grump clump

Over time one develops a range of techniques of dealing with kids’ strops and tantrums. Results vary from utter frustration and anger to peace-at-last, or even a cheerful turn of events.

Everyone with kids has seen their bundle of joy kick and scream at the top of their lungs, caught in a loop, unable to get out again. Shouting rarely helps, but inevitably one does get affected and can’t constantly stay cheerful. There can’t always be chocolate, and if a hug won’t do, drastic measures may need to be taken. Any simple surprise or a random distraction can work miracles, if the temper isn’t too foul already.

Yesterday, when T. got lost in an awful mood, stomping and screaming, I shouted “Hey! follow me to the office, NOW, I’ll show you something”. She was curious, stopped the drama for a moment to follow me. A minute later she was laughing her head off, bouncing and jumping madly to very loud, very rough music (“Nailbomb” live at Dynamo ’95). Music is magic (even Nailbomb).

One of the best ways to get rid of a bad mood is the one wee T. came up with herself. One afternoon, a few weeks ago, she noticed I was short tempered and not too happy, she told me in a strict voice “Papa, tu Deine schlechte Laune weg!” (put your bad mood away!). I liked the sound of the idea, tried it, it worked. Later that week we were sitting on a bus, and as she was very grumpy I told her, what she had told me, “come on, now put your bad mood away. She hissed back “No, you’re in a bad mood! You put yours away!” I agreed we should both do so. “Let’s give it to that man!”, said she quietly with a big nasty grin, dropping the invisible clump of grump onto the poor, unsuspecting stranger in front of us.

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