Before having Alice, I was pretty hard on parents. I was convinced that I would be able to sail through parenting and would always manage any behaviour problems with ease, that is if my child ever showed any sort of misbehaviour. My fine skills would mean that any child of mine would rarely, if ever display any sort of undesirable behaviour. Now, at thirteen months old, Alice is showing me that I might have been a bit hasty to judge so quickly. Most of the time, she is a sunny, happy little girl. She's confident and full of humour. Unfortunately, as she displayed even as a newborn, there's no middle ground with her, and when she's not happy, she makes it very, very clear.
Tantrums are the usually result when I pick her up when she doesn't want me to, try to carry her when she wants to walk, or take something away that she was playing with. I try to limit how often this happens, but there are always times when it can't be avoided. She will alternate going totally rigid with becoming floppy and throwing herself on the floor. She's impossible to pick up when she's in this state. She screams like a banshee and writhes around and all I can do is sit near her and stroke her back until she's back in control.
I cope quite well when we're in private, but if this happens in a public place, I can't help feeling the eyes of other people on me. I am tempted to be harder on Alice when we're in public, putting on the stern face, or yanking her to her feet, as I want to show bystanders that I am doing something about her behaviour. My child may be all but foaming at the mouth, but I'm not a pushover, oh no! It's at those times that I need to remind myself that she is more important than the opinions of others, and she needs calm reassurance to regain her control.
If nothing else, I've learnt to be far less judgemental about the decisions of others. I don't always deal with her tantrums as well as I should do, but I'm sure I will have many opportunities to practice my skills over the next few months!