I don’t know who came up with the phrase “Terrible Twos,” because with my three kids, age three has always been much worse than two. I was reminded of this today, when my three year old daughter had her first humongous public meltdown. It happened like this…
This morning, I needed to get some things from my favorite store, Target. I love going to Target. There is a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell snack area up front, and I can grab a soda to sip while I shop. Usually, I get a sugar cookie for my daughter, and she sits sweetly in the cart, smiling at strangers, waving at old folks. It’s a nice outing. Not today.
About halfway through the shopping, she decided to throw a big screaming fit. It was really magnificent. On the International Tantrum Scale (based on how many strangers would stop and stare), it was probably a 9 out of 10. There was crying, whining, screaming, falling on the floor, scratching, bleeding, hair stuck to snot, kicking… No vomiting, though. That would have made it a 10.
I will spare you the rest of the little details, but let me share some of the things I learned from today’s Tantrum at Target:
- Age three is more terrible than two, because a three year old is heavier, more wiggly, and can cause more damage during a tantrum.
- The first time a child has a huge tantrum at the store, it will be unexpectedly crowded, even though it’s a Monday, and people should be at work.
- The more difficult your child is being, the more people will stop their carts directly in your path, blocking your way.
- The ear-splitting shrieks of an angry toddler would make a highly effective torture device.
- The ear-splitting shrieks of an angry toddler would also make a highly effective birth control device.
- Chanting “this is not my child” to yourself while you wrestle the kid and try to drive the cart around the oblivious morons parked in the middle of the aisle does not help to block out the screaming noise.
I’m sure some of you parents can relate to this experience. It’s one of those things that we all go through with our kids, right? Do you have any favorite tantrum lessons you’d like to share?