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April 11, 2009

My Daughter's Constant Freak-Outs

At some point I have to believe my daughter will stop having constant freak-outs. The only reason I maintain this hope is because none of the adults I know have them, which gives me hope that there must be a point in a child’s life where freak-outs lose their appeal. Of course, I have heard about high-powered executives who launch regular tirades at underlings, but I don’t consider that the same thing. To me, that’s a judicious display of power. That’s just showing the little people what’s what. When the little people do it, however, that’s grounds for termination. Unfortunately, according to the state laws of Connecticut, you cannot terminate your child.

Today’s incident occurred when my five-year-old daughter, whom I will call Her Shittiness, broke the propeller off a cheap paper airplane with which she was playing. This lit the fuse which soon exploded the bomb, when five minutes later the wings became detached. Now, I have certainly experienced my own frustrations with shoddy Third World workmanship. (The plane was manufactured in a country which shall remain nameless, but which is best known for their billions of people, their tasty cuisine, and for their poisonous baby formula.) But even when I am upset with poor craftsmanship, my reaction is never to start screaming at the top of my lungs, tell my father I hate him, and run away shrieking, making sure to slam every door en route to my destination, which in this case, was her bedroom.

As far as freak-outs go, it could have been worse. She might have stabbed me, for example. But the point isn’t that it might have been worse; the point is simply that it happened at all, and that these behavioral transgressions occur so often, that in my house such antics are considered de rigeur. They are as regular as the toilet clogging. I do know not the proper way to deal with either my Her Shittiness or the shittiness.

Moreover, I am not soliciting parenting advice from anybody who might be reading this post. If you offer such advice, I will not respond to you, but I will read your helpful insights and have the following thought: “Go fuck yourself.” No, I do not want your help. Because I am not the one with the problem. The problem is with my daughter, who I am beginning to think is out of her mind. Maybe that’s not a productive attitude to take towards one’s offspring, but at this point I see no alternative explanation. I have looked on WebMD to see if there is possibly a known medical condition that would explain these outbursts, and there was one: being batshit crazy.

There will be certainly be those among you who will blame her parents for her acts of domestic terrorism. But these are the same people who blame America for 9/11. Like America, I am benevolent and good. I am forthright and just. On the other hand, my daughter at some point undoubtedly lived in a cave and trained with the Mujahideen. Perhaps that’s what she was doing when I thought she was at day camp. I do not know.

What I do know is that I am quickly running out of options for dealing with her. Time-outs are ineffective. The Naughty Corner has also lost its deterrence value. Taking away toys does not work. Taking away food works, but it takes days. We do not spank our children, which is increasingly starting to feel like a foolish decision. I have so many wooden spoons, and increasingly I have found that they are talking to me. They whisper to me when I am feeling particularly frustrated. They say, “Nobody will ever know. Just one good paddling.” But I will know, and I could not live with myself if I hit a child. Strangle, perhaps. But not hit.

Only moments ago Her Shittiness came dancing downstairs from her bedroom wearing her sparkly red shoes and asking if she could have a marshmallow. I told her no, and she did not freak-out. Instead she gave me a hug and ran off singing a song about puppies. Her deviousness knows no bounds.

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Jaime

I was a little bitch when I was a kid. My Mommy told me so. Now, I am an angel. All the boys agree.

I saw no mention of boxes or waterboarding here, so clearly your parenting skills have gone slack. Shape up super dad!

Loved the puppy song sparkle shoes bit. Go eat some pretzels!

Vanessa

Ya know, it sounded like you were describing my 5 year old sister.

I think that all 5 year olds know one other, and are TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Just now even, she came over and gave me a kiss and then proceeded to take a chair from the dining room table and throw it to the floor. Her juice mustache made it a little more enjoyable.

rom

that was me 14 years ago. i may have not grown out of it entirely or ever will.

Nix

I would say that if she doesn't shape up, Nebraska always has the safe-haven law. Just tell her that you're going for a drive and drop her off. That's what I would do, God forbid I ever get stuck with children. But unfortunately, they changed the law to only include infants. So I guess you're stuck down shit creek without a paddle.

Lily

In 6 or 7 years not only will she still be having freakouts, but you will officially be the stupidest, most embarrassing person she knows.

These, my friend, are the good old days!

Kris

I'm a bit late and I know you don't want to hear any advice but I'm giving it anyways. Tape her tantrums and then you have them to use as blackmail when she's older.

Live Gently

When my Daughter was three I cleaned her room while she was taking a nap in my room. Her response upon seeing her room, with her toys and stuffed animals neatly organized as well as having an open areas on the floor to safely traverse?

"YOU VIE-O-WAITED MY PERSONAL SPACE !"

Screamed at me while stomping her feet - (being a girl, she can multi-task).

You got off easy. Lucky, whiney bastard.

Kathy T.

ishkcp is absolutely right, "The outbursts stop, but are replaced by being a complete asshole."

I think the kid-with-the-attitude is mother nature's punishment for adding to the world population. Not enough carbon dioxide in her brain or something.

SARAH

omg! I litterally googled, "sons freak outs" and found this! Your daughter could be my 5yo son... I'm at a loss myself these days.

MMC

Awesome!

This is not advice so much as new ideas... Maybe you aren't creative/devious enough with your punishment. Generally, my punishment involves taking away what my daughter "misused". She stomps her foot at me, make her stand in the middle of the room on one foot (thus, taking her foot away from her). She hits/slams doors, I tie her hands behind her back. She screams, I drown her out with the vacuum outside her door.

Does it work? Probably not. Does the punishment make her as miserable as her fits do me? Probably.

Justin

it's because you're so famous. it makes her think she can get away with anything similar to how..say billy baldwin would get out of a speeding ticket...because his brother is on 30 Rock.

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