Author Ruth Smith Meyer

Ruth Smith Meyer Inspirational writer, speaker

Thinking out Loud on my Blog

TemperTantrums and Revelations

Posted by ruthsmithmeyer-com on February 27, 2009 at 8:49 PM

It's amazing what you can learn about life in an emergency room!  As we sat waiting our turn the other morning, a young mother came in the door with her 3 or so year-old in tow.  When they went in to the triage nurse, Little Missy began to cry.  It was evident immediately that this was no ordinary cry--it was pure and unadulterated objection. 

The moment the thermometer apeared the cry was revved up to angry screams accompanied with flailing limbs and writhing body.  When she was set on the scales to be weighed, judging by the shrieks, you may have thought she was being cut open with a knife. 

I'm not sure we could have handled her reaction to a needle or other painful procedure.  It took both mother and nurse to keep scooping her off the floor and onto the scales long enough to get an approximate weight.  I doubt if it was accurate. 

The moment the "dastardly" deed was done, Little Missy made a dash for the waiting room, leaned on an empty chair, hands on hips, still emitting angry grunts. One could almost see steam billowing from her ears.  Then came the climax, her final grand statement of defiance.  Her bottom lip shot out, proturding farther than I've ever seen a lip protrude.

A few minutes later, her mother brought out the identification bracelet.  You could tell by her expression that here was something that would please her daughter.  But Little Missy was having no part of it.  She was still far too busy asserting her right to resist!

There was no doubt about who wanted to be boss.  It was obvious that she was going to assert her will to the fullest. 

Now one could surmise that past experience may have caused her to be fearful.  The appearance of a few things may have triggered some memories that made her anticipate that worse would follow.  That may in turn have triggered unreasonable reactions to simple procedures that normally could have been fun--like standing on the scale to be weighed or putting on a bracelt.

I smiled discreetly, but then began to see some similarities to adult behaviour I have witnessed.

Haven't we seen people who have a desperate need to be in control?  When they feel that control slipping away there are often inappropriate actions in a frantic effort to get it back.

There are also those resistant to something new or unfamiliar.  Have you ever been present in meetings where someone with Little Missy's attitude protested, "But we've never done it that way!"  --And there is no chance of changing their attitude--no matter what!

Who of us haven't seen people pouting and withdrawing from a group because a meeting or a decision didn't go their way?  (Maybe even leaving something they have initially believed in and enthusiastically supported?)

There are always some who form quick decisions and object before they consider all the angles.  Sometimes those quick conclusions make them miss what would have been to their benefit.

OUCH!  All of a sudden I remembered that every time I point my finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at me!  I may not have put on such a vivid display of my feelings as Little Missy, but how often have I missed out on something good because I put my energy into resistance?  How often have I made a problem or complication more difficult by focusing on struggling against it rather than finding a way through?  How often have I missed a bonus God wanted to give me by getting upset by the method he wanted to use to deliver it?

Maybe there's a bit of Little Missy in all of us!

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Reply Frank and Donna
5:27 PM on February 28, 2009 
Thanks for the observation story.,how true, We have been trying to learn how to use web mail so we can keep in touch at home as we are going south to warmer country for a week.,Keep up the good work.
Reply John and Mim
9:18 AM on March 1, 2009 
I see little Missy's (and Mister's) a lot in our paeds! You NEVER get used to the tantrums and the howls! Often there is nothing more than Little Missy/Mister aren't getting their way. I asked the paeds doc not so long ago after HOURS of listening to a very assertive child if duct tape was a medical directive and if not, could we make it one stat because I would be more than willing to go to the nearest "medical supply" to purchase such a product. Even the doc thought that wasn't a bad idea and he had only been on the floor for a short period of time. My report to the next shift was to point at the door and say "Sorry!".
The joys of life in a medical environment - heeheee