Say that five times.. “Terrible Toddler Tantrum at Target”. Yes’ it happened and I may have caused a seen with my reaction, but I actually can pat myself on the back for following through- which I think is the most important lesson.
So the story begins yesterday morning. My three older kids headed off to school, and then my hubby, my youngest (Evin-4), and I, loaded up in the van to take my hubs to work. After I dropped him off at work I headed to the court house to pay a ticket (which just so happened to start off my frustrating morning). I remembered how arrogant the cop was that pulled me over, and how condensending he spoke to me, but that is another story- another time. So I went to pay my ticket and then Evin and I loaded back up in the van to head to Target. I really only was going to Target to check out DUH’ “Bullseye’s Playground” aka “The dollar Spot” and get some paper towels. We pulled into the parking lot and parked the car. I went over my little rules with Evin, like I normally do. “We are going into the store to get want mom needs, and you are not getting anything, so don’t ask!” “Your going to be good and listen to me or we will turn around and leave, do you understand?” (I should just hit play each time we go to any store where dollar toys and toy isles exist).
So Evin responded in his cute voice “Yes!” I opened his van door and grabbed his hand and he jumped down. We ventured into the store, I grabbed my cart, and told Evin to stay next to me at all times. We sifted through the tangled dollar spot and it was pretty picked over. I saw a gentlemen unpacking a whole new shipment of boxes that just arrived (rats I was an hour to early!). Then my son came up to me with some toy gun/water gun of some sort. I half looked at it and said No! put it back! he immediatly whined and said “I want it.” I told him “No!” again, “and reminded him- remember, I told you don’t ask for a thing!” he whines once more, crinkled over his shoulders, and did a one leg stomp. “Please I want it!” I told him no two more times… and he began to whine louder and stomp now “two legs” instead of one. I started to push the cart that now had two items in it, away from the “evil” dollar spot (you know its’s evil, it gets us all.. including our kids). As I pushed it away to go get paper towels. My son followed with the same darn gun in his hands. I turned and told him “No!” once agian, but even louder and more firm. He then went into full out fit, now begging, whining, saying please over and over again, I want it!!!” stomping, jumping up and down, totally flipping out. I firmed up and said “We are not doing this today, I told you that we weren’t doing this. “Now we are leaving” I just pushed the cart to the side and left it, I grabboed his arm just above his wrist, and said “we are leaving!” He full on freaked and was screaming and crying and begging to stay, apologizing. Other moms were all around the check out, dollar spot, cart pick up, and food court. I could feel them all looking as I had the child of satan now in my grasp. I know I was projecting the look of fierce devil woman myself (but did not care). However, I was persistant and I stormed out of there, with his lurking, jumping, sagging little butt (@$$)… I am now repeating myself even louder “I told you that if you asked and acted up, we would leave and I meant it!” I know others around could hear me as they looked on (bleh!).
He continued to throw his fit all the way to the van, more strangers were entering and existing the store and more eyes were upon us. I didn’t care, I kept my firm grip and marched firmly with the toad to the van. He stood in front of the van still flopping, jumping up and down and screaming- “I am sorry, I will be good!” and begging that we stay. He did this while another couple were parked across from us loading up their car. I am now in the drivers seat, telling him to get in, all the while facing him in front of the van. He is insistant on staying and continually freaking out in the parking lot. I tell him as I shut my car door “I am leaving, get in!” he says “No!”and keeps saying sorry and begging to stay. So I push the button in the van to open his van door and tell him again to get in. He stepped forward one step, still flipping out, but not getting in. So I started the car, and he stepped forward one more step, still acting possesed, but adamant that we still stay. Then I start to inch forward in my vehicle and he screams “OK! OK! I’ll get in!” so he climbs in, and I could hardly wait to silence all the noise from the world. I told him, “I told you that if you asked for anything or acted up, we would leave, and you were naughty and didn’t listen!” He was still extremely upset and apologizing left and right, swearing he would be good and begging to go back. I continued to go over how we don’t act like that, and I drove around the parking lot. After we drove around and I waited for him to calm down, I told him that if he were good we would go into the dollar store (as I needed to get a few things). I explained that he has one more chance to show me that he can listen and behave while I shop. We went into the dollar store, and shopped and he was a perfect angel. He got a light up ball from mom at the end of our shopping trip for good behavior (and because I am a sucker and he is my baby).
Sighhhhhhh….. The end.
P.S. I have to say out of all “4” of my kids I have only “experienced” 4 maybe 5 other “bad” tantrums, but I got lucky because the others all happened at home.