Todzilla Strikes Again!


I remember speaking to my sister just over a year ago. Her three-year-old was throwing a nuclear-sized tantrum, after being made to get out of the car, and come inside.

‘You can’t stay in there all day,’ my sister tried to explain. She ran though a list of logical reasons, before blurting in desperation: ‘You might be kidnapped.’

‘I want to be kidnapped,’ her daughter screeched at the top of her lungs. ‘I WANT TO BE KIDNAPPED!’

I watched on, both fascinated and horrified by the sheer power of the melt-down.

‘Wait till your one starts throwing tantrums,’ my sister warned me.
‘She won’t,’ I replied confidently. ‘She’s my little angel!’

And she was – a teeny little thing, with huge brown eyes, and a cheeky smile that warmed you from the inside out. She was sweet, and friendly, and funny.

‘She’ll turn,’ my sister muttered ominously. ‘They always do…’

Now, with deepest regret, I must concede that she was right. For my angel’s wings have well and truly fallen off.

That’s not to say Lucia’s a bad kid – she’s still kind, and quirky, and utterly adorable. But there are also times when my little girl turns into a total ‘Todzilla’.

The other day I took her to the local soft play venue and let her loose, while a friend and I caught up over a coffee. She had a blast, running around, mucking about with the other kids.

After two and half hours (and no afternoon nap) I figured she’d be suitably worn out. Turns out I’d underestimated the eternal energy stores of the toddler.

My friend had left, and I was holding the baby, so my powers of restraint were limited – and Lucia knew it. When asked to get into the pushchair, she ran in the other direction instead.

None of the usual tricks worked. I tried bribing with Agent Oso cartoons. No reaction. I reminded her that Daddy was at home waiting to see us. Not interested. I threatened her with the naughty spot. She couldn’t have cared less.

After chasing her around for 20 minutes I realised she was not going to respond to diplomacy. The time to talk was over. It was time for Plan B – brute force.

After asking the woman at the front desk to watch over bubs, I grabbed Lucia by the hand and tried to lead her away. She responded by turning her body into jelly and collapsing on to the floor. I tried to pull her up, but she hung at the end of my hand like dead weight. I could see by the look in her eye she’d sooner have dislocated her own shoulder, than give in.

So I grabbed her round the middle and lifted her up, careful to avoid the Kung-Fu kicks and flailing arms. ‘No no no no no no no no!!!’ she screeched.

Of course, by now EVERYONE was watching me, like I was the blinkin’ ‘Movie of the Week’. 

I carried her to the pushchair, and sat her on the seat. She slid off it like a knob of butter on a hot pan. I hoisted her back up, and she turned her body into a rigid iron bar that refused to bend in the middle. Sweating with sheer exertion, I managed to pin her down long enough to get the arms straps on her.

Finally, she was secured. I was completely frazzled.

The moment she realised the game was up, Lucia stopped fighting and settled back, as calm as you like.

‘Juice?’ she asked, with a dazzling grin, as if nothing had even happened.

And, just like that, my angel was back… for the moment, at least…


  1. PhotoPuddle - October 24, 2010

    I know it’s wrong but I couldn’t help laughing whilst reading this post. It’s nervous laughter though – my little girl has just turned two and I know I have got a lot of bad tantrums to come!

  2. The undomesticated scientist - October 25, 2010

    i know this feeling! you have my sympathy!

  3. Mummy's Little Monkey - October 25, 2010

    PhotoPuddle: I actually find some of the shenanigans funny – she’s sooooo dramatic!!! But the public kicking and screaming ain’t so humourous… good luck with yours!!!! 🙂

    The undomesticated scientist: You can always recognise the other Mums, because, rather than looking horrified, they give you that ‘Been there, done that!’ look!! 🙂

  4. myshorterstories - October 25, 2010

    OH How well do I remember mine alternating noodle body w rigid body as i tried to buckle them into car seats. Nothing can compare to the helpless feeling you get as you watch the meltdown happen. Much sympathy!

  5. scribblingmum - October 25, 2010

    Oh Geez, I know this one. Miss L had them from about 19 months to 4 ! It’s THE hardest thing I found, just so upsetting, exhausting, hurtful. But, know this, it WILL pass, 100%, guaranteed. Her wings will grow back for sure x

  6. Penny - October 25, 2010

    We have had a few lovely months without tantrums as my eldest hit four recently and my youngest is just coming up to two. I remember chasing her up the high street nearly in tears. Now her bro is showing those tell takes signs you describe so well – knob of butter, iron bar – oh god here we go again! And breathe! But yep it doesn’t last forever.

  7. Kerryonliving - October 26, 2010

    There is a slight variation on the iron bar – just a slight pushing out of the tummy and arching of the back and it becomes the banana! You have to admire their commitment to the tantrum cause, but it does become wearisome very quickly! x

  8. Tanya (Bump2Basics) - October 26, 2010

    That sweet little girl that I met last Friday? Never! Ahhh, well done you for your stamina. I guess even angels have darker sides. This is a glimpse of what I have to come no doubt!

  9. Helen - November 4, 2010

    I’m thankful my boy is still only 6 months old. I get told stories like this often but never from my parents. I was the perfect child until teenage stage when I apparently lost my sweetness and turned to the dark side.
    I pray Alex will be just like I was!

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