"That's too bad. She must not know what she's doing. My kids will NEVER be like that."
I'd like to go back in time and slap that stupid, childless, judgemental idiot upside her head. Little did I know I would be on the other side of those tantrums someday, no matter how good a mother I was. It's happened to me many times now, and I've felt the judgmental thoughts and stares from others when it happens in public.
Thursday morning I decided was a Costco shopping day. Costco is a place where taking two kids during the middle of the week FAR outweighs going by myself on the weekend. That place is a nuthouse on the weekend, and I want no part of it. At least when I go during the week, I can go at 10am. We have the Executive membership, so I can go right at 10, before the rest of the crowd gets there at 11. It's a little less crazy, but the downside is the free samples aren't set up yet. Still, I get out of there just as it's starting to get really busy.
Usually, the girls do well at Costco. They sit side by side in the shopping car, eat their snacks and are generally well behaved. I'm not sure what happened this past time. Maybe they ran out of their snacks too early, or I was taking too long, or a little of both. About ten minutes before we were done shopping, they started to fight. I'm not talking about a little hit here or smack there, but full on fighting. I had my back turned, and started to hear yelling. When I looked back at them, Lana was pushing on Georgia's neck. Georgia was pushing Lana away with her hand and almost had a finger in her eye, and her other hand had a fist full of Lana's hair. They were both SCREAMING. Then I heard from behind me,
"Look at those two fighting."
This statement came from an older couple. I would guess they were in their seventies. They weren't saying it in a mean judgemental way, but more in an amused, "remember when we were there? Haha!" sorta way. I decided to separate the girls before Lana put Georgia in a sleeper hold. Lana had been asking to walk, so I pulled her out of the cart and placed her on the ground. She was more than happy to be down there. Georgia, on the other hand, was angry she was still confined and began to scream louder.
"I WAN TO WOK!!" She yelled.
There was no way I was letting this happen, for two reasons. She is at the age where she wants to be out of the stroller or cart and walk everywhere, but she doesn't stay WITH me when I do let her out. She either runs away from me or lags far behind. I just didn't have time for it. I had about thirty minutes before I had to pick up Sonya from school. I still needed to finish shopping, check out and get everything and everybody in the car. Not to mention I promised the girls we'd get pizza and hot dogs from the Costco food area for lunch. I mean what's a Costco trip without the pizza and hot dogs? Especially since we missed the free samples. I did not have time to corral her. So, I had no choice. I let her scream.
Then I felt the stares. There was really nothing I could do. The one thing she wanted I couldn't give her, and she's not old enough where threatening to take things away, like TV or treats would have any affect on her. She'd have no idea what I was talking about. I tried giving her a drink or a random goldfish I found in the cart, but the only thing she wanted was DOWN.
There I was walking through Costco with a child in the shopping cart, throwing a terrible tantrum. I know people were looking at me. Perhaps some were other moms who were empathetic and understood my plight, but I know there were those out there like my former self. Childless people who shook their heads and thought they knew better. I just ignored everyone, finished my shopping, and let Georgia cry it out. By the time I got to check out, she had calmed down some and Lana wanted back in the cart. Then I distracted them by making them sing their ABC's and everyone around us thought I had the most adorable, best, well behaved little girls, and I was a super mom. Little did they know what had transpired not five minutes before.
So for those of you out there without kids, hopefully you're not as judgemental as I was and you give others the benefit of the doubt. However, if you do find yourself sitting in judgement of a mom with a kid throwing a temper tantrum, just remember, it's MUCH harder than you think, and you don't know the circumstances. Not to mention you may be on the other side of that judgement someday, and what us moms really need is your sympathy. And a glass of wine would be nice.