Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The nightmare & the dream

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.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year!

    I would have taken that kid out of the store pronto. Once at the crafting store I heard a mother say to her whining preschool-aged child, "You need to be good for yourself. Can you do that for yourself? Can you give yourself that gift today?" or some such nonsense. Of course the kid proceeded to screech all over the store.