Okay I haven’t really mastered the temper tantrum. But I have managed to create a distraction for onlookers.
Earlier this week Emma, Ben and I were out. Emma had played and run around which equals no nap, which equals exhaustion which equals meltdown. It’s one thing to know it’s coming but it’s the not knowing when that keeps me on tenterhooks.
As with most of Emma’s um, what shall we call them, little outbursts or passionate displays of dissatisfaction, they’re triggered by the most unlikely things. This particular one was at Serendipity and it was inside the shop. The meltdown wasn’t over one of the toys sitting on the shelf but rather for the free, gratis, costs zilch complimentary gummy dummy that comes with the bill.
“Stay calm, stay calm” I told the voices in my head. “Okay we will” they replied “But get her out of there, post haste!” Going into parental survival mode I blocked out everything around me and did a recce for the nearest exit. I picked up the writhing toddler and took her outside to the garden area close to the entrance.
Kneeling down I tried to find out what was going on in that little head of hers. I stood up and tried to pick her up with me. She wriggled and squirmed her way out of my arms and found her way back to the comfort of the cold concrete rather than my warm embrace. Back down I went. Up and down up and down. In all of this my pants were shifting. Up, down, up, down, up, down…
And then I noticed that the moms and kids coming in and leaving were no longer looking at Emma. They were looking at me. Or rather not me. They were looking at my bearded pants. Moms in shocked horror and kids in amazement. No one was noticing Emma anymore.
One to Emma. Zero to me.