We had a pretty busy Saturday, I had a Reach for a Dream event, Cam had soccer and a contact lens fitting and then we had to make a “quick” trip to the Vaal for some work stuff David needed to do.
While Cameron was busy with the optometrist I quickly ran into Dischem with Jack. He was pretty chilled and was being rather cute. While I was waiting for our meds, I looked down and saw he had managed to slip his tennis ball passed me and was now bouncing it in Dischem. CRAP! Having boys means that I have to often to a quick check to make sure we aren’t shopping with the soccer ball or eating lunch with a bouncing tennis ball, but somehow this one got passed me. I didn’t make a big deal about it and figured the quicker we could get out of there, the better. En route to the cashier we had a little “Look mom I can bounce the ball like this” moment, immediately followed by a “MOM I CAN’T FIND MY BALL ITS MISSING FIND MY BALL MOM WHERE IS IT!” moment.
This probably was the moment I should have engaged the “get out the shop as quickly as possible” mode but instead I found the ball and grabbed us all something to drink. Jack ALWAYS chooses an ice tea. ALWAYS. He orders it as we walk into restaurants, its his thing. Until Saturday when suddenly the luminous red Energade was his thing. He needed it. NEEDED it like Kim Kardashian needs a reality TV show! I stood firm though. Took the ice tea and tried to herd him through the pens that are the queues at Dischem. I hadn’t thought the whole little trip through, so had no basket and the medicine I got required a BIG medicine cage.
I was now standing in the queue with my BIG medicine cage, 5 bottles of colddrink and a screaming toddler, wondering how it all went so wrong.
Obviously at this point, the VERY irate toddler decides to rather vociferously bounce his tennis ball while we are boxed in in the junk food laden herding pens. The ball bounces, once, twice and is gone, swallowed up by the MSG free corn chips and sugar laden nougat. By now I am sweating profusely, trying very hard to maintain my composure as my child again starts screaming “MOM I CAN’T FIND MY BALL ITS MISSING FIND MY BALL MOM WHERE IS IT!”. Fortunately the stars aligned briefly and about 10 cashiers suddenly freed up, possible fueled by their need to get the screaming kid and his mother out the shop as quickly as possible, so we were able to move around to the other side of the shelves where the ball had lodged itself.Once he had the ball safely in his little hands, he resumed the “I WON’T DRINK THE ICE TEA I DON’T WANT IT MOM I DON’T DRINK THAT” wail.
Finally, after what felt like an hour, we get to the cashier, Jack still screaming. I drop the drinks and medicine onto the counter and pick up the child, he starts kicking his legs, so I put him down. Now Jack has perfected this move, it is very similar to that moment in an action movie where the good guys catch the bad guy and he falls to the floor onto his knees, all very dramatic. So he drops to his knees, head on the floor and wails and wails.
By this point the entire Dischem has come to a dramatic stop. All eyes are on the mother of the clearly out of control toddler. What will she do?
I did what any self-respecting mother would do. I paid, with my head held high, took my stuff and walked out of the shop, with the screaming toddler trailing behind me.
Because really? WHAT are the options?
Leave my shopping? Wasn’t an option.
Smack him? How would that stop him crying?
Buy him the juice? I did consider it but for obvious reasons it would be wrong.
Yell at him? Again, probably not going to stop him crying.
Tell him “I hear you Jack, I understand you want the red juice but you can’t get that juice right now. Mom got you the ice tea instead”? Ja that has never and will never work on my kids because it wouldn’t work on me.
We did sort of talk about it afterwards but I suspect it had no effect because on Sunday Mr Price Sport banned us!
David left for the DRC early on Sunday morning so I knew I would have to get the kids out of the house for all of our safety. Stupidly I decide to take them ALL shopping. The quick Sportsmans Warehouse trip went well. The second Mr Price Sport visit, not so much. Cameron found a costume but wanted goggles, I said nope he needs to find one of the many pairs we have at home, I am not paying R100 for ANOTHER pair of goggles. Cameron, thankfully over the tantrum stage, was ok with that. Jack not so much. He grabbed a pair off the shelf and told me Cameron NEEDS these. I said “Nope he doesn’t” and put them back on the shelf.
Do I even need to tell you what happened?
There was wailing, Jonty Rhodes style dives across the floor of Mr Price, screaming and general brat behaviour! It was so much fun.
I have actually left out the incident at Spur on Saturday where he waved his knife, like some crazy ninja at his dad and then at a lady who was trying to introduce her son to him. I suspect you may all judge me too harshly if I put it all out there.
So I have decided that for now, it is safer for us, and the general population for me to not take him to any shop (or restaurant) for now.
Did your toddler throw tantrums in the shops? What did you do?