Monday, October 15, 2012

aves vs. monchichi

Lately, Aves has had alot of practice mastering the art of the tantrum.  OK, who's kidding who?  There is no art to tantrumming.  It's a primal display of emotions and very, very irritating.

This is how the tantrum usually goes with me and Aves:

1. Aves is happily doing something.
2. Mom expresses discontent with the "something" Aves is doing.
3. Aves feels indignant and expresses discontent at Mom's discontent.
4. Mom emphasizes her discontent and indicates what she prefers Aves to be doing.
5. Aves starts crying.
6. Mom tries to calm Aves down at the same time maintaining her stance on the matter.
7. Aves crying continues to escalate (because she's not getting her way) until she has reached tantrum status.
8. Mom (surprisingly still calm in the face of a tantrum) calms Aves down.
9. Aves calms down a bit but remains indignant, muttering things along the lines of "hating" this and "no like" that.
10. Mom maintains her stance and tries to "reason" with Aves.
11. Aves crying re-escalates to a tantrum.
12. Go back to step 8 and repeat.

The last time this happened (on Tuesday), it took close to an hour to get Aves to calm down and not re-escalate.  This has been going on for awhile now and it seemed like we needed to try something new.  So the next time I saw Aves going down the tantrum path (on Wednesday!), I tried a different approach:

It was after dinner and Aves wanted an ice cream cone for dessert.  To be fair to Aves, I understood that she wanted the ice cream cone because the previous night, she had a tantrum instead of getting an ice cream cone like Josh.  She likely felt that this night, it was her turn to have ice cream.

But Bri's mom had bought us a box of chocolates to celebrate our anniversary and we had already decided to share the box of chocolates for dessert (which is what prompted Aves to say that she wanted ice cream instead).

I wasn't about to cave in to her whims, especially in light of the fact that we don't do make-ups for bad behaviour the previous night!  I told her that we were having chocolate, not ice cream, tonight and she would have the ice cream another night.

Uh-oh.  Aves was ramping up (can you believe the child was having a tantrum because we were going to have chocolate instead of ice cream?!).

So, I ran into the living room and grabbed her girl and boy monchichis.  I went back to the kitchen and showed Aves that monchichi was talking into my ear.  I said, "Look, Aves!  Monchichi said he wants chocolate and not ice cream."  Aves stopped mid-whine, with wet eyes, and started laughing.  So I continued, "Are you sure you want chocolate, monchichi?" (I help monchichi give a nod).

Aves continued to laugh thinking this was hilarious!  I pretended to make monchichi eat the chocolate, "Om nom nom nom.".  Aves laughed and laughed and laughed.  Oh my gosh.  It worked!

Finally, I nonchalantly asked Aves, "See, Aves?  Do you want chocolate like monchichi?".

The smile abruptly disappeared from Aves' face and she said, "No.  I want ice cream."



Len said...

You've just described a good percentage of our interactions with our 8 year old daughter. I very much doubt monchichis would work for us either...with two smart parents, she's got an overly healthy suspicion of being tricked.

Love your writing, hope you and family are well.

Bri said...

Why do her tantrums always seem to revolve around food I wonder?!?!

Anonymous said...

Ok, that's awesome. Just when you think you get ahead a step, they push you right back to where you started. I so understand that scenario....