Monday, June 11, 2012
This weekend, I went to see my friend Sarah and Teresa's play, Destructo Snack USA. During the play, Sarah has a 5-minute uber-tantrum. She storms off the stage, slamming doors, hurling trash cans, crying loudly in the near distance. As she flung herself around the stage, I sheepishly related. Though the grown-up response to lack of getting-your-way manifests itself much more subtly, it's still there.
We were chatting about this afterwards, and my friend Jess, who's a school teacher gave me a good insight; When you're feeling that way, what age are you? That feeling of robbed autonomy spins us into 2-year old melt-down behavior. Watching my niece last week fighting to feed herself, it's so ingrained in us to want control over ourselves and our destinies. The funny thing is, sometimes it's just that someone else has made a choice for us that sets us into this state. It's natural not to like having other people make choices for us, we don't like being passive players in our lives. As with your toddler, just because you didn't choose peas, doesn't mean you don't like peas. So when you feel the urge to scream and throw yourself around the room because life hasn't gone your way, you can have your inner parent step in and put that little person in a time-out.