Happy new year! Dh & I went to bed at 11 last night (!) & went to the movies today to see "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." Totally far-fetched to the point of eye rolling in some spots, but lots of fun just the same.
Then we went to our favourite mega-bookstore for a browse & a Starbucks. We're usually there on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, & by comparison, it was practically deserted today -- blissfully uncrowded & peacefully quiet.
Until the Toddler From Hell decided to throw the Mother of All Tantrums. You could hear him shrieking at the top of his lungs all over the store -- and it went on, and on, and on. Both dh & I, browsing in different sections, could hear him, loud & clear. Dh was close enough to hear his mother say calmly, "No, you can't have it. I'm going to wait until you're finished crying & then we're going home."
Umm, hello, how about taking him OUTSIDE or to the car & waiting for him to finish his tantrum out there?? OK, I can hear all the parents out there thinking, "What does SHE know about toddlers & their tantrums?? Cut the woman some slack!" Yes, I have never been a mother of a toddler, and overall, I think her tone & approach was the right one (I hate hearing parents screaming at their kids, almost as much as I hate hearing the kids screaming) -- but I think common sense & good manners dictates that if they are making that much of a fuss & disrupting the whole store, TAKE THEM OUTSIDE!!
(I can clearly remember throwing a tantrum at a local store when I was about 3, probably because of what happened next. My mother whisked me outside to the car, spanked me soundly & told me to never, ever do that in public again. And I never did. Of course, today, she would probably have to explain her actions to both the police & the Children's Aid Society...)
(In a similar vein, I can remember a child fussing for far too long in church once, before one of the parents finally carried him down to the nursery. The bishop was visiting at the time & remarked, "Crying children, like new year's resolutions, should be quickly carried out." lol!)
On the opposite end of the spectrum -- I then got to watch a daddy & his cute little girl, about 18 months old & dressed in pink, wandering around & exploring the store. Picking books off the shelves & examining them, picking up a shopping basket & flipping the handle back & forth. Dad was close enough to keep her from doing anything she really shouldn't, but letting her explore & set the pace & course. I found myself tearing up a little, just watching her in all her adorable innocence. The nightmare & the dream of parenthood, all in one visit.