They woke up happy, haven’t fought once and they even said “thank you” after you gave them their breakfast.
They’ve lulled you into a false sense of security – “nothing could possibly go wrong” you think as you pile them into the car. But as you stroll down the aisles of your local Woolies you can tell that the brown stuff is about to get real, go down and land on the proverbial fan all at once.
It’s happening and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Oh, it started merrily enough, I promised them milkshakes from Woolies if we could happily make it through a round trip from Clicks to Pick n Pay to the Post Office and then Woolies. And it worked. They were almost angelic. Listening to every little thing I said, not even fighting when I put them in the trolley to get around a bit faster.
Then, instead of wanting the pack of EIGHT milkshakes that I was putting into the trolley, she only had eyes for the gigantic pink drinking yoghurt.
I said “NO”.
And that’s how the tantrum started.
I could tell you why buying a monster amount of drinking yoghurt for a child that doesn’t even like drinking yoghurt is a bad idea.
I could tell you why buying 8 milkshakes was way better than buying one yoghurt (that she wouldn’t even like).
I could tell you that we agreed on milkshakes and so no amount of crying was going to change that.
I could paint a very detailed picture of what happened, her frustration, my humiliation and just a general sense of every move I made being watched but if you’ve been there you already know how it goes.
All sense had left the room. Heck, the sense went and flipping ran right out of the mall.
Trying to reason with a 3 year old that is crying so loudly (that the staff ringing up at the tills came to check out what on Earth could be going wrong all the way at the back in the fridge section) is just not possible.
In these situations (which thankfully don’t come around that often) I have the same conversation in my head.
Is this really happening right now? How did they get my kid to play along on Candid Camera? Oh no wait, that’s the American one. OK, where’s Leon Schuster? Damnit, no this is real. Ooops, sorry lady, I thought I had the trolley under control, but when she tantrums she turns into the Incredible Hulk.
Should I just get the flipping yoghurt? No, this ridiculous, crying has no control over me.
*Tries to sternly reason with screaming toddler*
Seriously? How can anybody want drinking yoghurt so much anyway? Maybe if I walk away from her she will get the picture that this is just not going to happen. Oh look there’s gluten free bread, although right now I could shove a whole cake in my face. Stress eating is so bad.
She’s following me. Sherbs, I didn’t think it was possible but she is actually getting louder.
This is flipping ridiculous.
*Tries to approach tear soaked, screaming child with love and cuddles. Gets her to calm down for about 2 minutes until she realises my answer is still no*
Maybe I should just get it. No. I’m an adult. I can do this. She can’t break me.
*Appologise to other shoppers and thank the lady who encouragingly says “we’ve all been there – it’s OK”*
I like that lady. I want to be encouraging like that when I am older, unlike those ladies over there giving me that funny look. I can do this. I will not give in to this little person. If only she could cry a little bit softer. That would at least make it easier to ignore her. HOLD UP! Did she just?! Oh no, she didn’t just hit me! Who does she think she is!
*Gives screaming a toddler a stern talking to about children that scream do not get their way and that children who hit their mothers may well be left to live under the t-shirt rack in Woolies for the rest of their foreseeable future*
Damnit, why do I still need to get so much stuff. I’ve put these people through enough already. Whatever, I can come back later and then treat myself to a calm, quiet cup of coffee too. Yes, OK. But I actually need the stuff in the trolley for lunch. Time to face the music. Oh good, only twenty people in the queue looking at us with “those” looks on their faces.
*”Don’t mind us” I try to casually say to all the staring eyes as the screaming toddler is literally pushing me backwards.*
They should use this as a special kind of torture for prisoners. Would it even affect people if it wasn’t their own child? It’s probably the maternal instinct in a woman that makes it so torturous. Nevermind, judging from these peoples faces if I had to ask them to give up state secrets right now to stop the noise, they would totally cave.
Should I get her some some of these chips? Maybe that will calm her down. Then I’m not giving into the tantrum. I’m a problem solver. Come on Cindy, you know giving this to her means that she is getting a “present” even though she is currently acting as though she is drowning in an invisible pool.
*Goes down to her level again and threatens, “If you push me one more time I will give you a smack in front of all of these nice people whose ears you are making bleed”*
Thank goodness. Yes please, I will take bags. Can you possibly pack this up a bit faster? Let me help you.
When we finally got home she went on her merry way as though none of that even happened. And me? I had to use what was left of my sanity to entertain friends, who thankfully could commiserate!