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What to do?

How do you handle it when you are in a store and your child is acting a-fool and you want to hand him to the closest stranger and run out of there as quick as possible?

And that is a real question. It isn't an intro to a post that will become deep and meaningful and come full circle with a poetic ending leaving people thinking I'm a perfect mom with words of wisdom.

In fact it will probably do just the opposite.

I mean REALLY, HOW do you handle that moment?

Eli is growing daily, and I love every minute, it is so much fun to play with him.  He now understands the concept of throwing and catching, he likes to wrestle, he can sit and play with his cars, trains and buses and make vroooom noises for hours. It is so fun watching him grow.

However, he isn't just growing in  "fun" ways, he is also growing in "naughty" ways.

Oh joy.

You know before you're a mom you have all these thoughts on how you will handle temper tantrums, you will look sternly in the child's eye, use your sweetest but firmest voice and explain to them that this behavior is not good. Then the child will stop the behavior ashamed of their actions yet still remaining a confident human being. Yes that is how it will be.

And then next thing you know you are standing in the middle of TJ Maxx with a 20 month old standing in the cart SCREAMING in your face while throwing items out of the cart along with your phone which got thrown a pretty impressive distance (dad would have been proud if it was a football).

Everything you ever thought you would do goes out the window as you feel the eyes of strangers trying not to look at you but like a train wreck they can't turn away. While some are looks of pity, most are of annoyance wondering why you would bring a 20 month old who only napped 30 minutes into TJ Maxx just so you could get some more FLIPPING CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.

In that moment I felt like I was on a stage, with people critiquing how I was going to handle this situation. As if it was the American Idol of parenting and they were going to judge my skills, except in this situation the judging would happen internally, which was probably for the best.

I'm almost two years into this whole mom thing and I'm still learning something new every single day.

In this particular instance I learned something about not caring what others think - which is not easy for me. But in this situation I know I did what was best for me and Eli - and as he gets older and my disciplining grows and adapts to him and that situation I know that I have to do what is best for us and not what others think - as their staring eyes bore into me.

And I need to remember this, even when I want to throw sweet, screaming child at them and say "here you wanna stare, then you FIGURE IT OUT".

That would probably not be good.


  1. I think I'm past that stage (both kids are in college) but oh, your post brought back memories, not necessarily pleasant. But one funny one: my son asked for about 30 different things over the course of a 15 minute run we had to make for something. As I waited in line at the checkout, he said "Mom, can't I have...?" at which point I turned and almost screamed "I said NO and I meant NO" only to find myself looking at some kid I'd never seen before and his mother. She, bless her, said "don't worry: I admire your strength and consistency in refusing to cave." I could have died but she did make me feel like someone understood. And really, folks either understand or they never really had kids (taking a niece to a store once doesn't count). So hang in there!

  2. My son is 14 months & has just started to throw tantrums. I have a rough time dealing with it at home & can't imagine being out in public. My husband & I were in Toys R Us last weekend and we witnessed a child throwing a tantrum. I looked only because I wanted to make sure that the child want being taken by a stranger and then I just felt so bad for the parents. I said a little prayer for them-for strength, sanity and patience. Later I asked my hubs what he thought & he said "I was just standing there feeling so bad for those parents." For what it's worth, I think most people "staring" are thinking that they're glad it's not them & some are probably praying for you. I hope that helps.

  3. I used to judge. Then I had my son. Now, I smile and say I understand. Parenthood humbles you like nothing else.

  4. My almost 17 month old is going through the same thing and I hate it! I feel so embarassed and feel like a spotlight is shining on me. I am hoping other moms post some words of wisdom on here.

  5. They were just talking about this on KLOVE this morning. I'm pretty sure they said to take the child out of the store-of course, you'll still get all the stares as you carry your child, kicking and screaming, out.

    If you're at home, they suggested turning your back on the tantrumming (is that a word?) child and acting like he or she isn't there. It supposedly will stop them in their tracks.

    My daughter is just starting to reach the fussy stage, and I am not looking forward to the public outbursts. But most people understand, and even if they don't, just remember that you are doing your best job taking care of your child.

  6. We can't take our 19-month old out to restaurants anymore..even with 47 "distraction" toys. TODDLERS ARE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!

  7. I was at Target last month and my then 17-month-old was INSANE. He was full out screaming and battling me about everything for no ascertainable reason. Some helpful people decided to talk to him and, of course, the second a stranger gives him attention, he turns on the charm and is a little angel. So I have these elderly ladies cooing over how well behaved he is, what a precious age it is, and how I'm so lucky...all while I was internally fuming and NOT feeling so lucky at the moment. And, the second they turn around? He was back at it. I need a fairy godmother/cooing old lady to pop in whenever he starts the tantrums. Well, maybe not, as I think some not so nice things about them and how they don't understand in the moment. I just don't know.


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