Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tantrumland for Number 2

My younger son Malcolm is two and a half and has entered a stage of near-perpetual tantrums. He's still cute enough that his tantrums would be endearing, were it not for his dedicated persistence in asking for really inconvenient things. Yesterday there was a pair of extra socks that he carried with him throughout the day -- in the car, to the pool, into the pool -- and he would not relinquish them. Then when he got home, he wanted to wear said socks (now soaking wet) through the house. When denied, he laid himself out on the floor in classic tantrum pose, ams and legs flailing. His tone is less angry than Aidan ever was, a sort of inconsolable hysteria.

When you're constantly dealing with someone who's losing their shit, you look for any way to lighten the tone. It's not really fair to the kids to make fun of their tantrums, since you want to acknowledge their emotions and guide them to acceptable ways of expressing it. But we can't help ourselves; Janet and I start improvising on songs to describe the situation:

(sung to the tune of "How can I keep from singing")

My soul is lost in endless wants
And calming words are useless
I want it so, but you say "No"
My parents are so clueless.

The tears flow down my flush-ed cheeks
And from my eyes are streaming.
Since all conspire 'gainst my desire
How can I keep from screaming?

My hope is that most of it is going over their heads.



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