Yes, Hanukkah meltdowns are totally real. And it’s also totally OK (and inevitable!) for them to happen. It’s a lot of activity in only eight days, which can be confusing and tiring for your tots. We asked our readers on Facebook to share their tales of terrible tantrums with us, and some of them were too good/terrible not to share with everyone.
And really, by sharing these stories, it’s not just about getting a good laugh. It’s about connecting, and feeling less alienated. Everyone experiences rough times as a parent and child; instead of pretending they don’t exist by curating the perfect Facebook and Instagram pages, it’s important to be honest. Because honesty is what allows us to be human. And you know, build relationships with each other.
Here are our favorites (and sometimes they involve crazy kittens, not just overstimulated-and-sugared-out toddlers):
1. “We had some greed when my son was younger. Eight nights can feel like an eternity when your kid keeps asking for his gift. This year he turned 13. We also have a crazy kitten. We gave our son all his gifts the first night, and skipped the candles so the kitten doesn’t burn down the house.”
2. “We accidentally spent too much time playing with the 18-month old’s Chanukah present–a mini basketball hoop. Then when we tried to get the kids to bed, and then they had a meltdown –“BUT WE DIDNT GET TO PLAY DREIDEL!!!!” So stay up later, or say no dreidel!?!”
3. “This week has given me Christmas envy for the simple fact that kid wake up their best selves for one morning and gleefully tear open gifts. Our witching hour candles and dreidel have been a complete disaster. And donuts before bed just isn’t helping…”
4. “Our Hanukkah program and dinner was tonight at Temple. My husband is a pilot, so of course, he is out. A friend of mine came with for help, but it was meltdown-ville. [Our] almost 2-year-old who wasn’t in the concert got jealous, pooed his pants, and freaked during the program. Neither of them ate dinner, but grabbed seven cookies off the dessert table, and it has been a nightmare! Thank all that is holy they finally went to bed and without candlelight and presents tonight. #noway.”
5. “One small person who will remain nameless placed their new coloring book in the chest freezer, because she was mad at us for suggesting she go to bed instead of staying up and coloring…and declaring loudly her objections. Not sure what the thinking process was, but maybe no one else would color in it that way, either? But in it went. She did retrieve it this morning, and colored in it after getting ready for school…”
6. “Meltdown on the second night. The 5-year-old decided a shrieking “I hate books,” was the appropriate response to receiving his gift.”