Evan is all heart. When he's happy, he dances and sings and lets out whoops and hollars. When he's sad, he's devastated and completely falls apart. He's thrown award-winning temper-tantrums (always on his back with his legs up in the air) since the time he was able to sit.
It's never the ugly "I'm mad I didn't get my way" fits, but the "This is the worst thing that could have possibly happened; my heart is broken" type. We've done everything--starting with time-outs in his crib/bed so he wouldn't hurt himself when he was younger. Then as he grew into toddlerhood, we tried water splashed on his face, bursts of air blown at him to startle him, firm talking-tos, taking away toys, spankings, and simply ignoring him. Nothing has been the magic-cure-all.
At this point, the fits are managed, but I wonder if they'll ever completely go away.. Or is it all just a part of his "Live Life Large" personality? I remember one time when I had enough and I screamed at him, "Why won't you STOP IT!" and he sobbed, "I . Just . Can't!" I was very convicted at that moment, because I don't cry often, but when I do, it's usually until I collapse and fall asleep. God has helped me keep a tight rein on my patience with him since then..
When we're in public, I tell him, "You have three seconds.. 3, 2, 1.." And like clock-work on the third count, he cuts it off and wipes his face. But at home, we tell him, "Take it in another room" and we let him get the sorrow out of his system. It's not perfect, but it's the agreement we've come to.
The funny thing has been to watch his progression of how he winds up on his back as he's gotten older.. At first he would drop back, legs out from under him, and smack his head on the ground. I still don't understand how we avoided a concussion or didn't require stitches during those days. Then he started dropping to his diaper-coushined bottom and would roll back into his tantrum position. After he was potty trained, he would fall to his knees, curl in a ball face-down, and then transition to his back. Now he's chosen to run to the couch in the sunroom, throw himself up there, get in his pose first, and then let loose!
He'll go in spurts with his fits. Sometimes it'll be weeks, even months since his last tantrum and I'll think "I guess we've grown out of that phase." Today, he reminded me that he has other opinions on the matter.....