Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Major Meltdowns

Ok, so Friday night, I had a major meltdown. You know the kind. I was screaming at The Fiance things like, "You just don't understand," and, "You don't love me!"

As I was screaming, I was thinking in my head, "What ARE you going on about? You're making no sense!" And, "Maybe you should go back on those anti-depressants."

It was one of those meltdowns that came out of nowhere, and you have no idea how the fight started or why even you're screaming. All I know was that I was furious at The Fiance. And, also, that I don't remember what set me off.

It was the first time I cried in front of The Dictator, except for the fifteen minutes immediately after she was born, and I was crying tears of joy. (That was the very first time I actually cried tears of joy too!)

Don't get me wrong. I cry often. I like to cry (In fact, crying actually gets me things like doctors appointments and such) But it was the first time I cried hard in front of The Dictator.

The Dictator looked at me crying and came up to me and said, "Mommy you feel better now," and handed me a pretend bottle of milk (Exactly what I do when she cries - except I give her a real bottle.) And then she kept saying, "You feel better now. You feel better now," and giving me kisses on my face.

Then I was really crying.

I felt awful that The Dictator saw me crying. I mean, she was so worried. And, also, she was so sweet and kind, trying to cheer me up, that I started crying tears of guilt that I was crying in front of her. I think they were also tears of, I don't know, gratefulness that she was so understanding, even though she's only two.

I made myself stop crying and told The Dictator, "Yes, I feel better now. Mommy feels all better now." Then we played blocks and read books together.

It's stunning how in tune our children can become to our moods. I mean, not only was The Dictator worried, she tried to cheer me up. Maybe I am raising a kindhearted, empathetic, child!

I made up with The Fiance, later that evening, even though I don't remember what we were fighting about.

On Sunday, The Dictator had a major meltdown. We were at a birthday party of a kid in her music class. All the children were sitting around this big table, happily munching away on fruit, vegetables, and potato chips, when the mother brought in the cake with three candles on it.

Well, The Dictator didn't deal so well with that. She started screaming, "Where's my candles? Where's my candles?" and crying so hard and freaking out that you'd think I told her I hated Dora The Exploer and that all-things Dora were banned from the house.

And, yes, she was the only child screaming through the "Happy Birthday" song. Yikes!

Apparently, The Dictator doesn't really understand the concept of birthdays, and the fact you only get candles when it's yoiur birthday. Anyway.

We had to leave the birthday party, because The Dictator wouldn't stop her major meltdown. It was actually the first time she had a temper tantrum. So it was a weekend of firsts for both of us.

Man, can she cry hard! Hmm. I wonder where she gets that from.


Blogger Jenn said...

Yeah, whats wrong with men - Why do they infuriate us so and cause us to be so mad at them, and then put their evil spell on us to cause us to temporarily forget why! We will remember you know - usually when the next fight starts, then the reasons for the last one all come rushing back with a vengeance - OH YEAH, *that's* what you did! I'm still mad about that.....

9:35 AM

Blogger Bahar said...

God bless anti-depressants! Really!

I have had my "one year" treatment by now and I am supposed go off them, but seriously, I am worried.

I am a confident, in control, happy and relaxed person since I started these. Both my brothers are also on anti-depressants.

10:27 AM

Blogger chichimama said...

Yeah, I've cried in front of C a few times and he gets very worked up.

As for the temper tantrums, you gotta love the two year old temper tantrums!

11:04 AM

Blogger Cindy said...

I love fights that when still in them you can't remember why you're mad, it's even better though when you know as you're screaming you're overreacting but you still can't stop yourself. That's fun.

I feel for you on the birthday temper tantrum thing. My neice has such a hairy fit over other kids birthday presents, her parents give her her own presents so she doesn't have a major meltdown. (I don't agree with this tactic because she will never learn, but she's not my kid so...)

12:11 PM

Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

I lost it like that in front of my kids once too, except I don't think I was mad at my husband, I don't remember the reason. But I remember my husband telling me that I needed to get hold of myself because I was freaking out the kids. And I couldn't stop bawling. Hopefully you felt better after, we all need a good cry now and then!

