There are certain things that trigger my child into going full-on beast mode with a major tantrum. Here are 3 of them.

Ice Cream Vans

One of the easiest ad-hoc toddler activities to do is to take my little man to the park. This is where we run about, laugh, frolic and generally build memories. It is probably more me building memories as I am not sure how much of this period he will remember.

In the spirit of adding a happy ending to one park visit I decided I would treat the lad to an ice cream. This goes against the grain for me as I am trying not to buy our kids sweet treats for a multitude of reasons. Ice cream vans are also usually a no no for me as I’m sure I once saw a van driver piss behind a tree once and then go straight back into the van without washing his hands.

Pushing aside my usual anti ice cream agenda I got him an Ice cream,. He loved it. He really loved it. I mean we were meant to share it but the little sod kept running away with it but you know, a great day was had by all.

Cue the next visit to the park and my kid clocks the ice-cream van at the entrance. I casually tell him we are not getting an ice-cream today and he goes fucking mental. We get the tears, the sitting or lying on the dirty floor refusing to move. The full body jerking away if I try and pick him up to move him on from the scene of the tantrum. The disapproving looks from the passers by as we try to no avail to calm him down. Basically it is a shit storm that pretty much ruins the chilled park outing.

Sometimes, he gets over it. Sometimes we tell him we will get one later before we go home and then the whole time we are at the park he is looking out for and wanting ice cream. My lad is a determined so and so. This is a good trait for things like being a quick walker. It is a nightmare trait for momentarily forgetting he likes ice cream so we can enjoy a day out.

Pro tip for buying kids ice cream from ice cream vans – I only found this out recently.A cone costs a staggering minimum of  £2 for the basic no frills ice cream from my local vans. However you can get a tub for £1. Not sure how universal this is but when I found out it was an amazing moment.

Robinson’s Fruit Shoots and Vending Machines.

Not wanting to sound like one of those health conscious nazi like parents but I just want my kid to drink water and milk. A lot of my health consciousness is based on not wanting to waste money as well as health concerns.

I can’t take my kid anywhere nowadays without seeing fucking Robinson fruit shoots on every table. Bright purple and orange bottles calling out to him offering sugary delights. They are ubiquitous  so despite me telling him they’re not good he has just seen every other kid drink from one and seen no harm befall them.

All these places seem to have snack vending machines and capsule toys machines too. I am not one to begrudge a place for getting extra income streams in but at this point in time it sets my kid off.

We recently took my kid for a trial class at a parkour/gym style centre. I am keen on him getting some kind of physical skills at a young age as I think skills learnt at a young age will benefit him for a lifetime. Plus I still have dreams of him being an Olympian shot-putter.

With the sign up done, and socks off, I was just about to go with him into the cool section with trampolines, springy floors, foam pits, balancing beams etc. At this moment he notices the vending machine filled with ‘choc choc’ and he gravitated towards it. As I tell him ‘no’ and try and coax him towards the class his tantrum begins.

It takes about ten minutes to get him to calm down and to begin the class. I did promise him the healthiest thing I could see from the vending machine at the end of the class. My dude does not forget these promises and after a fun session I had to relent.

We enjoyed the class and we were thinking about signing up but the vending machine did put us off. As I say I don’t blame the venue for having it and as a parent, it is up to me to break this tantrum thing up. However, it is off-putting to go to a place where I know there will be guaranteed tears.


Most of the above problems began with grandma. My mum and my partners mum are like rival drug dealers obsessed with getting my kid hooked on sugar and treats.

It is not just them, aunties and friends all seem to be in on it but the Grandmas are the dons of this shit.

They raised us and they still do a lot for us and this limits mine and my partner’s ability to tell them off. My girlfriend’s mum is the only person who can handle our kids to give us respite. It turns out a lot of her skills revolve around promising chocolate and treats to our kid but if we want her to keep looking after them then we really cannot strongly object to her methods.

My mother visits the kids once a week and always brings a present in a bag for them. I have told her not to. The moment my son sees her he barely acknowledges her and instead looks to see if she has a bag on her and then he reaches for it.

I keep telling her not to do this for two reasons.

One is I do not want him to expect treats from her.

Number two reason is she buys random shite that is often inappropriate or really annoying. Inappropriate might be something that has little bits on it that is fine for the toddler but a major hazard for the baby,

Annoying might be things like bubble guns which end up making the floor like an oil slick, often breaks and usually ends up being thrown in the bin after a major toddler meltdown and me wiping the floor for half an hour.


So that is 3 things that can turn my toddler into a little monster, who can extort money from me despite it being against my principles. The only light at the end of the tunnel is one day I might be a grandparent to their kids and then I can get their kids hooked on ice cream and fruit juice purely for revenge. I’m all about the long game.

What gets your toddler mad and makes your life harder?

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