- Family and Parenting»
The Tantrum Trend
Billy has been informed she will have a roommate. She is enraged. She kicks a hole in the bathroom door and goes into her room and slams the door. The other girls are shocked. Ivy, Mona and Lea are quiet. I tell them that we are just going to leave Billy alone for a little while. Shari will not be here for another day. In fact, the girls don’t know exactly when Shari will arrive because I haven’t had a chance to tell them. I am angry with Billy, she was not promised her own room and I am trying to provide a loving home for people I care about and there are limits. Many children do not have the luxury of their own bedroom. I am determined that I will not provide a private room for a child because she behaves badly. How will I manage this?
I call my mother and tell her what happened. My mother enjoys a standing reputation of strictness and intolerance but, in fact, she has tremendous compassion for my daughters. It does not seem that she can accept antisocial behavior but she also senses that some situations cannot always be managed by simple mandates. At the same time, she knows of Lea’s tantrum and is concerned for me. I ask her if I can bring Ivy, Mona and Lea over for dinner because I want to spend some time with Billy. My request is granted. Billy and I get fast food drive up and we take it to my favorite spot overlooking the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers. I take the food to a grassy spot where you can see the rivers as they meet. The American river is clear and blue until it enters the Sacramento River and becomes wide and cloudy.
I tell Billy what I like about her; actually I tell her what I love about her. I love her vitality and her playfulness with Lea, Mona and Ivy. I tell her I love her appreciation of the coast and her willingness to do everything we do as a family. I mention the fact that she always likes the food I cook. I tell Billy I am happier because she is with me. I explain to Billy that I need to figure out a way we can all stay together, that I cannot leave everyone with Granny and Granddad every day so I can get a job outside the home. Billy understands. She does not want to be with Granny and Granddad every day. I ask her to please try and give Shari a chance, for me.
Granddad fixes the bathroom door and tells Billy she will have to do some jobs for him to pay him back. He grumbles the entire time he is making the repair and he does a very good job. Granddad can fix anything.
Shari is brought to our home the next evening. The girls are distant and unwelcoming. Mona says something rude and cruel to Shari, I am shocked and I speak harshly to Mona and insist she apologize. I am so sad that my family is not nice to this girl who has no home and is not with us because of any choice of her own. Mona hangs her head and apologizes. Shari puts out her arms for a hug and Mona falls into her. I am so impressed with this girl (young woman) who is so intuitive. Shari gets along very well with Billy, I am amazed at her maturity and sensitivity. .