My Son is a Monster
I realize, when you see this heading your first thoughts might be “How dare he…” or “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe he just said…” or “Did he really just put that as his headline?” Yeah, I did, because it's true. Let me explain.
To explain the current state of “Monster” my son is in right now you must understand where this comes from. I tell the story like this; I was making breakfast for Conrad as I usually do. He wanted some milk and I put that in a cup. I made his jelly toast too. The jelly toast consisted of a piece of bread toasted in the oven with just the right amount of jelly. However, when I delivered said Jelly Toast, it simply wasn’t right. It became such an epic story following that jelly toast delivery that I wrote a book about it - The Jelly Toast Monster .
What has since transpired over the past year a half has been a mixture of toddler tantrums to emotional meltdowns that only parents of toddlers can understand. I used to be the one (before I had kids) that would see a child loose his mind in Walmart with his face buried in his hands lying flat on the floor and think to myself, “I’d tear my kids rear-end up if they acted like that with me!” or “omg the parents aren’t going to do anything?” Come on, you know you’ve thought that.
I didn’t grasp what was happening, or why kids would act this way until the Jelly Toast incident. Even now, I have no idea what goes on in the kids mind when something isn’t quite right with the smallest of things. There’s a difference here in seeing an upset toddler vs seeing a spoiled rotten child. For instance, I gave my son a single serve cup of ice cream. He loses his mind because I've removed the lid myself without him removing it on his own. This has upset him because he had his process of eating the ice cream that I clearly disrupted. Verses the child who’s upset in Walmart because the mom will only buy 4 of their favorite paw patrol toys instead of the 6 the child is demanding. Notice the difference?
When the tantrum hits, we either identify the meltdown as follows: If its due to him being spoiled (yes, he is) we state the specific reason to him and we work on it as well as parents. If it’s due to a toddler meltdown for no apparent reason, those are simply referred to as “Jelly Toast” or “He’s going Jelly Toast right now.” These “Jelly Toast” occurrences happen every so often, so I thought I would share some with you in hopes of you reflecting on your own toddlers “Jelly Toast” moments. In fact, since writing the book, anytime Conrad experiences a meltdown, my wife and I have developed a beautiful understanding.
How about we go Letterman Style and do a top 10 list of Conrad’s Jelly Toast monster moments.
10. Conrad freaked because I opened his pop tart bag. He said “I didn’t want you to open it daddy!” He wanted me to give him the Pop-tart still locked inside its packaging and put it all in a Ziplock bag. I put the pop tart (opened, out of the packaging) in a zip-lock bag. I handed him the pop tart packet which was in the zip lock bag and he hands it back to me and says, “Open it for me daddy.”
9. Batman shirts. 5 out of 7 morning Conrad throws himself on the ground if I do not give him the correct Batman shirt to wear that day. Keep in mind, there are about 4 different Batman shirts on rotation, each is the ‘correct’ shirt, pending on the day.
8. Jelly Toast. To this day, if I make the Jelly Toast as I always have and something is ‘off,’ instant meltdown.
7. Lightening McQueen pull up. When we transitioned to pull-ups, Conrad only wanted the Lightening McQueen pull ups, NOT the Mickey Mouse pull ups. We had run out of the Lightening McQueen ones and I put the Mickey Mouse ones on him. Meltdown. This resulted in wearing no pants or pull-up. This did however help us in the potty-training endeavor.
6. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich crust. Apparently, it’s not so much the bread, the peanut butter, nor the jelly. It’s the crust that can cause a spontaneous meltdown. Whats difficult here to navigate is whether to cut the crust off or leave the crust on. Meltdowns have occurred with both, with no rhyme or reason.
5. Hamburger break apart freak out. If you have an opportunity to give Conrad a hamburger, PLEASE, DO NOT tear it in half, cut in half, or anything of the sort. Leave the hamburger on the plate, as you would an adult and simply walk away. Don’t even look at Conrad.
4. Big boy cup. My oldest son is getting Conrad a “big boy cup’ with “ice’ and “Water.” Conrad goes into a meltdown of biblical proportions because he “Wanted a big boy cup with ice and water.”
3. Vegetables. When Conrad sees them, he performs a death drop on the floor as if the vegetables are poison.
2. Popsicles. Conrad wanted a blue popsicle. My wife accidently opens a green one and hands Conrad the green popsicle. He loses his mind and has a melt down. She opens a blue popsicle. He has a meltdown again and declares he wanted an orange popsicle. She refuses to open an orange popsicle so he decides he’ll take the green popsicle that was opened in the beginning.
1.Nap Time. Duh.
I am not sure what the next several months hold for my monster, all I know is I look forward to the many strange and eccentric things only Conrad can provide. That is of course, until his sister Jovie starts walking...