Fun and games at the supermarket
I’m not sure if it’s strange that amusement is the strongest emotion I feel while watching my youngest — who happens to be two, an age famous for it—chuck a supermarket tantrum.
Sure, there’s a little frustration there, as well as a touch of embarrassment, but more than anything I find it funny.
It’s funny because it’s beyond me how someone can lose the plot so much they’re quite willing to lay on a filthy floor and make an attention-drawing scene by screaming at the top of their lungs.
At 33, I can’t even imagine chucking a wobbly like that.
But my little two-year-old, who has been known to deliver a shy smile and hide behind my legs when a stranger tries to interact with him, seemingly has no problem with a crowd full of strangers looking sideways at him while he squeals like a stuck pig.
I know he’s only little and when little kids lose control like that they don’t quite know how to recover it quickly, so my feelings are also tinged with sympathy.
Although I have been known to take that last emotion back on the occasions P3 turns a tantrum off as quickly and as easily as I would turn off a tap.
I tried to call his bluff one day.
We were walking through an arcade and he didn’t want to hold my hand.
I told him he had to hold my hand (because he can’t be trusted not to take off and he runs quicker than I felt like running that day) or I was going to carry him.
He didn’t like that idea, so he went limp and started howling as he threw himself on the floor.
I bent down and tried to put him back on his feet, but he just screamed a few decibels louder.
The bags I was carrying were floundering here and there off my shoulders and I was getting flustered, so I just gave up.
‘‘Rightio, bye, bye,’’ I said to him and waved as I continued toward the door.
Instantly the crying stopped, he sprung to his feet, eyed me with a crooked smile like a cheeky mouse teasing a cat and made a break for it in the opposite direction.
I might not have felt like moving very fast that day, but I didn’t have a choice.
P3 usually makes the decisions for the whole family, why should that day have been any different?
I should call him my personal trainer and take him shopping every day.
Losing the last five kilos would probably not be as difficult as fabled.
Many more moments like that though and I’m sure my amusement has a limited-time-only tag hanging from it.
Aside from finding these outbursts funny (for now), I’m also quietly grateful for the experience.
For many years I’d heard folklore of supermarket tanties, but was beginning to believe they were urban myths.
Although I’d seen glimpses of other people’s children chucking them here and there, I completely missed the experience with my first two kids.
You really do have to thank your kids for opening your eyes to everything it means to be and to have a child.
That includes the good and the bad.
Possibly the bad times are only there to help you really appreciate the good ones anyway.
And if you’re strange like me, you might even call a supermarket tanty a good one.
— Bree Almond
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