Day 8: Be calm. Be kind. Smile.

You know that lady, walking through Target, 2 kids in tow? She looks a bit frazzled, like it’s been a long day at work, yet she’s still managing to carry her bag, tote a toddler, hold the hand of a preschooler, find her keys to lock her car, and let her toddler touch the big red ball on the way in because that’s all he wants to do. She gets the buggy. Oh no! Not the standard buggy! The Cadillac of all buggies with the two-seat extension that takes the momentum of a big rig to turn corners! Yes! That buggy! She gets the kids strapped in just in time to hear, “Mommy, can I have a snack?” With a glance at her watch, she realizes it’s nearly five already, so she figures, “What the heck? This can be dinner!” She pushes the Cadillac buggy to the snack counter and proceeds to order her kids a (not-so-nutritious-but-it’s-getting-pretty-late) dinner of grilled cheese, fruit-in-a-pouch, and milk. No sooner does she pay the cashier does her “just-when-you-thought-he-was-the-cutest-kid-ever” toddler go into total meltdown mode! She quickly hands him the fruit pouch, which he sucks down in a matter of seconds. Tantrum resumes! I’m talking screaming-at-the-top-of-his-lungs tantrum! Yep! You know the one! That poor momma tries to calm the tears with a hug, a nuni, a sip of milk, a piece of grilled cheese, the whole grilled cheese sandwich…but the screams continue. Mom gives up on her attempts to calm the screams and carries on with her shopping…with the screaming kid! How dare her! She is ruining the Target shopping experience for everyone! You cross paths with her again and see her trying to console that kid, but he is STILL screaming!! You give her a dirty look that clearly says, “Would you get the bleep out of here with that obnoxious kid?!?” But on she trudges, as quickly as possible, throwing into the buggy the random items on her list. She crosses a man who is probably just as annoyed with her as you are, and she embarrassingly mouths, “Sorry!” That sweet man, God bless his soul, replies with, “Hey! I understand! I’ve got two of my own at home!” A sigh escapes the mom’s mouth, a sigh that makes it appear that she’s been holding her breath for a while. Because she has been. Little does that man know, but he just helped hold back the tears that were threatening to begin pouring from her eyes. He was her saving grace, even as the screams continued! The frazzled mom finally makes it to the check-out counter, quiet munching preschooler and loud, screaming, snot and tear-covered, red splotchy-faced toddler still along for the ride, pays for her things, and heads out the door. The moment she walks out, that dreaded toddler does the only logical thing…he stops crying! Just like that! No more tears. No more screams. Just stops! Thank, God! Do you know that woman, the one I’m talking about?? I do! 

Today, that woman was me! For the first time in William’s 17-months, he was that kid! His first (of many, I’m sure) tantrum to be had happened today! Right in the middle of Target. With God and Jesus and every Target shopper and employee watching…and listening…and cringing, I’m sure. But I made it! And I was calm! I didn’t scream or cry or threaten to beat my child. I didn’t run out the door in tears, leaving my cart full of “stuff” behind. I just did what I had to do, as calmly and quickly as I could, all the while attempting to console William with whatever I could find and quietly whispering the whole way, “I love you, William. Mommy loves you!”
I came across this post a while back, and it has been at the forefront of my mind since then each time one of my children has had a not-so-pleasant moment:

I’m not perfect. My kids are not perfect. But for those of you with kids, you and your kids aren’t perfect either.  And those of you without kids, remember, that it is very likely that you will one day have kids of your own, and they will not be perfect. They will throw a tantrum at least once in public. It will happen. I promise.  So, next time you witness an episode as the one I had today, try to think of me and sweet, precious William. Remember that it could happen to anyone. Instead of glaring at that momma or mumbling under your breath, give her a smile. Talk sweetly to her child. Offer to help her clean up the box of Nilla wafers she dumped as she was frantically and desperately trying to find something to console her child. (Yes, I left that part of the saga out!) Be kind. Simply be kind. And, if you find yourself in a predicament such as mine, remember that freaking out on your freaking out child will only make you both more frustrated. Be calm. Simply be calm. You’ve got this, Momma!


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shawnagarrett79
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 21:51:55

    God Jesus and everyone in Target hahahah I love you so much!!! I think everyone has been there and if they say they haven’t then they are lying.


  2. 1createblogs
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 22:52:40

    Great Post!


  3. Kriselle
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 11:28:11

    I just love your blogs! 🙂


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