I love taking my toddler with me wherever I go. If I need to go to the supermarket, I take him; if I want to have a coffee at a cafe, I take him. However, recently I experienced my worst nightmare… the tantrum in public. Yep, the high-pitched screaming, the yelling, the crying…the WORKS.
Never did I think my ‘angel’ child who I could take anywhere would do this to me. Well, I was wrong.
My morning started nicely as I had a few errands to do at my local shopping centre:
- Post office ‘tick’
- Baby passport photo taken ‘tick’ (so proud)
- Bank ‘tick’
The day was going beautifully. Isaac was sitting in his pram chilled and loving life. However, this did not last long when I bumped into my mum while I was out. When Isaac saw my mum he kept yelling ‘UP!’ wanting to get out of the pram. I was mortified. His yelling was piercing and unbearable. I decided to get him out of the pram as he promised me he would hold my hand.
At that moment I learnt, ‘never trust a toddler’. Who was I kidding? Did I really think he was going to hold my hand hand? At that point, I should have realised that it was time to go home, but I didn’t.
With Isaac free from the pram, all my mum and I could do was follow him and watch him like a hawk one step behind. On his escapade, Isaac led us straight to the shopping centre playground. I didn’t mind our destination but I couldn’t stay there all day. Ten minutes had passed (which felt like ten hours)…I had enough.
‘Come on Isaac it is time to go.’ No response. Obviously, he turned his listening ears off. Again, I called for him. No answer, not even a turn to acknowledge me. Third time, no luck. I had no choice but to pick him up and leave. That is when the tantrum really started. Throwing his body back and eyes full of tears, Isaac tried to free himself from my arms.
This was my cue to go home.
It was the longest walk of my life. From one end of the shopping centre to the other, I didn’t realise how big the centre was until today. I looked straight ahead avoiding any eye contact with shoppers, walking as fast as I could to get out of there. Behind me, mum followed with the empty pram.
It was a Friday morning so I thought I would be safe from seeing anyone I know. I was wrong (again). I bumped into my cousin right near the exit. ‘He has never done this before’ I told her. She could tell I was on a mission to get out of there. I kept walking straight to the car with the screaming toddler in my arms.
On the two-minute car ride home, Isaac fell asleep. This was a wake up call. Did this remind me that I have a two-year-old and that I always need to expect the unexpected? Did this confirm that I can never go to the shops again with my toddler? So many things were going through my mind. I was sad. I was sad that maybe our outings would be on hold until he was a little bigger.
It is now time to think of plan B…