The Scene: Breakfast table. Wildling is eating a bowl of Oaty Bites and milk. She is wearing a long-sleeved swimsuit (because what else would a child wear to breakfast?).
The Catastrophe: Some milk spills from the bowl and onto the table. Wildling fears it might get on her swimsuit. She decides to remove the swimsuit.
The Second Catastrophe: It takes too long to pull her arm out of her left sleeve. She panics.
The Solution: Mama helps remove the sleeve from Wildling’s arm. Foolishly, Mama walks away.
Timeline of the Tantrum:
Minute One: Wildling has begun to cry and flap her right arm around, because it is still in a sleeve.
Minute Two: Wildling becomes increasingly desperate. She seems to think that waving her arm and shrieking will magically remove the sleeve.
Minutes Three through Five: Wildling cries and waves her arm. “Mama! Mama!” Mama replies “Use your words, Wildling. What do you need help with?”
Minutes Five through Ten: Wildling sobs hysterically and waves her arm in the air. She continues to cry for help, but will not state why she needs help. Mama reminds her that she has to stop crying and ask for what she wants.
Minute Eleven: Mama gives up and carries Mellow into the playroom.
Minute Twelve: Wildling notices Mama is no longer four feet away. Her shrieks become ear-piercing. She enters the playroom and throws herself down two feet from her baby sister.
Minutes Thirteen through Twenty: Wildling cries hysterically. “Help me! Help me! Mommy, Daddy, help me!!!” Mama asks when Wildling started calling Papa ‘Daddy’ and points out that he isn’t here. Wildling pauses in her fit to glare at Mama, then returns to “Mama, Papa, help me!”
Minute Twenty-One: Wildling falls silent.
Minute Twenty-Two: Mama asks “Wildling, are you ready to use your words now and ask for what you want?”
Minute Twenty-Three: Wildling says “No!” and begins her desparate sobbing again, all the while waving her right arm in it’s sleeve.
Minutes Twenty-Four through Twenty-Seven: Hysterical sobbing.
Minutes Twenty-Eight through Thirty: An exact repeat of Minutes Twenty-One through Twenty-Three.
Minute Thirty: Mama says “Wildling, I’m tired of listening to this. Let me know when you’re done crying,” and leaves the room. Wildling screams “No!!! Don’t leave me alone!” and tries to follow.
Minutes Thirty-One through Thirty-Five: Mama holds the door shut while Wildling screams on the other side. Mama briefly wonders if the neighbors have called the police yet, but decides that since this is approximately the thousandth fit like this, if they haven’t called the police already, they probably won’t. Plus the neighbors on the west side moved out last month.
Minute Thirty Six: Wildling gives up and moves away from the door, but is still crying very very loudly. Mama goes into the living room and begins reading a book to Mellow.
Minutes Thirty-Seven through Forty-Three: Wildling cries.
Minute Forty-Four: Wildling opens the door and comes near the living room. She realizes that Mama is reading her sister one of her books. She chokes off a last sob.
Minute Forty-Five: Wildling realizes that she can, by holding the wrist, remove her arm from her sleeve herself. She does so, wipes her eyes, and walks over to the couch and announces “I want to read the book too. I’m going to sit here now.”