Welcome to the first installment of Toddler Translations!
Where I roughly translate the things Little B says and does, for our mutual entertainment.
The Big Fit
You’re walking through a store, sitting in your living room, or out at grandma’s house when it hits: The Big Fit. It seems to have come out of nowhere, and you’re wracking your brain for the root cause, but you’re coming up dry. She can’t possibly be that upset that there are no toys in Home Depot, and there’s no way that Netflix rendering for an extra 20 seconds could be worthy of the terrifying scream coming out of her mouth.
At this point, even she doesn’t know why she’s crying, does she?
“My tiny body has been so hopelessly overwhelmed by the obscene number of emotions coursing through my little veins that all major motor skills have completely failed me and the only way that I feel I can adequately express myself is by throwing myself to the floor and taking my anguish out on the carpet while screaming as loudly as my vocal chords are possibly capable of in hopes that, perhaps, as my screeches rise in decibels you will soon feel the angst and anger that I feel due to the near-aneurysm level headache I’ve induced.”
Actually, the initial translation isn’t too far off. More often than not, toddlers throw massive fits because they genuinely don’t know what else to do with themselves. She’s probably overwhelmed for a number of reasons, and she doesn’t yet have the social or emotional skills to adequately express those feelings.
Before you do anything – and I do mean anything – calm your toddler down. You won’t be able to communicate without doing so. Sometimes, it’s a simple as a hug or a minor distraction. Other times, they might need a take-ten timeout. Once they’ve managed to take a few deep breaths, start a discussion and build a resolution together.
It’s Toddler Speak, not gibberish! You need to take a deep breath and remember that this is just emotionally supercharged conversation with a person who just so happens to be a few feet shorter than you. So, buckle down and really listen from the perspective of a child and an adult, and you’ll both be happier for it!