Toddler tantrums: Oh my God is that really my child?

girl in front of nature background is angry

I write this off the back of a seven hour bonanza of crying, wailing, screaming, and full on toddler tantrums that unleashed itself on my household yesterday. When people meet my little girl, who can charm the socks off anyone, usually the next thing that follows is “how old is she?”, to which I duly  reply 19 months. I am then often baffled by their response…which is usually along the lines of “isn’t it a lovely age?”. To which I really want to reply – urm, no.

Now I know for a fact by all of your responses when I asked on Facebook whether it was too early to have a stiff drink at 12pm to get through it all, that I’m not the only one who has frequent visits from the “devil child”. But am often confused and then rather envious of all these apparent angels who seem to be flitting round their mummies – according to them anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, when our little one is in a good mood, it is absolutely delightful – if usually somewhat short lived. But when she is horrid (much like that girl in the poem there was a little girl, who had a little curl…), I feel everything from amusement at that start (can you seriously be getting so upset over THAT?), followed by pity, then as the hours pass a medley of exasperation, defeat, detachment rounded off with a rather disconcerting dislike and distrust. It feels like living with a volatile partner who can explode at the smallest thing any minute, and it’s hard to let your guard down. I find the following words on loop in my mind: “Oh my God is that really my child?”

If any adult behaved that way to you, you would have walked away a long time ago. But that’s the beauty of children – they really can get away with so much in the name of being just that. I find myself justifying it all mumbling possible reasons “oh it must be developmental” or “perhaps it’s another tooth coming through” or “maybe she’s getting sick”. Whatever  it is, it’s pretty vile for everyone concerned.

Rather than contain the demon child in the house, you try to get them out, thereby inflicting their volatile self on all those poor people in Starbucks, who probably tried to escape their own in the first place gleaning hateful glances, much like you probably dished out in your child-free days (a little serving of karma perhaps?).

And then after hours of hate for the world, it disappears just as quickly as it began, totally unexplained and leaving a strange wake of calm behind it. You feel as if you could have imagined the whole thing as you marvel at the now beautifully sunny disposition of your formerly crazed dependent who is currently dishing out cuddles like there’s tomorrow, leaving you to nurture a growing fear of the next episode.

The upshot? Roll with it and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, because you never know when the next storm will hit, or why – that is…until they can master the art of speech. 😉

bathroom refresh


  1. Girls are very strong willed too aren’t they?! They can make a tantrum last for hours. They do grow out of it, and become angels. in the meantime drinking before 12 every day is perfectly acceptable 🙂
    Great post #TwinklyTuesday x

  2. I remember my mother in law saying ‘isn’t this just a golden age?’ And me thinking ‘nope it’s a crappy age!’ I found 18-24 months to be the toughest period for both my kids- don’t get my wrong I still long for bedtime at 10am some days but they are definitely easier once speech comes along. Good luck – you are not alone! #twinklytuesday

  3. You have just described my life with my little one! It’s like she has some crazy switch that gets thrown! It’s so incredibly frustrating and exhausting, but I know this will pass…someday!


  4. I think we’ve all been there at some stage or another, so I entirely sympathise and I can only say that they do eventually grow out of it (and grow in to something else …)

    The one thing that the experience did teach me, though, was to be more tolerant of all those other parents you see who have tantrumming children. They’re not necessarily bad children or bad parents, just having a bad day/hour/5 minutes.

  5. My little one can be a right monster up and down like a yoyo but then I have to look to myself….that’s me too eek!! It’s so hard to have a day of wailing though. Just crushes you and I can totally see why having a glass of wine at 12pm should be allowed hehe xx ‘#thetruthabout

  6. I don’t think any child is angelic, but my eldest and I have often had the ‘looks’ at toddlers when he’s gone off on tantrums for very unimportant (to me) things. I think it’s worse if you have very emotional kids! Anyway, drinking before 12 is fine! 🙂 xx

  7. I remember my sister saying that her positively best times were when the girls were between 8 and 18 months after which they went through some sort of metamorphosis into devil children! 19 months does seem a bit early for such long lasting tantrums though – I found with my eldest boy that it went up a notch with each season coming to a crescendo during the “threenage” years! I hope for your sake that she’s getting it out of her system early 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout

    • Thankfully the tantrums have abated for now but seeing as we haven’t hit the 2 year mark there’s still some time for them to rear their heads again – keeping everything crossed that it’s over until the threes!!! Thanks for hosting 🙂

  8. I feel very thankful that up until now, Zach’s tantrums have been relatively calm! He’s a very chillaxed boy so when he does go off on one it’s pretty big for him but in comparison to what you have written about, it’s lame! It is much easier now he can tell us what’s upset him (if it’s not obvious). The explanation usually begins with ‘I want’!! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday – I hope you don’t have another day like this for a while!

  9. I love this post!
    I think my daughter secretly has a dark side.
    When her daddy isnt around, she is SO mean & naughty!
    But I love her <3
    Sarah xx

  10. 15 ways to feel like you're winning as a mum (even if you might not be!) — Motherhood: The Real Deal says:

    […] I manage to turn a tantrum around without bribery or giving in, that makes me feel like I’m winning. At this age (2.5 […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.