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Kids and their tantrums


I redefined ‘throwing a fit’ today.  My sister was slumping over as if the criticism I had for her violin-playing was weighing heavy on her shoulders (she’s a drama queen).  I’d told her that she was definitely better than before but she should work on this-and-this-and-this.  I say things pretty bluntly but it’s better than lying, right? I told her to straighten up her back and stop sulking like a teenager, and stop throwing a fit, and told her about how she’s ahead of the curve and that she shouldn’t take my criticism so personally because I was just telling her what could be better because that’s what violinists are supposed to do—improve. She started muttering at me (it’s hard to argue directly when one’s head is bent over double), “I’m not throwing a fit, I’m just tired!” I told her she may not be throwing the violent ‘I’m not happy’ type but she was definitely throwing the ‘I’m tired and I’m frustrated and I don’t want to move’ type.

I returned to lecturing her on how it doesn’t matter how much or how long, and she’s definitely at least a year ahead of her time so she has that leeway (I think there’s a better word but it escapes my memory) before she has any behind-the-curve-worrying to do.

When I finally got her to sit up (not by hand: touching a child who’s having a fit is rarely a good idea, at least for me), I realized. Kids who are throwing tantrums are like those locks you lost the key to. You know you have the spare key somewhere, but you can’t remember which one it is. So what to you do? You get out your box of spare keys and try one after the other until the lock pops. This can be a tedious process, and for normal people like me, it gets frustrating. (Especially if you’re late to rehearsal and the parents forgot to leave you the car keys. Yikes.) If you find it, you’re so relieved.


For me, teasing a cute kid is second only to teasing a peacock in terms of fun. (I don’t consider my little sister a cute kid.)  Actually, I think a more appropriate word is the chinese 逗.  Peacocks are like conceited little bulls with wings and pretty feathers.  If you hold a red jacket or sheet in front of them and rattle it, they charge you, not because you’re moving and you’re irritating them (well, you are, but bulls charge because you’re irritat… read on) but because your feathers are cooler than theirs.  That irritates them, so they try to teach you a lesson.  Some kids just look so cushy, poke-able, and fun to tickle that it’s very entertaining when they get mad and you just want to do more.  Ahh. haha

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