Don’t you wish that sometimes you could just let everything out without hesitation or debate, without fear of consequence or humiliation? In the supermarket today a toddler let fly over a chocolate bar. He wanted it. His mother didn’t. He took it off the shelf, she put it back. He took it off the shelf again, she put it back. He stamped his feet and said: “Want it!” She sighed, eyes heavy from lack of sleep and too many compromises, and said: “Not today. You had a chocolate biscuit for breakfast.”
His lip began to wiggle, undulating like a caterpillar on a window. A single tear ran down his angelic little face, then he began to scream. Not the sweet little squeak you’d expect from such a lovely little boy but a full-throated, throw your head back, coming right up from the guts, roar!
He roared for about 10 minutes, throwing himself on the floor and kicking his feet, while his mother stood there pretending she wasn’t with him, looking like she needed a valium, a cigarette and a Jack Daniels all at once.
I love toddlers. There is such a strong sense of abandon about them, a wildness that hasn’t yet been restrained by the yoke of good manners and proper behaviour. How liberating would it be to say no to every vegetable that’s put in front of you, to refuse to share your toys, to sleep during the day and stay up all night, to wet yourself if you can’t be bothered going to the toilet, and to scream and scream and scream if you don’t get your own way?
Imagine if you could do the same thing as an adult? What a release it would be if you could just stand there and scream if things got too much. Someone pushes in front of you in the queue at the Post Office – SCREAAAAAMMM! They don’t have any of your favourite cheese at the Deli – SCREEEAAAAAMM! The bank says it’ll take 3 days for your cheque to be cleared – SCREEEAAAAMM! You’re 10 minutes late for work and the bus is full so you have to wait for the next one – SCREEEEAAAMM! Your neighbour’s dog chews your morning paper for the third day in a row – SCREEAAAAAMMM!
It probably wouldn’t be long until you were committed but for the brief period you were able to partake of the joys of scream therapy, you would be completely de-stressed. So the next time you see a toddler having a tantrum, don’t get annoyed, imagine what it would be like to be able to express your emotions as they are at that moment. And internally – scream along!
ah yes, the nuclear screaming child. I have been that mom who did the exact RIGHT thing, she never gave into the demands of the tantrum, as embarrassing and vailum inducing those moments may be.
as an adult, I would love to just scream it out…and sometimes I do. But not in a grocery store, or over a candy bar. Just in the privacy of my bed room and over the stacks of bills! (I am not sure how my neighbors feel about all that noise)!
Do kids know that if they start screaming in barn-like structures like supermarkets, shopping malls, airport concourses etc. it’ll have far more effect?
I have been sorely tempted so many times… sigh.
the blood rushes to my cheeks with envy…….
Meleah – you wouldn’t believe how much screaming I do over my bills. I’ve got it down to a fine art!
Keith – we have a hardware store near our house which is as big as an aircaft hangar. The acoustics in there are amazing. A tantrum would go down a treat.
Cellobella – thanks for commenting. Nice to meet you. I too, have been sorely tempted. One day I’m going to try it just to see what happens
Paisley – ain’t it the truth! Oh how I’d love to scream sometimes….
Cellobella – BTW I really like your blog. I’m going to read every day. I’m going to go back now and read your post about being smarter than your 5th grader. I also have a 5th grader so I am sure I will relate to what you are saying.