Matthew has a very strong personality.
He's demanding. To say the very least.
Generally I'm okay with it. While it's a struggle for us now, I am hoping that with proper rearing it can be turned into a magnificent character trait. (Emphasis on hoping.)
But sometimes, well, it's a challenge.
Take today for example. Today I went to grab a hot chocolate with some friends while The Rock Star was at preschool. The Little Buddy wanted to be on my lap. He wanted to be in my hot chocolate cup. He wanted to play with my hot chocolate cup. He wanted to hold both of my thumbs tightly in his fists so that I could not pick up my hot chocolate cup. Finally, I'd had enough of defending my hot cocoa from a squirmy toddler who wanted, in the worst way, to spill it. So I placed him on the chair next to me.
He. Flipped. Out.
He screamed. I told him to stop. He wailed. I got right down by his face and whispered that this was neither the time nor the place. He shrieked. I told him that if he didn't stop we were going to leave. He elevated the volume. And it's not like he can't understand me. Just the other day I asked him to go upstairs, get the toothpaste and his toothbrush, and bring them down to me. He obeyed every command and threw his shoes in for good measure.
I looked at my friends. "I'm so sorry. I'm going to have to leave." They have children. They understand. I got up and asked Matthew to follow me. He wailed louder still. I refused to pick him up since what he wanted in the first place was for me to take him out of the chair and put him back on my lap. I tried to take his hand and lead him out the door. That's when he threw himself on the floor and began kicking and screaming.
That was a first for him. He's had tantrums that rival short-lived wars but he's never done the kicking, screaming, flailing--while in public--bit. Thank goodness he's number two. I managed to find it somewhat hilarious. When a tiny little person gets that worked up, well, I either have to laugh or cry so I chose to find the humor in it all.
My friend offered to pick him up and carry him to the car. That way I wouldn't be rewarding him but I also wouldn't be sitting in the coffee establishment waiting for him to grow up and realize that life is going to deal him a lot worse blows than his mother setting him on a chair next to her. She hoisted him up and off we went. As we exited, two police officers entered and I honestly contemplated telling them that he wasn't being abducted. But they offered me apologetic smiles that seemed to say, "We're dads. We've been there."
When I opened the car door, the screaming banshee threw all four limbs out and grabbed the frame of the door. With super human strength he gripped the roof of the car and thrust a leg out to stop himself from being unwillingly placed into his car seat. At that point I let out a sigh. That's the way it is a lot of the time with this kid. His will is made of steal.
But we were still two able bodied adults and he was still a 21-month-old so we won.
And Matthew screamed for ten solid minutes in the car before sticking his thumb in his mouth and doing the I'm-trying-to-catch-my-breath-after-sobbing hiccup cry. I didn't raise my voice. I didn't try to reason with him. I simply let him scream. Bloody murder. For ten minutes. When we got to our destination and I reached in to get him out, he smiled at me and said, "Mommy!"
And I was all, "Yeah. Hi. It's me. The one you hated not five minutes ago. Are we friends again?"
Sigh. "I love you."
"I wuv ew." He offered.
So, naturally, all was forgiven.