I am apparently much more naive than I thought. My little boy has a ton of energy. A TON but he listens very well and usually behaves much much better in public. Somehow I convinced myself that he would always be this way. He would always be the boy you could reason with and talk to, especially out in public. And then…well, let me just explain what happened.
I picked up the littles from daycare later than usual, and Big Brother didn’t nap that day. Combine that with being hungry and I knew I was in for a tougher night. I decided to forgo finding and making dinner and instead order some Chinese takeout. Big Brother was being behaved so I decided to take the two of them into the little bookstore next to the restaurant. I had every intention of buying him a book that day too.
We started walking around the shelves looking at all the books and of course he wanted to purchase each and everyone. I told him we’d keep looking a bit and then decide. All was fine and calm. We turned the corner and he found an activity book that he wanted. It came with little cars, but wasn’t anything very special and was $30. I wasn’t intending on spending $30 on a book, more like $7-$10. I told him that book was too expensive and we’d keep looking. That was it. He went from calm and understanding to tiny little banshee boy in 4 seconds flat. Mogwai to gremlin just like that.
Now he is sitting on the floor screaming “Why is it too expensive? Whyyyyyyyyyy?” alternating that with “I want it”
I would like to say that that’s as bad as it got, but no… there’s more. Much more.
From there the screaming got louder and louder and instead of just lying on the ground he was now lying in the bottom bookshelf trying to get away from me. I managed to get a hold of his arm with my one free arm (I was holding Little Sister still…) and try to get him out of the bookshelf. As I slowly dragged him out he latched on to the center bookcase Not being able to put Little Sister down I dragged him from one piece of furniture to the next. At each piece he grabbed on there, held on banshee screaming at the top of his lungs, the type of scream that only toddler boys seem to accomplish.
The sales clerk just looked at me with a sad face as I tried to drag my child from the store.
10 minutes later I made it to the door, where he again held on with both hands. Prying your screaming child from the front door of anywhere is awful enough, but this was turning into something else all together. Somehow I managed to get him outside and sit him on a bench in between the restaurant and the bookstore. I assumed that the change of scenery would snap him out of it, get him to focus on me. (Remember what they say about when you assume.) He screamed and screamed and screamed so that now people in the restaurant not just hear us, they could see us too. Still holding Little Sister and Big Brother I tried my best to calm him and reason with him. I really couldn’t let go now, the bench was on the edge of a parking lot. His response to all this was to bite. Yes bite, and not just once, twice.
New plan. The car. At least there he couldn’t get hit by a car if he got loose and I would be out of biting distance. I unfortunately had to half carry with one arm/half drag him across the parking lot. By now he had moved on to screaming “I WANT A BOOK” over and over. I somehow managed to hold Little Sister with one arm, Big Brother with the other and open Little Sister’s door to put her in. This is when the tantrum went from miserable to the Mother of ALL Tantrums. In a parking lot, now completely unsafe to let go, Big Brother bit me again and this time didn’t let go. It was a horrible searing pain, my eyes teared up and I saw very little but the pain and anger.
I managed to put Little Sister in her chair (unbuckled) and get the screaming tiny tyrant into his side of the car. The anger seething from me was palpable. It took every ounce of my willpower for me to sit calmly in the front seat. I cried a bit at the terribleness that had just passed. What happened to my sweet boy? Where did this little gremlin come from? I didn’t break any of the rules, feed him after midnight etc… nothing. This literally came out of nowhere. This was a low low day for me.
But, I didn’t yell or scream or overreact. Instead I spoke in complete and eerie calmness. Anger hissed from every word but I talked to him calmly and explained why he wouldn’t get a book, that we would not visit the bookstore for a long time and how he had hurt and disappointed me. In all honestly I would have been terrified of this quiet angry person that was in the front seat.
I think the quiet anger really got to him, and he realized how much he had misbehaved and how much he had hurt me. We sat in the car until he was calm enough to try again. I got many apologies that night.
I’m not sure what I could have done differently in this situation and part of me never ever wants to visit that bookstore again and I definitely won’t on an empty stomach.
So for those you that have yet to got through this… Remember, you are not alaone!