If you are a Game of Thrones fan you will know all about the Mother of Dragons (spoiler alert– if you haven’t watched it but are planning to, I would suggest you stop reading now).
Daenerys Targaryen might have started off rather timid but she certainly evolves into a powerful queen, especially with her three “children” as back up.
But I want to introduce you to a new character, one who let loose a force much more frightening than mere dragons…
I give you Freya Jane (First Of Her Name*) as…the Mother of Tantrums.
Just like Dany, who hatches three dragon eggs which grow into mighty fire-breathing beasts that she eventually struggles to control, it seems that Freya has been sitting on a few eggs of her own and one finally hatched on Friday, unleashing a fury unseen in my, maybe even the, world before.
Blood curdling doesn’t even begin to describe the sound she let out at the start of what was to become an epic tantrum. What caused it, you ask? Well, I tried to get her dressed. That’s right, I attempted to put a blue t-shirt on her.
The force of her wrath was like nothing I have experienced (although I have a feeling it won’t be the last time – at least for a good year or so). Like a rabbit caught in headlights, I stood, helpless.
It felt like this was one of those parenting moments; that the way I chose to respond would plot the course for the rest of our relationship (or at least until the end of the Terrible Twos). I know she can’t help this behaviour, that it comes from her frustration at not being able to communicate with words. She wants to be more independent and make her own choices – even if, at nearly 19 months, it’s a little early for my liking – but that made it even harder to decide the correct way of dealing with it.
In that moment, what crossed my mind as I stood staring down at the half-dressed ball of fury, was that if parenting was a job, I would have been sacked or, if they were feeling kind, asked to tender my resignation by now. I mean, if you keep coming up against problems that you have no idea how to solve, wouldn’t you ask yourself if you’re in the right career? It was a sobering thought.
Not wanting to fail at the most important role of my life and with Freya now breathing fire, I began brainstorming ideas (for perhaps only the second time in my life) about how to tackle this particular issue. It looked a bit like this when I finished; only in my head I imagined it with squiggly lines, a bit of glitter and a cloud in the middle.
These are the ones that instantly came to mind but then I still needed to decide which one was right? In the working world, I could perhaps have called a meeting and asked my colleagues to help but being entirely on my own I was, what’s the technical term? Clueless.
Of course, while I stood there debating my next move, she was getting louder and more enraged by the minute. However, by that time my brain was well an truly off on its flight of fancy (have I mentioned I haven’t slept much in 19 months) and I’m now being called to the boardroom where Sir Alan sits across the table from me.
We all know what comes next.
Wait, Sir Alan, wait! Please don’t fire me, I have one last idea. If you can’t beat them, distract them…(revolutionary, right? I’m thinking of writing a book of the same title). In Freya’s case I instantly know where to turn – the vacuum cleaner.
After getting over the shock of me finally reacting rather than standing there in a trance, I had to clean an entire room before her love for the Dyson overcame her anger at the blue t-shirt. Like some elite force, it is now on permanent standby but I’m keeping my chart as I think distraction will probably only work so many times – and, while Dany only had three eggs/dragons to contend with, I fear Freya has many many more just waiting to hatch.
Seriously, if she asks you for the Iron Throne, I’d just give it to her.
Do you want to join me in the boardroom? Any “best practice” tips on tackling a tantruming toddlers? There could be a promotion in it for you.
* In our family, at least.