A few weeks ago I noticed the status of one of my friends on Facebook - her two-year-old daughter had pitched a fit when mom handed her a milk cup. The little girl had wanted to get the cup off the counter herself! Some people commented on the status that yes, aren't two-year-olds randomly stubborn and dramatic and silly sometimes.
Me, I was taken back to Jake's early years, where huge freak-outs would happen over the smallest things. His big struggle for a while - he was about three - was which way we turned at the end of our street. Most of the time we turned right. But there was a short-cut to avoid heavy traffic that we sometimes turned left to take. And hoo, boy, when we turned left? He would start crying - wailing - saying "We not 'posed to go left! That wrong way! We haf go right!" Jake's dad and I would laugh at the oddness of Jake's distress, while assuring him that it's ok if sometimes we go the other way. (Hey, at least we didn't get mad - I think some parents might at that point.)
Now that I think about it, he also used to get really upset when his dad or I parked in the wrong spot in the driveway. Mom's spot was on the right, dad's spot was on the left. What was really funny is when we had switched cars for the day - no matter where we parked he'd be mad; the car might be in the wrong spot, but the driver didn't go there! It's like when those parking spots didn't line up with his expectations, his whole world was "off" for a while.
So when I replied to my friend's status on Facebook? Here's what I said.
Sometimes when a little kiddo has an action planned - obviously, she was intending to grab the milk - and then something happens to get in the way of that expectation, it's like there's a short circuit in their brain and they're not sure how to quickly switch gears. So yelling or throwing a fit is the result. Kind of like when you're taking a step when you think there's one more stair left, and you're already in the process of taking the step and can't really adjust - you trip or fall LOL.
I ran into that a LOT with Jake when he was younger, he's much better at making quick adjustments now. (My official two cents as a parent who had to read a ridiculous amount of literature on the developing child's brain and coping with developmental issues LOL)
So long story short . . . sometimes kids do things that are completely random, and react in a way that as parents, we kind of think is crazy. But I'm more likely to give kids the benifit of the doubt these days, and realize that even though *I* can't understand their reasoning, that doesn't mean they don't have a perfect good reason for being upset.
P.S. That stair comment? Kind of ironic at the moment, since yesterday I tripped down the stairs and sprained my ankle. Jenny for the win!