My son — who recently turned 5 — is a lot of things. A smart gamer (already), hilariously fast with quips you didn't see coming, compassionate yet stand-offish (an interesting mix, even for me), and he has these long, dark lashes he knows how to flutter just so. From the moment I first held him, he had me. Not just because he was a baby, but because he was my long-awaited baby. I'd go through hell and back for the boy, but there's a very long list of things I'd rather do than watch my kid throw a tantrum because, when he does, it's unlike any I've ever seen with his older sister.
When I think back to the high-risk pregnancy and traumatizing birth where the umbilical cord snapped and my son turned blue, it's hard to ever imagine a time I'm frustrated with the now precocious little darling I almost lost. Aside from his dramatic entrance, the miscarriages and infertility issues that pre-empted that pregnancy made him a highly-anticipated baby I couldn't wait to mother. I'm sure his 10-year-old sister doesn't always agree (and she knows how to throw her own special kind of fit), but for the most part, my son is a sweet, gentle kid who plays alone well and causes little disruption. That is, until he flips on us. It's usually caused by a missed nap (or string of them), waking too early, or afternoon fatigue, but the times he gives into one of those awful tantrums, I can't handle it.
While most kids assume the usual tantrum kicks, screams, and flails (including my daughter), my son takes a different approach. If he doesn't get his way over something, and doesn't feel like being as diplomatic as he usually is, the tantrum starts with those lashes and the old pouty lip. I might get a "please" and a smile. If I still don't cave (which, to be honest, is really difficult), he does one of two things: slumps over and says "OK, Mommy," in a disappointed tone (which obviously breaks my heart) or, he has a tantrum on steroids. He launches whatever he's holding, runs up the stairs, slams all the doors, lays on the floor with his feet propped up on the wall, and kicks until someone physically retrieves him. It can (and has) last an hour if I don't intervene. Even after it's all said and done and the dust has settled, it takes him a long time to really hear what I'm saying and calm himself. It's exhausting as hell and truthfully, because he's not usually that way, it's frustrating.