Most times when people think of my little Abigail, they think of the cute lovable little girl who is always running around and doing silly things. What most don't realize is her incredibly short temper! When Abigail doesn't get her way she rapidly stomps her feet, clings her fists, pulls hair, and throws whatever she can find, while screaming louder then anyone ever could imagine a little baby could scream!
Because of this... I actually try to avoid taking her out anymore... at least until this phase passes. Part of her problem is lack in communication skills and she just get sooo frustrated!
Today, however, I had no choice but to bring her to the store. I went in for two things, bug spray and children's Zyrtec for Angel. When we arrived at the grocery store Abigail first points to the race-car looking cart and said "Pees! Mommy! Pees!" As she points up. I thought that was sweet. I mean who could resist? As much as I hate pushing those things (they have an extra set of wheels and are way longer than they look and until you get the hang of it you run into EVERYTHING!") I scooped her up and put her in the driver seat. Angel wanted to ride in the larger basket part. She was tired and wanted to lay down. I put her in the big part. I knew I could store my two items on the bottom of the cart with ease.
When we walked in the door the first thing Angel says is "Mommy, can we please have a cookie?" Before I could explain that we would be eating dinner as soon as we got home Abigail says "Cookie? Pees?" I figured one cookie wouldn't hurt, and it might help keep Abigail busy for the entire duration of this shopping experience. We walked over to the bakery and they were out of cookies. Before Abigail knew what was going on I quickly told Angel they didn't have any. She said ok and we moved on. I felt a sense of accomplishment as we passed that hurtle with no Abigail melt downs.
Our next stop was the medicine isle. This is where I made my mistake. I grabbed the children's Zyrtec and handed it to Angel. Abigail pointed at the shelf and said "oooo!!" That was her way of telling me she wanted to hold something too. Angel jumped in and said "She can hold my medicine. I don't care." Angel is always so sweet and thoughtful, but I explained that medicine wasn't a good thing for Abigail to hold. I grabbed a toy from the baby section thinking she could hold that at least until we got to the counter, but Abigail wasn't having it! She threw the toy to the ground and then began to climb out of the cart! She turned around and put her arms around my neck and she climbed up me screaming "WAAHHHH MAAAAAMMMMYYYY AHHHHHH". She eventually made her way completely out of the cart and was clinging to me for her dear life. She was holding on so tight I was still able to push the cart with both hands.
We started making our way to the isle with bug spray. At this point Abigail is now trying to climb down me, so now I'm steering this beastly cart with one hand, while holding a kicking, screaming toddler who was trying her best to remove my one hand from the cart... which by the way was partly out of control and extremely hard to push with the uneven weight of my six year old in the basket. Up until now I'd been fairly impressed by my ability to steer under these rough conditions, but thanks to the help of my wonderful 21 month old daughter I ran into a rack of WINE BOTTLES!! I held my breath as I watch a domino effect of wine bottles fall to the ground, and was literally praising God when not one of them broke. Normally I would pick them up, but I was on a mission for a new cart, and I knew setting Abigail down in this mood was more dangerous then just letting someone know they were on the ground.
Finally we made it to the door, and I strapped Abigail into a regular cart. Angel let me know she would walk to try and make it easier on me. Abigail fought long and hard with her buckle and somehow managed to maneuver the strap around her NECK! I knew this was just NOT going to work. I unbuckled her and stuck her in the large part of the cart... All the while she is SCREAMING at the top of her lungs. At this point I doubt she even knows why she is screaming!
We get to the bug spray and, while still screaming, she manages to climb into the seat of the the cart and from there climbs onto me. Before she could start her climb down I set her on the grown where she then started to grab anything within reach and starting throwing things! I grabbed her arm and said in a very stern voice "Abigail, We do not throw things!" She then began to clinch her fist and stomp her feet and she screamed and screamed and screamed. I had been ignoring all glaring looks from strangers as I ignored my child's tantrum. I remained calm as I searched for the exact spray my husband had asked me to pick up.
Meanwhile an older couple passes by and says "Is everything ok?" I explained "Yes, she's just not getting her way so I'm ignoring her." The woman gave a smirk, and her husband gave a little smile. "We understand that!" As she walked away. Then another woman walks up and begins to rub Abigail's back saying "It's ok sweetie! It's ok!" She looks up at me and says, "you know they have free cookies at the bakery, would you like for me to get her one?"
"They are out of cookies right now" I explained
"Oh? Is that why she's upset? Would a sucker help? Can I buy her a treat? I really don't mind! I have grandchildren and I hate to see them so upset! I always get them a little treat at the store!"
"Thank you for offering, but I'd rather not give her any kind of reward. She'll be fine."
The woman walked away and apologized for prying. I told her it wasn't a big deal and that I understood her concerns. I put Abigail back into the cart where she continued her tantrum and I could better focus on reading the labels on the bug sprays. That's when ANOTHER elderly woman came up to me. She began to pat me on the back and said "You are a good mother! Don't let the other people worry you!" She then points to Abigail and says "She is going to be a wonderful person!" Then she points to Angel and says "I can already tell you have raised this one right! Good for you!"
As she left I felt so much better about my decision to ignore Abigail's tantrum. I finally grabbed the spray I was looking for and we left. Abigail screamed a bit more in the car and before long she stopped and was gazing out the window.
When we are at home I don't put up with her tantrums. I put her in her crib to let her calm down. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of carrying her bedroom in my back pocket for times we are out in public, but that doesn't give me the right to give in, give her a treat, or put up with her tantrums in public.
It is true. Angel is a great six year old and her actions today proved that I did right by her when I ignored her tantrums in public when she was a baby and, therefore, I firmly believe I did the right thing.
So, readers... What do you guys think? Would you have ignored the tantrum? Would you have left empty handed? Would you have let the woman buy your child a treat? I want to know! Leave your comments on this one!