M is what you call a "spirited child". No, I'm not using that as an excuse of any sort, it's just facts. It explains her insanely huge meltdowns. All children have meltdowns, obviously, but when spirited kids have a meltdown, it's the absolute end of the world for them. I think the best way to describe it is that their emotions are in hyperdrive. M has the tendency to overreact about everything, most spirited kids do. Now, let me explain something else. My child has a serious addiction. She's addicted to Starbucks hot chocolate. Anytime she sees a Starbucks, she wants to stop. Normally I explain to her that we can't, and she's alright with it, but sometimes it leads to a major meltdown. She once threw herself on the ground in the front of our Target because I wouldn't let her have Starbucks. It isn't something I'm proud of, but it happened. I feel like I handled it right because I scooped her up, ignored the screaming and kicking, carried her to the car, and left the store without losing my cool. It took a lot, y'all.
My child isn't a bad child. She's sweet, and loving, and polite, and has the most amazing manners you'll ever see. However, when she sets her mind to something, she doesn't stop until it's her's. It's a trait that we admire in adults, but not so much in children.
So, back to what happened this weekend. We were staying with family, and B and I had gone to Starbucks Sunday morning. I asked M if she wanted a hot chocolate, and she said no. I asked her 5 different times, and each time she said no. So off we went to get us something. When we got back she had changed her mind. I told her she could have a few sips of my hot chocolate, but I wasn't going back because she had said she didn't want anything multiple times. It was then that she threw herself to the ground and yelled, "You go back and get me some, now!" Obviously I was embarrassed and upset that she was behaving that way over hot chocolate. I picked her up, took her into another room so she could calm down and take a timeout. That's how we discipline, she takes a timeout and calms down, we discuss it, then explain her consequences. After putting her in timeout, I walked back into the living room, only to hear my sister in law telling my niece, "You better not ever talk to me like that, I'll whip your butt." I was a little annoyed that she was even addressing it, seeing as how it wasn't any of her business, but I didn't say anything. Once M was calm, I had a discussion with her about what happened, how it was disrespectful, and I told her what her punishment would be. It was over and done with. She went off to play, and a few minutes later I heard her talking to my sister in law. I walked into the room only to find my sister in law basically disciplining M for her actions, and my niece standing there saying, "Yeah, M, we don't talk like that." I didn't know what to say, so I said, "That's enough, it's over and done with." I was appalled that she would even say anything to M, seeing as how I'm her mother, and I had already addressed the situation.
So as the day went on, things were a bit tense. Later on M had complimented her on her cooking skills, and that's when she said, "Well, she may be snotty, but at least she has manners." Both myself, B, and my mom asked what she meant. "Well, didn't you see how she behaved this morning over not getting Starbucks? She's snotty." I honestly didn't know what to say. I still don't know what to say. I don't know where she got the nerve to even say something like that.
I guess my question is, what would you do in that situation? I was so livid, I'm surprised I didn't slap her. I feel like she insulted my child. And my parenting skills too. Am I overreacting? Was it alright for her to call her snotty? Was it alright for her to address the temper tantrum in the first place??
I want to end this on a positive note, so here are a few photos from our annual trip to the local dairy farm's pumpkin patch. (Where, oddly enough, I got no photos of pumpkins.)
Happy Tuesday, my friends. And a shout out to all of the snotty kids out there.