"The tantrum isn't even really about what just happened; it can be the release of pent-up frustration over days of struggles of trying to do the right thing, and learning to be a socialized little person." - Web MD
Yesterday Maeve was in tantrum mode from about 9am to 3pm, when she finally fell asleep on the couch. It was literally an insane day Anytime any little thing displeased her, she cried about it and screamed and threw things for, oh, an hour. I had errands I needed to run and I literally could not, since the one trip we took in the car was composed of screaming all the way there (because I forgot her special blanket) and all the way back (because I didn't let her go into the library while she was screaming), so I gave up and kept her home.
I tried so many different tactics yesterday; I held her close, I gave her space, I tried to do deep breathing, singing, dancing, reading, drawing, and as many other distractions as I could think of. She kept screaming at me that she wanted me to calm her down, and I would gently tell her that only she can calm herself.
But here's one thing I didn't do yesterday, that feels like a huge victory for me: I didn't get angry. I didn't yell at her. I was the still point in the middle of rough waters all day. I don't know if I was infuriating her by not getting riled up, but it sure felt better than the day before when I had let her get under my skin.
And I forgot my oh-so important mantra of childhood: sleep wins.