I looked up to find half of the bag of flour on the floor, with Miles just grabbing handfuls and plopping them down. After the initial shock wore off, and I have removed what was left of the bag of flour, and I looked down at him sitting in this mess.
This is not uncommon. He makes messes when I’m doing something else. The most recent thing is that my apartment is covered in brown crayon on the walls, and I don’t even know where the brown crayon is. These instances are met with the worst of my temper — not because I believe in it, but because invariably I’m caught between, “I really needed to get this done,” and “I should have been playing with you instead,” and I overload – and I fall into the ingrained habits of swatted hands and scoldings that end in tantrums — or worse, just abject sadness. (Oh god, please, just give me the tantrum.)
But it doesn’t change the behavior. I looked at this mess and thought to myself, “Well, the flour is already on the ground.”
So we smacked it and blew flour off our hands for a few minutes before dinner. No tantrums necessary.