Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Tantrums of Sroch

Do you have a Screaming Monster (TM) at your house?

They are very, VERY sneaky - and very, VERY fast. It's really amazing. You could have a relatively ordinary Srochelbean in the room, talking to you, and then, faster than lightning, Sroch is whisked away and the SCREAMING MONSTER is there in her place!

And Screaming Monsters, true to their name, only know how to scream. They don't know any words except, possibly, 'no.'


It happens to be rather cute, in a loud, draining kind of way. When Sroch gets upset, and granted it's usually after one small upset follows another follows another, her speech sort of deserts her, leaving her just with screamed basic vowel sounds. 'Ah' or 'eay' are preferred.

Typical identifying movements of the Screaming Monster include but are not limited to:
- kicking / stomping
- limp wristed smacking 'paatching' (reminiscent of 80's Valley Girl hand motions)
- anything the opposite of what is being requested (climbing out of bed when ordered to stay in, staying still when ordered to move, etc)

Fascinatingly enough, Screaming Monsters whilst performing their eponymous cries, hardly ever actually cry. The scream of the Screaming Monster seems to be one of rage, not sadness, and that rage is generally interpreted as "I'm ready to have control of my life now now NOW! Please!"

It has been remarked by trained mediwizards that Screaming Monsters often vanish as quickly as they came, usually upon repeated reinforcement (physical or otherwise) of the desired action or whatever.

At this time, frequently in lieu of a Screaming Monster, you may find yourself with a brief larvae stage of Sullen Yet Resigned Teenager, who likes to be alone, but quickly (blessedly) metamorphosizes into that delightful, sought after prize of parents everywhere, the Cuddly Repentant Monster.

The Cuddly Repentant Monster speaks softly, and says things like this:
"I'm still mad at (one parent) but I like you (other parent)."
"You can tell (raged at parent) I won't do that again."
and occasionally even...
"I'm sorry."

Several weeks ago, we were promised that Screaming Monster would NOT return, and indeed, often at the threat of an incursion, merely the mention of the imminent arrival of the Screaming Monster is enough to ward off his arrival. But alas, much like bedbugs in the entire tri-state area (I am soooo not stepping foot on Manhattan island anytime soon), it is hard to eradicate the pest entirely.

But progress is being made. And look, every age tests, and every human gets angry sometimes. We're proud of Sroch that her furies are as mild as they are, that (bli ayin hara!!) they do not result in her lashing out at her sister, just at us (those she trusts the most), and that when they pass, she is aware of the fault. I know plenty of adults who cannot say the same.

I am proud of my words to her tonight as she sat on the toilet (nu nu, we take our moments when they come), after she told me that her screaming and disobedience would not happen again: "You're allowed to feel angry, to be mad, to be upset, to feel hurt. Your feelings are always okay, and I always want to know what they are. But it's some actions that are not okay, and saying 'no' to Abba and Mommy and screaming are not okay."

A word on that "we don't say 'no' to Mommy/Abba" thing. I am delighted and surprised that she gets it. She knows exactly what we mean, that of course you can say 'no' to Mommy/Abba, but you may NEVER say "NO!!!" to Mommy/Abba - and she totally GETS it.

Follows it? A work in progress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shalom Miriam,
Please let Sarah Rochel know that Sabba and Savta are also very proud of her. We also remember how perfectly she behaved in the Museum and on other trips we took together, where it was very clear that her Mommy and Abba taught her very well... love and kisses, Savta

P.S. You do remember how some of us feel about public comments, right...
But I could not ignore your plea this time.