So I have a question. When do kids stop crapping all over the nice things we do for them? Or more specifically, when do they stop throwing tantrums when said nice thing is over?

Here’s my sitch: I love doing fun and unexpected things for Annie. A cupcake for breakfast, surprise trip to the bounce house place, or dinner at a friend’s house. I do these things because as much as I try to keep Annie scheduled, I think it’s important to sometimes be spontaneous. I want her to have fun experiences, and I know that breaks in routine can make the best memories. I also love doing these things because in the moment, Annie is over-the-moon thrilled. When that girl is happy, she could light up the whole world. It feels great to be responsible for that.

The problem is when the surprise is over. When the cupcake is gone or when it’s time to go home, Annie flips out. To be fair, I know she’s not trying to ruin the fun on purpose. I know she’s only two, although sometimes I forget that because she can often seem older. But even so, I can’t help but be like, GAH ANNIE! I just did something super fun and nice for you and you are WRECKING IT.

Last week Annie and I were twenty minutes early for an appointment that was right next to an awesome park. For a moment I contemplated letting Annie run around there before we went on with our day. But then I realized that she’d likely flip out about leaving the park, which would make her hard to deal with during our scheduled appointment. So I opted to sit in the car with her until it was time to go inside. It made me sad, but I didn’t want to risk it.

But, just when I’m ready to put all fun surprises on temporary hiatus, I get a glimpse of what I’m hoping will become the norm. Two days ago my Aunt Lynn surprised Annie by coming over to play. She was here for over two hours, reading, playing princesses, and running around the back yard. When it was time for my aunt to leave, Annie said, unprompted, “Bye Auntie Lynn. Thank you for playing princesses with me.”

I know that expecting a two-year-old to respond like that on the regular is as realistic as hoping my dog will thank me for giving her food every day (although Rigby does lick my face every day so hmmm). I would really just settle for fewer tantrums. Or at the very least, she thanks me, then has a tantrum.

Freaking toddlers.