Tantrums Are Normal and Expected

Nobody told me there would be no more popcorn. I’ve seen the parenting blogs, read the BuzzFeed articles, and heard the secondhand tales from the mothers of past. Everyone seems to have a “nobody tells you” line about motherhood. But nobody said anything about the fucking popcorn.

At our last pediatrician visit I was given a handout of upcoming milestones for my one-year-old daughter. The paper listed some of the common developments to look out for including walking, speaking a few words, pointing, etc. Underneath all of these exciting things to look forward to was a phrase that I have been whispering under my breath over the past few weeks and sometimes out loud to my husband in moments of unadulterated frustration, “Tantrums are normal and expected.”

As a first-time mother, now comes the part where I rant about said tantrums as if no other parent before me has had to deal with the sheer obnoxiousness of a one-year-old losing her shit over a block, or a box of cereal, or the sky. It’s times like these that I reminisce about the helpless little infant she once was when there was nothing a boob in the mouth couldn’t fix. I have since given up the whole breastfeeding thing and am missing a very large weapon from my arsenal. And that’s not all I’m missing up there. Let’s just say I have discovered a whole new meaning of the term “deflategate.”

If there’s one thing that’s always been there for me throughout my entire existence its popcorn. Popcorn is my happy place. It was there during my awkward teenage years, which were largely spent trying to hide the fact that I played the trumpet in honors band. It was there in college when I had to make the daily decision between dinner or rent. It was even there on the first date I ever went on with my husband. After the movie he asked me, “Where would you like to go for dinner? What’s your favorite food?” After answering his question with the very same cuisine we just finished consuming in the theater he then asked me for my second favorite food and we immediately went out to ice cream.

So you can imagine my despair at discovering I can no longer enjoy the sweet, sweet nirvana that is popcorn. You see babies can’t have popcorn. Either it’s the fact that it is a terrible choking hazard or doctors are worried that once these babies start they’ll never stop. I can relate. The problem is that these one-year-olds of the world that are in that cute stage of discovering their surroundings will murder anything in their path if it means getting to touch, lick, swallow, sniff, or throw whatever Mommy has in her hands. And if the touching, licking, swallowing, sniffing, or throwing of said object is not allowed to happen, a meltdown ensues. It’s no lie that on more than one occasion I’ve found myself stuck in the pantry with the door closed, hands rifling through the last of the kettle corn, while listening at the door for footsteps like a frightened extra in a horror film.

Perhaps I should look at the problem a little more objectively. If limiting my popcorn consumption to twice a day during naps and anytime after Emma’s 7 PM bedtime is this difficult, it may be time to admit I have a problem. Like most addicts, I thought I could quit at anytime. I suppose rehab was inevitable.   I guess I just wasn’t ready because nobody ever told me…

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