“ You could just have a little fun and drop right down on the floor with them and kick your legs in the air and try to outdo their decibel level with your own screams .”
It’s just a matter of time mama, you too will be on the receiving end of a ear drum shattering, logic defying, stare and hushed whisper inducing, toddler meltdown. We’ve all been at a store, on a plane or in a restaurant and have watched with horror or annoyance, perhaps even amusement as some other poor mother has a toddler tantrum throwing down near by. It is every parent’s curse that at some point, you too, will get to contend with trying to rationalize with the irrational as they hurl themselves on the floor in fits of fury.
So what does one do when your child cannot be reasoned with? When you are five people deep in the checkout lane, possibly with other kids and a cart full of groceries and a schedule to keep and your toddler will not digest that you will not buy them the whirly M&M fan/candy holder that is so strategically placed near the register for exactly this purpose. A lesser mom might just give in and say fine, fine, I will pay the $7.95 plus tax for that useless piece of landfill garbage if only it will keep the dreaded meltdown at bay. But no, not you. Because you know that if you give in it will set a precedence of expectation for all such frivolous sucker-aimed purchases. So you give the necessary NO to the request and you must now deal with the consequences of a disappointed toddler. And it isn’t pretty.
For a toddler, impulse control is not yet a thing. To the toddler, there is a pretty, shiny thing that whirls and all he/she feels is want. Want is very powerful. Want can take over like a tidal wave. Want can blind your sweet darling in the moment to all other reason and sense. When the want is denied, the disappointment and frustration takes over and pours out in an expression of rage.
As mothers, we have a few options in dealing with this scenario. If you haven’t been through this already, know this, you will feel annoyed. You will think, “Oh for God’s sake, I have an industrial size cart full of groceries here for you. Why must you do this?” You will feel embarrassed. And even though you’ve seen it a million times before, when it is your child, you will feel personally responsible and probably will want to hide under your cart. You will be tempted to bribe, cajole and give in. Here I would say, Stay Strong! You can and will get through this. You could just have a little fun and drop right down on the floor with them and kick your legs in the air and try to outdo their decibel level with your own screams of “It’s noooooooottt fffffaaaaaiiiiiirrrr!!!” and you wouldn’t be wrong because being a mother rarely is.
But like the endless line you are in, this too shall pass and before you know it, you will be exiting that store and all the pitiful/judgemental looks with your now sniffling toddler in tow and you can feel confident about your steadfast endurance and slightly smug that there will be one less twirly M&M fan in a landfill because of you. Sometimes it’s the little victories.