Friday, 1 June 2012

Children in public

Having worked back in the CBD again for what must be coming up a year I have seen and heard my fair share of children throwing epic tantrums. I have also seen peoples reactions to these tantrums.
You can always tell the person who doesn't have a child as they get this look on their face while they are pretending they don't see. The look speaks louder than anything though "Would you shut your little monster up!!!".
You can see others as well. Like the pity look - "Oh you poor thing". I assume these people have been in a similar situation and can definitely relate to what the poor Mum or Dad is going through. I'm pretty sure thats the look I get. Well at least I hope it's the look I get and not this one, the "I'm glad it's you not me" look. These people try  for the pity look but theres a smugness about them that you know exactly what they are thinking.

I'm lucky with Miss Midget, I have not had her pull a epic tantrum in town (we don't go to town very often so thats probably why) or in anywhere to public.
I dread the Supermarket though as I know one day my luck will run out and Miss will have one in there. I have managed to bypass a few that look like they may come. Distraction is the best in this situation and there are lots of things in a supermarket to do this with. If she tries the I want card and I say no and she even looks like she's going to go there I start talking about other stuff like "Can you help Mummy find.........?" or "Can you see......." or "Can you hold this for Mummy please?" this generally works. The only time I have any problem is when I'm at the counter and am trying to pay for something. Missy is insistent on having my wallet. Silly me gave it to her one day and she promptly spread the entire contents on the floor while having a look at it and deciding Mummy didn't need things. Lets just say I don't make that mistake any more. I also try not to park the trolley to close to the Eftpos machine either as little tutu fingers is just dying to "help" Mummy push the buttons.
Most of the time the Cashiers are lovely and talk to Miss and she thinks thats awesome. They also mostly understand if something doesn't quite go to plan.
There was one incident that comes to mind though where I just wished the ground had swallowed me. We were paying for our items and Miss just happened to be going through her screaming/squealing stage and no matter what I said or did she wouldn't stop it. The checkout lady made a big song and dance about it and how it hurt her ears but Miss carried on. The checkout lady was trying to be funny about it with me I guess but there was a definite "Shut your screaming monster up" undertone and look on her face. A couple of the things she said (this was a while ago so I can't remember specifically the conversation) that made me wish I'd picked a different checkout. I'd managed to ignore the screaming/squealing factor all through the supermarket and this lady made such a big deal about it with the other customers listening that I got quite embarrassed which in turn I'm sure made Miss go for it more.I think she was enjoying the attention. I don't think I could of exited that super market any faster if I'd tried.Thankfully we're out of that phase and the supermarket is safe again. Every time I go back to that supermarket though I make sure to avoid that particular checkout lady.

I could understand from her point as she'd probably put up with a few kids doing that all day but in all reality short of gagging my daughter or smacking her at the check out what was I to do? Threats do not work on a 2yr old as they don't understand and they really only have 2 volumes or at least Miss Midget does.....loud and louder.

I don't know, I guess people either understand or they don't. I think at this stage I'm lucky Missy is pretty well behaved in public. I do try not to push my luck with it though. If I can help it we use "parent common sense" and avoid places if Miss Midget is having an off sleepy/grumpy day and things like that. I realise this can't work all the time but I figure while I can there is no need to put Miss or I in that situation.

What do you guys think? Have a I missed a look that people give a Parent of a tantruming child or have you had something similar to my supermarket story. I know a few of you have strangers come up to you with odd pieces of criticism, how did it make you feel?

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