The Best Exercise in the World (and some conflict management)

I think I may have discovered it, the best exercise in the world: having a tantrum. I mean it works all the major muscle groups, is aerobic, and helps improve your lung capacity. It’s completely exhausting, even if you aren’t the one doing it. What a fantastic concept, right? Second hand exercise.

Me Too has been doing this particular work out daily recently. She’s four, and that’s part of the contract. I’m sure I saw that line in there somewhere. But, come on now, daily? I always employ the only weapon I have in my arsenal against hissy fits, which is to ignore it. When she gets past the throwing stuff in anger phase, hysterical crying phase, woe is me phase, and enters the final I-need-a-cuddle phase I step in. Not before. It’s stressful to be in that situation, for both of us probably, but until someone invents a Tantrum Blaster, I just don’t have any other strategies to bring to the table. I’ve tried everything it seems like because….

I’ve had lots of experience with tantrums, just not so much with her. Actually I feel kind of sorry for her because even at her worst her fits are nothing compared to what her brother used to. Beating head against wall (literally,) biting himself, hitting me, totally freaking-out beyond all earthly recognition (and not in a fun way) are just a few of the things he used to do. It happens every once in a while now, but at one point it was a multiple times daily out-of-body experience.

I don’t know what’s up with Me Too. I suspect she’s chronically overtired. She may have a touch of hay fever. Maybe she’s anxious about starting school in April. Maybe she’s worried about who will win the Republican nomination. In other words, I dun no. But I hope she gets over it before I pull all of my hair out.

It does seem to be good exercise, though, so I’ve been trying to think of it that way. Like how when the kids fight I try to tell myself they are learning how to manage conflict. Or maybe preparing for a career in kickboxing. Or auditioning to be on The Jerry Springer show.


Yesterday we went to a ballet event for kids. Me Too seemed to enjoy it. Brother probably would have if HRH hadn’t suggested he bring a book in case he got bored.


Men. (Rolls eyes.)

Afterward we met up with HRH, who was having a get together with some friends from his old company. I know these guys as well since they did an English study program at my college. One of them kissed me once like fifteen years ago. Well, a little more than that since there was clothing removal, but nothing biblical. He insisted on hugging me yesterday….kind of awkward (for me.)

I’d forgotten how much I liked this guy and spent most of the evening talking to him. He has two kids now, five and three. We were talking about elementary school and I was telling him about what a struggle it is to get Me First to get there on time, do his homework, etc. And Kiss Boy was like “Why don’t you just let him be responsible for it? If he fails, he fails, but he still learns something.”

I must have married the wrong man. This is exactly how I feel about it, too, but HRH feels like we have to push the kids, (and by “we” I mean “me,”) and so does the school. If the kids show up late, which is after the gate closes at 8:20, they have to come with a parent, ring the bell by the gate and wait for the principal to come open it.

But hearing someone else agree with me, without knowing they were agreeing with me, made me feel better. I prefer to have the kids learn through natural circumstances, mostly because I don’t want to yell at them all the time. I guess I got my confidence back a little.

And I didn’t have to take my clothes off.



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suucakes
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 22:52:05

    You really have a good way of handling the tantrums. I’m still a student and don’t plan on kids any time soon, but when my baby cousin throws tantrums in my care, I’m never quite sure how to handle the little bawling loved one.

    I still love reading your blog. You’ve inspired me to try things with my rice cooker (I’m determined to try the paella you suggested)! As always, good luck in the mommy business :)


    • hamakkomommy
      Mar 01, 2012 @ 17:19:44

      There is NO good way to handle a tantrum. The best you can do is try to survive them.

      How did your family get so lucky as to have someone who is willing to babysit??


  2. gaijinwife
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 12:01:11

    ohhhh, but clothes removal might have been kind of nice too :)


  3. Beth
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 13:50:33

    HRH probably hasn’t read Parenting with Love and Logic… >sigh< So how did you end up with HRH instead of Kiss Boy?


    • hamakkomommy
      Mar 01, 2012 @ 17:16:17

      I met them both around the same time. They were attending an English program at my college. I liked kiss boy and the feeling was mutual, but he went home after a few weeks. When I eventually moved to Japan and re-met the crew from college severlal years later,he was already engaged to someone else. Also he’s a chonan from a traditional family, so I don’t think he’d even consider getting serious with a foreigner, no matter how much he liked her.


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