J

    Oh, that’s hilarious. Not the tantrum, but the “you look happy today’. HA!

    The ‘we’re leaving’ was perfect.

    As for the rest of it, just chant, “This too shall pass….”

  • openpalm

    and what exactly did the minder say to you? (savvy, as i’m sure she is)…a perfect moment for the god-camera…i’d very much like to have seen all faces at once.

    thanks for making me smile.

  • Cam

    I tried the “I’m leaving now trick” once. While I went to the garage to pull the car up to the door, my then 2 year old completly disrobed — and then proceeded to sit on my navy blue coat, leaving a perfect white butt print of diaper rash ointment on it. He was, of course, a smiling angel 10 minutes later at the nursery. Next time, I was sure to take my coat with me to the garage. 🙂

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