When was your last? Mine happened today, 1600 hours, at the local Spar.
The writing was on the wall really; no nap all day, it was around dinner time and there were bright things on shelves at toddler level…
He Who Mustn’t Be Carried started to pull Cadbury’s Creme Eggs from the racks and throw them one by one onto the floor. As I was carrying two lasagnes I had but one hand to to try and discipline him.
"George. No. Mummy will pick you up." (I always feel like a right prat calling myself Mummy in the third person, but hey-ho needs must).
Cue George pulling Hubba Bubba from the racks instead.
"George. No! Mummy will sit you down." (Our rather weak attempt at discipline is sitting him in one spot until he realises the error of his ways).
Of course he knew this wasn’t going to happen in the shop queue and took zero notice.
This was just no good. People were starting to stare. So with my one spare arm I had to haul Mega Toddler (he looks about four) into my arms. Cue kicks and screams and repeated slapping of my face.
He managed to break loose and flung himself into a pile of mucky snow sludge on the floor. My face was now starting to burn with frustration and embarrassment.
It was fling him over the shoulder time - no mean feat at six months pregnant. My hair was ripped at, earrings pulled out and my lasagnes dropped. Now we were causing a real scene (note all of the people in the queue in front of us must have had either no children or perfectly behaved ones as not one offered for us to go ahead of them.)
The earring was the last straw. I got to the front of the queue, practically threw my card at the poor assistant and shouted “You’re a VERY naughty boy,” at him quite dementedly on the way back to the car. At 20 months the poor mite clearly had no idea what I was on about, which made me feel all the more inept.
All things considered, it wasn’t fun.
So now what? The tantrums I’d been warned about are clearly on their way. So how to deal with them?
I headed to the internet to garner some advice. Doesn’t Super Nanny know how to deal with all this kind of stuff? Her website was my first port of call. Here are her three ‘top tips’ for dealing with what she dubs a ‘minor episode’ (although I’d beg to differ at that description):
* Tip One: Try positive self talk inside your head: ‘I will keep calm’.
Hmm. Quite difficult to keep calm when you are in the midst of a physical onslaught against flying little fists that have a stunning degree of accuracy (and that for some incalculable reason pack more punch than the The Hulk’s.)
* Tip Two: If ignoring hasn’t worked then some children can be jollied along out of an episode. Say something like “Time to stop now - I’ll count to ten”, then give plenty of praise and cuddles if the tantrum stops.
Firstly, if I had have ‘ignored’ George he would have thought it a rather wondrous and unexpected treat to be allowed to move from shelf to shelf pulling endless amounts of items from their neatly packed homes.
Secondly, given George’s version of counting to ten is like Joey from Friends’ attempts at speaking in French (not good) I doubt this would have worked effectively.
* Tip Three: In the supermarket it is sometimes best to just pick up your child and go outside to cut down your embarrassment.
Oh My God - Super Nanny is a genius after all! Well now I know…and perhaps now would also be a good time sign up for an online supermarket delivery service.
* What are your tactics for dealing with toddler tantrums? Make sure to pop them in the comment boxes below.