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Battle of Wills – Part 2

One of these days my son is going to be 16 and so embarrassed by some of the photos and video we have of him. This gem was taken last night, driving home from preschool. After our battle to get him into his car seat, which is never easy when he morphs into Neo from Matrix and starts kicking off the back of the seat into an impossible arch that somehow squirms his way out of my arms and lands him on the other side of the car, he cried and cried and then, when he saw me get my camera phone out, he got even more upset:


To calm him, I asked him if he was mad at me and he said no, then I asked him if he missed me today and he said yes, then I asked him if he wanted to sit on my lap and snuggle when we got home and he again said yes. So I have a theory, want to know it?

My theory applies to kids not just in preschool but also those that start school at Kindergarten – (though I am an advocate for putting toddlers into some sort of preschool, even if it is just a few hours a day twice a week prior to Kindergarten so that they don’t experience culture shock when they have to go to school but that is a separate subject).

My theory is that kids put on a brave face when their parents leave. They go to school (or daycare or the nanny) and they listen, learn, play, behave, all the while just biding their time until their mommy and daddy comes to pick them up. Then, once they see their mommy and daddy, all the emotion they’ve kept in check all day long, while putting on their brave face, rises to the surface and explodes and even though they are happy to see you, sometimes they don’t know how to express that other than having an emotional meltdown.

I see it all the time, and not just with my kid. All the two year old tots in his class are like this, they all pop their head up and drop whatever they are doing when the door opens and they all announce whose mommy or daddy is there and when it’s not theirs, you can hear disappointment in their tone…some even tell you I’m going home soon too, my mommy/daddy is working but I get to go home too, because that is what they’ve been waiting for all.day.long.

Now, this doesn’t happen every day. Most days Fussypants is happy to see us and all is normal and well in our small universe. This morning, in fact, Fussypants woke just as early as yesterday and couldn’t have been happier. I even got three kisses and two hugs and another goodbye mommy shouted out the window while he blew air kisses as I left this preschool this morning. I think sometimes the emotion just rises to a point that it can no longer be contained and flood gates open. But I recognize that and I try to be as patient as possible, shower him with love and and make sure I give him as much snuggle time as I can.

So far, so good.



  1. My parents always used to tell me that I behaved better for the sitter than for them. They told me I always acted like a polite, well-mannered little lady when out with their friends or whenever I was with my grandparents or other family members. I like your theory and I think you might be on to something with it…

  2. I think this could be true Coreen, i have seen the same thing with other toddlers as well…

    That video will haunt him when he is older, too cute! aren't they cute even when they are mad…sometimes when my son gets mad I laugh to myself, I just think it is so sweet..! :)

    Happy weekend~

  3. Great theory!

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