I guess many of us, as mothers, have gone down this road before-dealing with temper tantrum of a child in public. For me, I finally has the first taste of it a few weeks ago in Target. It was my first time utilizing Target pharmacy service, thinking that I could do some serious shopping while waiting for the medicine. Well, little did I know that it was working against me.
After I filled out some simple forms, the pharmacist told me that they would text me on my cell phone when the medicine was ready. How neat! Off I went with Keke sitting on the front compartment while Kylie rocking happily in her car seat inside the shopping cart. However, happy time quickly came to an end when I told Keke that I need to put the firetruck he was playing back on the shelf because listening to nonstop blaring siren was pure torture. I used my familiar trick of counting to 5 and he was usually very good at giving up his toys. But not this time. Tears poured out in seconds and what's the fun of tantrum without excruciating screaming and kicking? With his inflated lungs he yelled "Keke put away Keke put away". I kept my cool and said I did not like his crying and screaming, and I would let him put it away once he stopped crying. At home he was able to calm down by himself, but this time he was determined to make a scene. What followed was an escalated crying to a point that the whole store could hear him. The clueless Kylie in the back wondered what's going on with all the commotion decided to join the crying party. Awesome! A cartful of crying kids strolling in Target. Now it's a good time to check my text message- Nothing.....and I had a cart full of stuff. I did not mind the tantrum because that's how Keke learned his boundaries but it's not my intention to put the whole store in jeopardy. I was contemplating should I wait for the prescription or put the stuff back on the shelf and just leave without it? I chose the later alternative. Just when I was hastily putting the stuff on the shelf, the phone rang and finally came the text message like I have been waiting for a million years. By the time I walked out of the store, I was carrying a feisty monkey in one arm while pushing a cartful of stuff plus the crying baby in action. Then came along a mom with her daughter about 6-7 years of age. She tapped on my hand and offered a smile of assurance" I wish you have a good evening, believe me, I have been there."
Because I was a behavioral analyst helping children with developmental delays in my previous job, dealing with tantrum is not new to me and I am basically immune to crying. Tamper tantrum is nonetheless straining and requires tremendous patience. At the end of the day, a nice cup of coffee is the ultimate luxury, and to hear Keke says "I love you three"-is music to my ears.
Hold your grip, breath, and relax! Baby.