Have you ever noticed that temper tantrums come in many different styles?
Each of my four kids has his or her own style of tantrum. One of my children's tantrums involve a great deal of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. One was a head-banger as a toddler, but has morphed into a yeller. Yelling combined with stomping and slamming doors is more the style of one of my children now, but it used to be biting and hitting. And one of my kids is destined to be a protester someday, having mastered the art of the sit-in, including going limp if force is used to move said child.
Have you ever noticed that even adults throw temper tantrums occasionally? One of my friends throws things when she is having a tantrum. Another becomes very cold and bitingly sarcastic. I usually yell.
However, when throwing a Royal Temper Tantrum, I am apparently capable of violence.
Several months after my ex-husband left, he had some minor surgery. I wanted to do something kind for him after his surgery. I had a difficult time imagining how chicken noodle soup could provide any healing benefit after a vasectomy, so I thought that a surprise visit from his kids would be the perfect way to cheer him up during his recovery. Our oldest child was not at all thrilled about this plan, so I decided we'd make our visit on Sunday night, after dropping her off at youth group.
When we arrived at his apartment, I could hear the tv on, which meant that he was there. I knocked on his door and he opened it a crack, as he had the chain lock on. That crack was just enough for me to see a scantily clad woman sitting on his sofa. He closed the door to remove the lock, and I heard quiet voices and scrambling feet. Then he opened the door to us, quite reluctantly.
When we walked in, there was nobody else in the room. However, an overflowing suitcase that didn't belong to him was sitting in the corner. The bedroom door was shut, so I was certain that the Other Woman was hiding in there. Needless to say, I wasn't happy about this state of affairs, and that is when I threw my Royal Temper Tantrum.
I am sorry to admit this, but I turned into a wildcat. I attacked him, verbally at first, but at some point, I slapped him across his face and knocked his glasses to the floor, and then I did the unthinkable. I kicked him at the site of his surgery.
Apparently the Other Woman heard the commotion and decided to rescue him, as she came out of the bedroom, this time wearing a t-shirt over the lingerie she had had on earlier. At that moment, I could have cheerfully ripped her face off, so once I got through telling her to get out of MY husband's apartment and stop messing around in MY marriage, I lunged at her. My husband intervened, so a true cat fight was averted, and the Other Woman grabbed the phone book.
A phone book as a weapon?
Sort of. She asked my husband what the name of the town they were in was, so she could look up the number to call the police. (Apparently they don't have 911 where she came from.) At any rate, the thought of the police coming and arresting me in front of my three kids broke through my rage, and the Royal Temper Tantrum was over.
I marched the kids to the car with all the dignity I could manage after my shameful performance, and when we got there, I apologized to them for my behavior. My oldest son, then ten, responded with, "Don't apologize, Mom! You were great in there! You sure showed that Other Woman that you aren't going to give up without a fight!" His younger siblings chimed in with cheers for Mom's display of strength. That was not exactly the reaction I had in mind when I apologized. To this day, I am mortified at my behavior that night.
And that, my friends, is the story of My Royal Temper Tantrum.