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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Tantrum, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Tantrums and Grandparent Woes

 

Do you remember throwing a temper tantrum as a child? If so, where were you and who calmed you down? Do you remember the reason for the tantrum?

I have one memory of such an event and there’s very little to it. I was at my father’s parents’ house. I stood facing my grandpa, who was trying in vain to placate me. My young five/six year old self was having nothing to do with placation.

My parents had promised to be home soon and they hadn’t come yet. Were they dead and no one had told me? Where were they and why weren’t they here?

Neither Grandpa nor Granny could calm me down. I was furious, terrified that I’d never see my parents again, and I was headed for a complete meltdown. The end of my memory was where I kicked Grandpa in the shin as hard as I could and demanded he produce my parents “right now!”

My mother, many years later, told me that she and Dad had remained in town to visit other relatives while my little brother and I went back to my grandparents’ home. She said that they’d been delayed for a couple of hours because of friends and other relatives taking up their time.

It seems like a simple enough explanation, and one that probably would have worked on an older child who wasn’t terrified that her parents were lying dead somewhere along the road. I never bought it, she said. Their excuse was never accepted by me. I believed, though I didn’t want to, that they’d lied to me when they said they’d be home shortly.

Looking back on it now, from so many years into my own future, I can understand my fears and accusations. I quail to think of my striking out at that most gentle of men, my grandpa, even as I can fathom the depth of my feelings. I can’t remember if I ever apologized for my actions that evening.

There are some fears that take precedence over logic. Fear of abandonment is a child’s worst nightmare. Does a child ever outgrow that tendency to hang on so that the caregiver can’t disappear? Does that fear develop from a toddler’s misperception that a person/thing disappears when no longer in view?

I’m sure I don’t know the answer to that question. I doubt the experts do either. I do know that when I invest my trust and love in a person, I expect them to honor it and not throw me curve balls. I’ve always had that response in relationships, whether within the family or those outside of it.

Perhaps Grandpa’s mistake in dealing with me and my fears was actually two-fold. He tried to speak to me in a reasonable tone and manner, and he didn’t know where my parents were and admitted it to me. Grandpa’s are, after all, supposed to be all-knowing, all seeing, and above all else, always right!

If I ever threw another tantrum, I don’t recall it. Thank God! The recollection of this one has haunted me for enough years already.


4 Comments on Tantrums and Grandparent Woes, last added: 2/15/2012
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2. John Leonard, Remembered

In NYC recently, the Imperial City, they remembered John Leonard. Had there been any way to do it, I would have been there, even if I couldn't have gotten inside with all the literati; heck, I would've been happy just to stand in traffic for a bit and get the taxis honking in tribute. But no. I'll rely on reports. Such as this one from Charles Kaiser at CJR:

Family members, former colleagues, important writers, and intimate friends gathered yesterday to praise the critic John Leonard for his “love of the life of the mind,” his “incomparably informed generosity,” his reluctance to “pan books or movies or TV shows or children, except when absolutely necessary”—and his unlikely dependence on just ten words: “tantrum, cathedral, linoleum, moxie, thug, dialectic, splendid, brood, libidinal, and qualm.”
It's a nice piece, and best of all, peppered with Leonard's own words. Here's what he once said about Fran Lebowitz:
To a base of Huck Finn, add some Lenny Bruce and Oscar Wilde and Alexis de Tocqueville, a dash of cab driver, an assortment of puns, minced jargon, and top it off with smarty-pants. Serve without whine. This is the New York style, and I for one am glad that it survives and prospers because otherwise we might as well grow moss in unsurprising Omaha.
"Obviously," Kaiser says, "he had spotted a kindred spirit."

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3. rollergirl shes taking chances, they just love to see her take them all

“The following would be the best job ever for a rollergirl/librarian type.” Director/Curator, National Museum of Roller Skating. [pubhist]

2 Comments on rollergirl shes taking chances, they just love to see her take them all, last added: 1/15/2008
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