Post Traumatic Toddler Disorder: Recovery

toddler recovery

Two years ago I wrote about a serious case of Post Traumatic Toddler Temper Tantrums Disorder and how my toddler had essentially turned me into a manic crazy lady who would do anything for peace from his demanding ways.

My son is five now and I’m glad to see him emerging from that difficult phase as a happy, carefree boy. He is still a little on the crazy side and he still controls my brain and insists I LOOOOOOK at what he’s doing even if it’s something as dumb as folding a piece of paper for the 14th time in a row, but the toddler temper tantrums are a thing of the past.

How I never thought there would be a day I could say that!

What I had not prepared for was the intensity of the flashbacks of his tantrums and the mark they have left on me. I’m still haunted.

My flashbacks most notably occur at breakfast time whenever I pour him a bowl of cereal…as a toddler he insisted on putting the spoon into the bowl himself, but as a mother my habit was to make all the bowls, put spoons in all the bowls and then hand all the bowls to all the kids. It’s not that I didn’t want him to put his own spoon in his own gosh dang bowl, it’s that…OMG WHO CARES!?!

Well he did.

If my son received a bowl of cereal with a spoon already PLACED IN THE BOWL…our morning was toast (no pun intended). He would throw himself to the ground, demand to know what I had been thinking to do such a thing to him, “MOM!?!! WHY!?!?!! WHY DID YOU DO DAT!?!”

I would bow to your majesty, “I’m so sorry Your Majesty, it was a grave mistake Your Majesty! It will not happen again Your Majesty!” And I would retrieve a new spoon for him that he could lower into his own bowl by his own damn self.

And I retrained my brain to serve cereal with spoon next to bowls instead of inside of bowls.

Yesterday was a cereal day and when I was ready to give him his food he was all, “Mom, you can put the spoon inside the bowl if you want to…”

I glanced at him quickly, “Well son, why the hell ever would I do something like that!?!”

And he was all, “No really it’s okay. I’ve grown up and matured quite a bit.”

I looked at him cautiously.

He could sense my fear, “Go ahead Mom really…put the spoon in my bowl!”

I held the spoon tightly in one hand, his cereal shaking in my other. I bent down to his ear so that he could hear me very clearly and I whispered, “Boy, I will never…ever…in a million years EVERRR, serve you cereal with a spoon IN your bowl again. Do you hear me? Are you proud of what you’ve done to me?”

And he just looked at and was all, “Suit yourself Mom I was just trying to make your job easier for once…I’ll put the damn spoon in myself! Quit being a weirdo about it!”

I’m glad my child has blossomed and has opened his mind to accepting things that perhaps at one time he did not like. I, on the other hand, will most likely always be the manic crazy lady always in recovery from Post Traumatic Toddler Disorder.


  1. says

    Haha. Thank you for this post. I always feel a little ashamed how quickly I am terrified of my 3-year-old. There was a time I walked through dark parking lots, alone, in Memphis without any fear. Now his pouty mouth makes me want to wet my pants and hide from the shit storm.

  2. says

    Oh. My. Goodness. It’s like he was reincarnated into my toddler. The boy is going to drive me to the mad house, of that I am sure. This morning I caved to his desire to have cookies and Doritos for breakfast so h would quit freaking screaming at me! Oh, the power our little ones have!

  3. says

    There’s just something about mothers and sons…we let them get under our skin and they play us like violins.

    And I still LOOOOOK at stuff on the internet a hundred times a day when he starts the “Hey Mom!” routine…and he’ll be 18 in July.

  4. says

    I’m a grandma now and my son has his own child, who is a perfect angel, of course. But should she ever lapse into terrible-twoness while in my care, I have the luxury of knowing she’ll eventually go home to her mom and dad. He, he, he.

  5. says

    I am dying laughing over here. Not at you, but in commiseration. Mine is 18 (how did THAT happen??!) and I still remember those days far too well.

  6. says

    Funny but my son threw tantrums so often that I must have become battle-scarred and completely oblivious to them. I just remember how happy I was when someone else’s kid was screaming on the floor. At least it wasn’t mine that time.

  7. helen says

    Omg, laughing because it’s true, read it out to my husband and he immediately pointed at our son.