Anatomy of a Toddler Temper Tantrum

“Doggie eats poop,” announced a very awake muppet. This was going to be a long night.

After two hours of chasing tail (haha), summersaults and “Hey Mommy! Watch This!” the witching hour grew nigh.


Destroy was displeased with this development.

With the single phrase – “Time to go night night, little man” – a tantrum of epic proportions was born.

With the blogging equivalent of Mythbusters high-speed camera footage, I present to you the anatomy of a toddler temper tantrum. Frame by fame.




No. No. No ni-ni.

Stomps feet.


Runs in place. Stomps feet faster.

Wrinkles nose. Low moaning whine.

Fake wail. Growing intensity. Waxing and waning with toddler Doppler effect.

Picked up by Mommy.


Running Flash Gordon rapid bicycle kicks in the air.

Flailing arms clutching at dust particles.

Arched back.

1…2…3…crocodile tears. Looks up from beneath luxuriously long lashes to see if dramatics are working. (They are not.)

Kicks. Aims for Daddy’s sensitive area.


Inhales deeply. Opens mouth. Releases silent scream.

(Me: “Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Please remember to breathe.”)

Flings self to floor. Flops around like a stocked lake trout.

Curls into fetal position. Muffled sobs heard from center of roly poly.


Pops up onto all fours. Crawls like the wind toward the door. Run away. RUN AWAY!

Gets caught.

Collapses like limp rag doll.

Dad stares at Mom. Mom shrugs.

(Jon: “The power of Christ compels you son.”)

Turns tomato red. As though he has willfully redirected all blood in his body into his chubby cheeks.

Short bursting screams give way to extended wails.

Bangs head against wall.


Throws every stuffed animal in crib onto floor. Attempts to remove crib mattress.



Hits head on wall. Screams OWWWWIEEE MOMMMMEEEE because it was not done on purpose.

Run laps around crib.


Allows Mommy to cover him with blanket.

Pops up.

Night night mommy. Kiss?

Curls up and promptly falls soundly asleep like a little angel. (Despite the obvious possession by a devil and compelled by the power of Christ.)


If there’s poop or vomit, I’m sending in the dogs.


Filed under Destroy, Home

9 Responses to Anatomy of a Toddler Temper Tantrum

  1. Gramma J

    That’s why they call it the “Terrible Twos”.

  2. WOW! That’s got to be the best tantrum recreation I’ve ever seen. I could picture the whole thing in my head.

  3. Again, you are giving me flashbacks. But as I walked my now 4th grade twins into their “meet and greet” teacher night, I wanted them to be younger. Thanks for pulling me out of it!!

    It does go fast they say. I do wish they would slow down growin up.

  4. Well done! I am exhausted! (We use to live in an apartment, and I’d leave “I’M SO SORRY…” notes on my next door neighbors’ doors! Luckily the bedtime tantrums did not last or I’d still be drinking wine in the afternoon!) FYI I created a Moms Who Write and Blog Facebook group page and was hoping you’d join:!/groups/MomsWhoWriteandBlog/

  5. Your ending is a PERFECT illustration of why parents should IGNORE tantrums and POWER THROUGH!!

    High-five for momma for epic levels of stoicism in dealing with the totally unwarranted and obviously possession-induced devil-tantrum!


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