Toddler Tantrum

Here’s the latest in a long line of “parenting stuff I worked out a bit too late”.

It has taken until my second child reaches three-and-a-half to work out that a child having a tantrum (a proper one, not a fake one) is NOT generally a child that can be reasoned with. No, a child having a tantrum is a bewildered trainee human, confused and overstimulated by a overloaded, malfunctioning lizard brain.

You wanna reason with that? You go ahead, supermum. For now, I’ll just stick to giving him space and cuddles.

Toddler Tantrum

Your brother pushed the button at the crossing,
The bowl you want is blue; you got the red,
The world dissolves. And suddenly you’re lost in
A cruel new place, uncharted in your head.

This world is wrong; it threatens your survival,
Raw panic meets bewilderment and rage,
These primal feelings brawl and churn and spiral –
It’s all too huge to process at your age.

Your skin turns red, you scream, emotions wheeling,
Your chubby hands curl tightly into claws,
You hit the ground, you pummel out those feelings,
That seem too big and scary to be yours.

I meet the stares from passers-by with shrugs.
I’ll give you space, brave boy, then give you hugs.


©️Nina Parmenter 2018

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Perplexing Child

We know that part of the reason for our success as a race is our diversity. And yet, we still sometimes don’t know how to cope with difference. Especially amongst our children.

Faced with sensitive children, artistic children, gifted children, ADHD children, autistic children – we’re tempted to try to homogenise them, make them conform, quash what makes them brilliant. Because, as much as we desperately love them, what makes them brilliant can also make them a huge, perplexing challenge.

Perplexing Child 

My brave, perplexing child – you are unique,
You do not touch the world like others do.
The words we say, our rules, the things we seek,

They’re all a strange cacophony to you.

What does life feel like, there behind your eyes,
Your mouth, your nose, your fingertips, your ears?
If I could breathe your breath, what fresh surprise

would hide within your thoughts, your dreams, your fears?

You challenge life. You rail against the norm,
Within this world that needs us all compliant,
You’ll blossom, though, while they rush to conform,

You’ll grow in your own skin, become a giant.

One day you’ll burn magnificently bright,Until then, there’s a world we have to fight.


©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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