Most of us are familiar with the joy of a toddler meltdown, but for those of you who have been living under a rock with your pal Ted Cruz, let me enlighten you. A toddler meltdown involves a complete loss of rational communication and motor skills resulting in a screaming, kicking, snotty pile of child. Public arenas are favored for this behavior and the rubber necking of passers by excites the situation. A close cousin to this behavior is the lesser known Daddy Meltdown or “DM”.
The DM is a special creature all its own. Not unlike the toddler meltdown, the DM is irrational and frantic, however, there's typically less kicking (this does not apply to dads from South Dakota). They also occur more frequently in the home than in public and confirms the notion that you never really grow up, you just learn how to act in public. DMs usually have two root causes: #1 he has just realized that he is no longer allowed to be the most immature person in the household #2 there is living proof that his wife is a stronger person and better at everything. Take these two notions together and you've got an adult male who is going to lose all sense of control.
When faced with a full-scale Daddy Meltdown, proceed with caution:
1) Identify yourself in a calm and appeasing tone.
2) Back away slowly, preferably in the direction you came.
3) Walk, don’t run, and keep your eye on the daddy so you can see how it will react.
4) If you are with other people, stand together to present a more intimidating figure, but do not surround the daddy.
5) The use of pepper spray is not recommended as it will only agitate the daddy’s state.
6) Re-direct the daddy to something he finds comforting—a beer, a movie, his batman cape . . .
7) If all else fails, sneak out the back door with offspring in tow. Typically cool down takes 2-4 hours depending on the severity of the reaction.
DMs are most likely to occur:
· In the home during the kids’ bedtime routine
· In the home during dinner
· In the home during breakfast
· In the home during bath time
· In the car
· In a restaurant when he realizes you can't take a toddler to a white tablecloth establishment
· Anytime dad is feeling the slightest bit sleepy
· On a Tuesday