3:35 PM

Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Oh the dictator is so sweet to be so intent on helping you stop crying. My son is the same way. He can see right through me when I try and put on a brave face too.

Crying feels good sometimes. Especially when you want a way out of a sucky party where no one is giving you candles :)

4:47 PM

Blogger Heather said...

So yesterday while I was out for a run with my girlfriend and son. This woman was crossing the road with her child in her arms. This child was not only screaming at the top of her lungs, but was chucking the HUGEST fit I have ever seen. I mean this kid was writhing all over the place. It was a sheer miracle the mother could hold on to her and push a stroller at the same time. When we ran by, the child kicked the cup of pop that was in the stroller and it literally covered the entirity of my son, stroller and the two of us. The mother said she was sorry. I said no problem, just hoping that that NEVER happens to me. My heart went out to that poor mother.

5:08 PM

Blogger Kristen said...

LOL. I hope no one gave you a hard time. Leah is a drama queen and she's only almost 13 months. I expect BIG things from her in the future. LOL

7:36 PM

Blogger Reject the Koolaid said...

Whoa,Tearfree advises you to go easy on the meltdowns if you want to keep up the Four Seasons lifestyle. Most guys I know aren't really into that type of stuff although maybe The Fiance's different.

4:25 AM

Blogger ParisGuy said...

Wow! Great read. Rarely in love two people's love is equal towards each other. Often, it's more from one side. Emotionally speaking, unfortunately, the person who loves more, suffers more as well. And people who are loved, are happier than those who love ... oh, so cruel !!! Off topic, though.

6:02 AM


I think it's good to cry in front of your children it let's them know that Mommy is a person with all the same emotions they have. It's also nice for them to comfort the most important person in the world to them.

We all hit the wall at some point. It's good to have someone around to pass the tissue.

6:24 AM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I'm a crier. I cry at everything. But, for the most part, I don't like it (the feeling of losing control). In the early weeks of post-partum weirdness, I cried many times in front of WonderBaby, and worried that I was messing her up. But I've chilled out about that.

Still, I'm going to wait before I sit down with her in front of Bambi. 'Cause that would get ugly.

6:35 AM

Blogger Not Jenny said...

Rebecca--I am finding out that the threes are much much more stressful than the twos--my boy's tantrums were just funny when he was two. We had a hard time keeping a straight face when he would carefully lay down on the floor and cry. He has now mastered how hard to throw himself down without hurting himself and his screams are deafening. We have had meltdowns durning playdates, shoe shopping, grocery shopping. I am the mom getting the "Girl, muzzle your kid" glares in public. He just gets frustrated about so many more things and is smarter and more demanding and less patient. Sometimes the only thing I can do is put him in his room and close the door until he cries himself out--and not take him shopping anymore.

7:45 AM

Blogger Nancy said...

Hey, my kids did both those things- sympathize when I was bawling, and flip out at birthday parties... it always seemed like I had the only kid that was both sweetly empathetic and frighteningly hysterical...
Love your blog- my first visit by won't be my last.

12:00 PM

Blogger kittenpie said...

yeah, I love it when they are sweet like that. Pumpkinpie does that sort of thing, and it DOES make me feel better because she is such a little honey. Sometimes knowing somebody cares is all it takes to set everything right.

10:03 PM

Blogger Michele said...

Kids are WAy more in tune with our emotions than I ever thought possible. Even at six months, my boys both stopped babling, kicking and cooing to watch me when I had a mini-meltdown (exhaustion, frsutration, lost keys, bad day at work). At that point I started to really take notice to how they react to my conversations with DH. When we are laughing, they do their little fake baby laughs. When we are serious, they are quiet and attentive. When I am crying, even if it is with joy, they both watch me and do their little baby inquisitions - "Ah dah? Ba ba dah?" Very curious.
And we are pretty mild people, so I can only imagine what they pick up from some of the stuff on TV.

8:18 AM


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