Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 The Famous Tantrum

Anyone remember this?

3-1/2 yo Katrina's dinnertime tantrum

Probably not; for us this was routine.

But this video caught the attention of an NPR science reporter who's looking at a new study done on toddler-tantrums. I guess he was trolling YouTube for toddler tantrum videos, and this relatively routine fit of Katrina's had particular interest -- I think because Dave is in it, and is so calm. A few days ago, the reporter called us to talk to us about it, and this turned into a phone interview this morning!

When looking for the video to which he was referring, it was striking just how many tantrum videos I'd posted -- and those a tiny fraction of the actual tantrums. Few are of Gabriel, because at the time I was still using a real videocamera and had to edit the videos. By the time Katrina was at it, I was only using my regular still camera, and now YouTube existed, so I'd posted a lot more videos of her. My goodness, it was worse than I even remember.

So I talked to the reporter for about 30 minutes this morning about our experiences with kids and tantrums. Any discussion about tantrums has to start with Gabriel, but the fact that Julian was really not a tantrumer was really important in the discussion. It was surprisingly hard to answer basic questions like, "What started it?" or "What ended it?" It's so funny, and perhaps telling, how hard it is to identify what started these tantrums, even though they were a multi-daily occurrence for many years. How could I not remember?!

The reporter asked a lot about how Dave is reacting so calmly to Katrina in the video, and about how she freaked when he pointed out to her that choosing a particular chair at a round table didn't make a difference. Of course, tantrums are all about being unreasonable, and reason only fuels the fire.

At the end, the reporter played short audio clips from this video, mostly of Katrina SCREAMING, and asked me to react to them. Now it's almost funny listening to her scream "NOOOOO!!!", though it also evokes painful memories of exasperation and just...well, hating life at the moment. I'm SO glad those days are over...well, mostly over.

I don't know how the whole discussion will be edited -- I'm sure if my voice airing our dirty laundry makes it on national radio it will only be for a few seconds. But we'll find out probably on Monday, Dec. 5th, when this report on tantrums should air! It will be either on "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered" -- both shows I listen to all the time in the car (which means every day, but never in their entirety).

I sure am glad to talk about this in retrospect though....mostly.


p.s. If you want to see a truly funny tantrum video, this is the one: Why throw a tantrum if no one is around to see it?"

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