I felt my temperature rise and my blood pressure sky rocket as I walked through the grocery store.
I swore I was this close to breaking out into a sweat as my son’s scream echoed through Wegman’s, my daughter’s closely followed. If I didn’t need to be at the grocery store at this moment, I would seriously just leave my cart in the middle of the aisle, grab my kids and quickly exit the store.
This amazing display of toddler behavior, that shouted to my fellow shoppers, was bought on by a treat I purchased at the cookie counter. Once my son realized he wasn’t going to get it NOW, and he had to wait until after dinner, he lost his cool and I lost mine, while I picked the perfect place to assert my myself and hold my own.
I leaned down to the “car” shopping cart my kids shared and spoke, what I thought, was very calmly, “No George, you cannot have a cookie now, you must wait until after dinner.”
As I repeated myself, I stabbed myself with the temper tantrum knife right in the middle of the back. I felt it pierce my skin as my determination to hold my word, in a public place, set the stage for disaster.
My sweet, curly headed, beautiful 3 year old son morphed into an ugly monster and took his innocent 17 month old sister along for the ride.
Sure, it sounds a little dramatic but if you have been there, which I am sure plenty of you have, there is no pretty way to paint this picture.
My son screamed and then cried. When I leaned down and told him it would be okay, I understood how he felt but he needed to stop crying in the store, he repeated, while screaming, “I can’t stop crying, I can’t stop.” And then hearing, what must have been a sibling signal of distress, my daughter followed suite. Although her crys were high pitched.
People stared and my nervousness caused me to look at them and giggle.
One women who I had encountered at the deli counter before the “blow-up” whom had commented that my children were so happy and beautiful, had met me again at the register with my cart of terror and gave me this look of horror.
But felt like saying come on lady, like you’ve never seen crying kids before.
Anyway, so I learned my lesson…..
1. Never go to the store when your 3 year old hasn’t napped.
2. No matter how bad you want to, the grocery store is not the place to assert yourself when dealing with your 3 year old and your very impressionable 18 month old.
And number 3….
Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned, kids scream, blood pressures rise and people stare but things could always be worse, trust me.
Besides, store tempter tantrums don’t last forever, they usually ( I said usually) abruptly subside the minute you pass the threshold and exit onto the outside sidewalk, no more bright lights, on-lookers and nothing for your toddlers to want you to immediately buy.
This wasn’t the first time and unfortunately, I’m sure it won’t be the last.