I’ve always encountered screaming children while running errands. Knowing with certainty that one day those would be my kids screaming their heads off in rage, I’ve always lent a sympathetic nod in that direction and a thankful prayer in an upwards direction.
Well, my day came today. As if I haven’t had enough warning from past encounters with in-store tantrums, I consistently let my toddler pick out something from the dollar bin almost every time we visit the store. Well, she’s now gravitating towards collectible animals. A charming habit, which I’d rather tend to than be drowning in princesses, Barbies and dolls at this point. (sooner or later it’s inevitable, right?) However, these animals have surpassed the dollar bin budget. Time to pull back on the reigns.
How do explain money matters to a 2 year old? “No, you can’t have the $17 collectible dragon,” just didn’t seem to cut the mustard today. Let alone the , “No” to the bunny after her dragon answer meltdown.
Most of the time, my kid will put whatever it is back and follow me once I start to walk away. Not today. Oh, no. Not today. As I gradually started pushing the cart away from the ‘animals’ my little angel started screeching louder than I’ve ever her scream before.
Tears streaming down her face in anger, I picked her up and placed her in the cart without hesitation. Banking on her calming down when she saw she hadn’t rattled me, I was taken aback by what she did next.
Arms flailing…reaching out to hit me while attempts to jump out of the cart, she almost wacks her baby sister in the head at full force. So #2 had now joined her big sister in hysterics.
What to do? Check out or ditch what I’ve got and cut my losses. I decide to calmly push my cart towards the checkout, in hopes my lack of reaction would eventually quiet the madness.
Just as I reach the front of the store, arms start flailing and screeching gets a raise in volume. As a gut reaction I revert to damage control, yanking her out of the cart so she can’t hurt her sister. How in the world I kept calm as I talked her down from her crazy place of emotion I do not know.
(Oh, yes I do…help from above, I’m sure. Maybe all those “thank you for that not being my kid melting down” prayers lent a little sympathy. Maybe, just maybe. )
You know what? It worked. I calmly looked her in the eye and told her to give me a hug. She did, and I told her we can’t get everything at the store….what would people get you for your Birthday? Bought it. I waited until we were checked out and outside to talk to her about ‘the meltdown. ‘
“Do you ever get anything you want when you act that way?” Sniffle Sniffle. “N-N-N-Nooooo, Mommy.”
The real lesson here was for me.
#1. Stop spoiling my child by letting her get something every time we go to the store. Enough is enough. Time to start teaching my soon-to-be-3 year old the true “value” of the ‘dollar bin.’
#2. Patience is king. I think I’ll collect a pat on the back to me for not becoming a yelling, screaming, hitting in public parent, but…wow…I understand how it happens.
#3. PMS does not wait until puberty to start rearing it’s ugly head. (I think my Mom is right, once again.)
I’d feel a lot better about the whole thing if it were Sunny & 80. Oh, well. After a car ride home with #2 having a meltdown, I think wine time will begin a little early this evening.
Happy ‘Meltdown’ Day 🙂