Mommy Wants a Timeout

In which I contemplate absurd moments in parenthood, occasionally attempt to refer to myself as a “triathlete” while keeping a straight face, and maybe post some random pictures of stuff I’m knitting

The Pink Flamingo Incident

Okay, so my preschooler threw the tantrum of the century the other day when I pointed out the pink flamingo on a puzzle, and explained that flamingoes are pink because they eat a lot of shrimp. Out of nowhere, he decided he despises the color pink, hates anything that is pink, hates whoever gave him the puzzle with something pink on it (sorry, Auntie Dawn), and hates God for making flamingoes pink. (Anyone who was acquainted with Kamran while he was two years old will find this particularly ironic, as he was obsessed not only with being a princess, but loved pink above all other colors.) Anyway, what’s a mommy to do while her son furiously attempts to scrub the pink off the flamingo on the puzzle, hollering at the top of his lungs? I posted a summary of the whole episode on Facebook, of course!

Now, a lot of my FB friends found this incident funny, some commiserated with Kamran on his dislike of the color pink, and a few even expressed surprise over flamingoes’ eating habits. Which leads me to wonder…Did they miss the point of my post entirely? (The point being, of course, what the hell? My kid’s freaking out that flamingoes are pink!!! And blaming me!!! And expecting me to do something about it!!! Does this seem normal to you, people???)

To be fair, it is quite possible that this is normal behavior for a preschooler, and my friends knew it. But as a first-time parent who was bewildered and astounded by this sudden rage, I will create a list of things that Kamran DID NOT throw a tantrum about that day (all of which I consider to be on the list of appropriate tantrum triggers for a child of his age):

1. Putting away his toys when he was done playing with them
2. Eating his vegetables
3. Washing his hands before dinner
4. Changing into his pajamas when it was time for bed
5. Going to bed on time

I of course could (and will) pat my own back at navigating the rough waters of parenting, and attribute these successes to my skill at avoiding potential conflict with creative strategy (“Hey, that green bean looks like a gigantic slug! Wanna eat it? Wow, that was so disgusting…Do it again!”)

But here are the things that he DID throw a tantrum about:

1. A flamingo on a puzzle being pink, after learning (thanks a lot, Mommy) that flamingoes are pink because they eat shrimp.

If someone can tell me how to avoid a pitfall like that one, I will award him or her the Parenting Medal of the Century. If not, I can only guess what the next tantrum will be about: The wheels on the bus going round and round instead of up and down? Pancakes being shaped like circles when Kamran prefers squares? Your guess is as good as mine…Stay tuned, and you’ll probably hear about it right here!

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2 thoughts on “The Pink Flamingo Incident

  1. We are in the same place with Walt. Steve and I often laugh at the absurdity of it all. Kids in Ethiopia: dying of hunger and disease. Our four year old in Beaverton: throws himself on the floor in protest over his pancakes. Buttermilk banana chocolate chip. He did not request banana!!!
    We know why they do it. We have read all the books. Trying to establish control, emotional development, blah, blah. It doesn’t make it any easier.
    By the way, modeling the bad behavior in an attempt to provoke some sort of recognition in the mind of your four year old doesn’t work. Just in case you were tempted to try it. I speak from experience here.
    Thankfully you started your blog. Documentation to submit as proof to the future adult Kamran. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Ana! I don’t know how many times I’ve chanted my mantra, “This is developmentally appropriate…This is developmentally appropriate…” just to stop myself from beating my head against the nearest wall.

    I have also been tempted to scream in the exact same voice he uses when he’s being really obnoxious, just to see if it has any impact. I’ll follow your advice and restrain myself.

    Thanks for checking out my blog!

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