I had the pleasure of Maisy’s first PUBLIC tantrum this week. I had meant to blog immediately after this horrendous experience, but as per life got in the way and a few days have passed since the incident. However, the memory is one that will last forever!
I had a few bits and pieces I NEEDED to get at Hobby Craft (a new one has just opened up, slightly too close to my house) and it happens to be in the same complex as Toys R Us. I decided it would be a good idea to pop in and have a look at a couple of things in preparation for Christmas. All was going well in the land of wonder and Miss Mouse was happily pulling dolls and related paraphernalia on to the floor and biting random teddies and other such soft toys. Then she spotted the bikes.
She is obsessed with them, if someone cycles by she goes crazy, shouting “BIKE, BIKE”. It has become a bit frightening in the park with little kids on their little bikes, she’s runs after them trying to catch them and I can only presume with every intention of stealing their bikes! I digress. As she begins to shuffle along the aisle in between Barbie Princess bikes and the all singing and dancing ones, she picks out a bike that is green and blue and designed for a boy. Typical I think, she would probably choose a tractor or digger over car.
I browse the shelves nearby safe in the knowledge we’re going to be here a while. Hubs helps her on a couple of the bikes and smart trikes and she seems very pleased with herself. Time passes and we need to start heading home in time for her lunch. I explain to her we need to pay and go to the car in 5 minutes. She does of course at almost 16 months of age have no concept of time, but it makes me feel like a reasonable parent if I tell her the plan. Then a 2 minute warning and then crunch time, it’s time to make our way to the till.
All hell breaks loose. Hubs attempts to pick her up and she is arching her back, screaming “NOOOO”, grabbing his face and slapping him. I can tell hubs is a bit embarrassed as this is the first time we’ve had to deal with this in public. We’ve had the paddy’s at home and you can walk in to another room and wait until she has calmed down. Ever so slightly different in a full shop of other parents. I try and reason with Miss Mouse and let her know that I’m going to put her in her pusher and we’re heading home. This of course, makes no difference and only increases the volume of the screaming and screeching.
I take Miss Mouse from hubs and tell him to go and pay, I’ll sort her out. I then find myself fighting with her as she stiffens her whole body as I am trying to fasten her into her pusher. Nearing the till and she is still in full tantrum swing, the couple in front of us in the queue have that knowing, sympathetic look on them. Meanwhile I am trying to be the diplomatic mum, reasoning and explaining to my child what we’re doing. As I do, I am struck by how freaking embarrassing the whole situation is and how difficult it is remaining remotely calm under the mounting pressure. I am questioning my parenting, should I have brought her to a child’s wonderland and expected her to understand that we were only looking. Then I decide bribery is my only option… raisins! Shit! I’ve left them in the car. So not only am I trying to calm her down, I’ve resorted to bribery and now false hope. Time seemed to stand still and it dawned on me that, however embarrassing I was finding this, THIS was only the beginning.
The reality of the impact of this temper tantrum hits me, how I respond to THIS child, THIS day will affect the rest of her life! God, I’m not sure if I am up for this parenting lark. I was happy with shitty nappies, sick stained clothes, bleeding nipples and a crying baby. Now it’s all changed, my response can cause ripples that she will no doubt use against me in her angst teenage years.
We make it out the shop alive and I have a very sour faced little girl the whole way home. Yet another layer of guilt to add to my already burdened down rucksack of motherhood guilt. Ugh, the shame. And so, I assume the terrible two’s begin, albeit 8 months early! How can I handle these situations without feeling like a fool, a bad parent or an embarrassment? Especially, when all I wanted to do was tell her off and tell her to stop her bloody carry on!