March 20, 2009

Surviving a Public Meltdown

Today Pookie and I went to the library and then to the mall.  We went into Mastermind, which always has lots of toys out for the kids to play with.  Pooks played for ages on the Thomas table and then with this wooden barn.  Then she says "baby" and races over to the babies.  She spotted some Corolle doll not in a box she had never seen before.  She grabbed it and cuddled it and started high-tailing it out of the store.  I raced after her and stopped her.  I got down on her level and explained the doll had to go back.  Then she started hugging it really tight saying "please please", in a desperate voice.  I might of got it for her but it was $20, and just not worth it.  After explaining to her that the doll had to go back with it's friends, she really lost it.  I moved quickly, picked her up, put the doll back and got out of the store.

I could hardly hold her because she was going all limp.  She was SOBBING so loud, and it seemed like everyone was looking.  I looked for a spot to put her down and talk to her.  She wouldn't stand and ended up lying down flat on her back in tears.  I tried reasoning with her, offered to take her to the pet store, but it was clear she just needed to cry.  Again I carried her, this time over to a soft bench.  I put her down and let her cry for a while.  OMG I swear EVERYONE was staring at us.  That was the only stressful thing about the whole situation.  I gave up sooner than I probably "should" of and took her down to the pet store.  There she slowly came out of "it", but she was still a toddler on the edge. :P  Finally she was calm enough that I could get her organized to go home.  

There is something really empowering about getting through a public tantrum without losing your cool.  So many times I see people yelling at their kids making the situation worse.  I am always sympathetic because it is so hard to deal with, at the same time I take notes on what NOT to do.   Next time if it happens I will take her to a place that is a bit more private so I can let her work it out.


Lindsay said...

I think that it is great that you deal with her tantrums like that. Logan has started to do a similiar thing and it is really hard when people are just staring at you while you are trying to let them figure things out. One of the things that works really well for us is that I always keep something that he really likes in our diaper bag (toy, stuffed animal, car, etc) and he will usually take to that instead of whatever it is that we are trying to move on from.

Kat said...

I think you did an awesome job!! Too many people in public places forget that they too have been in that exact same situation at one time or another. Its hard not to loose your cool in a toddler tantrum, especially the ones that take place in the eyes of a million complete strangers!

You are such an awesome mommy, "Pookie" is so lucky to have such a loving and caring Mom that goes above and beyond to teach her the ways of the world!!
Kudos to you!

Mommy2O&E said...

I'm with you on that one! Owen hasn't had a meltdown YET but I see people yelling or even smacking their kids in public, and I think "I'm not going to be like that!" Great Job, Mama!! It's hard to keep cool when you can almost read peoples minds!

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Sounds like you did a great job and that Pookie just needed to be sad for a moment. I try to be really calm and soothing when the babeola loses it. Sometimes I tell her I am frustrated with her when I am feeling stressed, but never yell or scream,mostly I just focus on redirection or outright leaving.