Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Can I Just Throw A Tantrum Too?

Have you experienced the judgemental stare of others, particularly parents, as you try to wrangle your writhing, screaming, sobbing toddler from whatever plaything they've attached themselves to when playdate is over?

Have you had the joy of playing dodge kid at, oh, lets say Chuck E. Cheese, when the party is long over and your child manages to outsmart AND embarrass you as she avoids being nabbed to leave?

Do you handle these moments with grace? Or do you, like me, grit your teeth, call your child by her full name while shooting the most intense you-better-get-over-here-or-else looks her way only to be ignored because she's too busy in her moment of meltdown?


Bella's never handled leaving playdates, parties or the park very well. Or the pool. Hmmm, all those begin with "p"...isn't that interesting?

AnyWAY, I always give the recommended 15 minute warning. Then 10, then 5. She accepts the invisible timer with an enthusiastic "Okay, Mom!" like she's so grown-up and cooperative.

Then that silent dinger goes off and she senses it. That's when all hell breaks loose, or at least she does. Sometimes she reacts verbally with an intense wail as she convinces herself that her heart is breaking over such tragic news that it is time to leave.

Other times she reacts physically by running around whatever establishment I'm about to be humiliated at. She'll sob and screech like a curly-headed banshee.

I will grab her arm generally, trying VERY hard not to leave permanent finger marks, and I do the whole get down on her level to talk thing. But she's gone to visit that toddler Other Side where they hear and see nothing other than their own anguish.

I need new magic tricks as mine are obviously no longer working. As you know, you can talk to a kid till you're blue in the face but in that horrible moment there's not much to do (that I've seen) than to hook them under your arm while lugging your other kid and march silently out of the playground/party/playdate/pool.

No wonder my right arm looks as if I benchpress 150.


cori said...

Too Funny!!! What lovely visuals you give. :) You are not alone in your battle. Part of it is the age and the loud part is 'girl'. One day you'll realize she suddenly stopped doing this and then you'll look back on your old blog posts and laugh - even though all you feel like doing now is crying or hitting your head against the wall. You handle all so well with your humor.

T-girl said...

ROTFL! Yes, I feel your pain! Jocelynn does the SAME thing many a time!!! So sorry, you just made me feel REALLY good to NOT be alone! LOL

Oh I am reading The Sweet Potato Queens books right now (nery funny btw) and she actually brings up this situation. She says she gets down to their level and between clinched teetch (must be clinched as everything sounds more menacing) "if you don't stop right now I am going to do something to embarrass YOU!" She said she has never had to do it, however one of her Queenly friends did and she ran around the story singing at the top of her lungs and making general marry-a-ment! Kids never acted up again! Not sure if it is true but the story sure did warm my heart! LOL

Us said...

you know, i have heard the same kind of advice that t-girl mentioned, throw your own ridiculous tantrum. i guess it supposed to stun and amaze your children enough to stop them in their tracks. i guess it all depends on how foolish you are willing to look to everyone besides your own kids! ;-)

Amanda said...

so not excited about the tantrums. dillon is such a hoss. i will just have to drag him by a beltloop or something - ain't no "hooking under the arm" with that kid.

Jennboree said...

I don't have the nerve to throw my own tantrum in public. Geez, the last thing I want to do is draw even more attention!

I will wait for my brave sister to try out that tactic and get back to me. Especially since there'll be no lugging her kid anywhere. I've been bulldozed with love by that cutie pie before!

Katrina said...

Oh, yes! I definitely experience this all. the. time. I've tried everything. I hope he outgrows it before he's too big to pick up and move...lol! (It is embarrassing, but I try to keep in mind that most parents have these moments and they probably understand.)

Anonymous said...

I've been there. If I could have laser glare, I'd employ it and vaporotized all those judgemental stares, otherwise, I just ignore it.


louann said...

Oh goodness! I could just imagine each scenario by the way you described it! LOL! But it is very difficult to deal with a child who throws tantrums - just like how my younger one deals with his frustration sometimes.
I do hope it passes soon.

Eve said...

Have you been reading my diary?
Thank God I only have one girl (Ruby) who really does that.

tallulah said...

Ha Ha! Izzy is EXACTLY the same way. After warnings, I just pick him up around the waist so head is facing foward and legs are flailing behind him and swiftly take him to the car. The next playdate (I make one up), I explain that I'm sorry that he can't go because of his behavior and that we will try again soon. He's usually good for 2 or 3 after that.....and THEN Satan rears his ugly head again!

tallulah said...

Oh, Jenn....could you email me at

I have a texas question to ask you