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.