Monday, October 15, 2007

When Satan Takes Over

There's a lie every childless adult tells themself. All of us have thought it at some point and have judged others because of this lie. I'm talking, of course, of every single one of us who have said when we were childless and affronted with the presence of a temper tantrum-throwing toddler, "My children will never act like that."

I once was one of the judgemental people. I used to shake my head as soon as I was out of sight and wonder why a parent would subject their ear drums to those sounds, when clearly, it would be so simple to control that child, and it's no wonder Super Nanny is so busy.

Then I had Little Man. Although we've been overall pretty lucky with him, besides the non-sleeping, the excessive spitting up, the refusal to wear hats and, of course, the obsessive-compulsive love of Elmo that makes my eye twitch, there are those times when he turns into a fire-breathing dragon, where venom spews out of his every pore and he sucks my spinal fluid dry after beheading me, just to show us that he can.

Luckily for us, though, he only thumps us with these tantrums at home, just like any good abuser should. Although, for the most part, Sweetie Pie and I have been the only witnesses to this dark side of Little Man, no longer do I judge the people in the aisles of Target or at the mall with the screaming, thrashing child who they attempt to meekly threaten with a time out if the humiliation will stop. I don't judge, because I know that would simply be asking fate to punish me and whisper to Little Man that a tantrum is even more fun with a very large audience.

I'd much rather Little Man discover that the couch is flammable than the power of a public tantrum.

This weekend, Sweetie Pie was gone hunting. Which of course means our household turned into a frat house, where meals consisted of fast food, bed times became so passé, and wearing clothes is so lame, dude. Also, Little Man and I have slumber partie in our King-size bed, because it's so much fun to wake up to him hovering two inches away from my face, whispering that he wants cookies for breakfast. Then, when I kiss him, because he's so damn cute, he shakes his head at me in disgust and tells me "no kisses, Mama." I'm thinking by next year he'll roll his eyes at me for even being in the same room as him and asking him to drop him off three blocks from the daycare so his friends don't see that he got a ride from his mother, because, that's, like, so embarrassing.

We had such a brilliant day together, that after attending a birthday party, we ended up at Toys R' Us, with the original plan being that we would buy a birthday present for one of his friends who has a birthday coming up. There, Little Man fell in love with a Radio Flyer bicycle and rode that sucker around the entire store, laughing and yelling bicycle and it was such a magical day, that I bought it for him and I had to peel him off the seat while he screamed like I'd just amputated one of his limbs in order to get him in his car seat home.

On Sunday, despite his going to bed at 11 p.m., Little Man was up at 7:30. To most of us, 8.5 hours of sleep would be fantastic, but not for my toddler, who needs at least 10 to 11 hours a night and then loves a good four hour naps on weekends just to top up his sleep bank.

It all came to a head while we were grocery shopping at Walmart. I can't even remember what set him off, but next thing I knew, I was the woman with the thrashing screaming demon in my cart, the screaming approaching an octave that Nobel winners have yet to discover. As the shoppers around me cringed from their burst ear drums, I tried to tell Little Man to cut it out. Then I tried to reason with him, telling him that this behavior was not endearing at all. Then I tried to threaten him with a time out. Then with an imaginary spanking. Then with a can of whoop ass.

Nothing worked. So for the next 30 minutes, I was that woman, the one pushing the cart with the screaming child, who seems to not even notice that this red ball of snot in her cart is making loud noises.

I got home at 11:32. And I've never wanted a bottle of tequila so bad in my life. Or a pack of cigarettes.

By 11:33, Little Man was in his toddler bed asleep.

I ate half a bag of Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Because it's always a good time for chocolate.

Next time Sweetie Pie goes hunting? The fast food, television and nudity will still occur. But bed time? That will be at 8:30 or 9 as usual.




Loukia said...

Well, you survived! LOL... we all have days like that... overall we should be lucky we have such great 2 year old boys who rarely throw tantrums like that, right!?

My boy went to bed at 9:30 last night, a rarity for him! (He does have a cold, though...)

Haphazardkat said...

So so so so SOOOOOO been there!!!! ARGH.
Half the people look at you like "Gees DO something with that brat, will you?!!" and the other half look at you with spearing looks of "TOUCH that child and I'm SO calling CPS on your ass"

Anonymous said...

For the love of shoes! I am DREADING the day this happens to me. Must be sure to stock up on tequila and chocolate just in case :)

And? I'm so coming to your house the next time Sweetie Pie is away. Sounds like fun. But, I'll only come if you buy me a bike from Toys R Us :)

jesse said...

Oh girl I know what you mean about looking at parents and wondering "don't they have any control" And yes I've been on the receiving end of having one of my kids do that to me in public.

Blue Momma said...

Believe it or not, I don't think we've had a really bad public meltdown. But at home? I was ready to call an exorcist!

And was LM pedaling the bike? I am impressed! Punkin wants one, but since he refused to pedal he can keep scooting around on his little baby scooter!

Morgan Leigh said...

When that happens to me? I just smile at people with kids, and look at them with a "Oh, yeah, just wait another year. Ha!"

Emma in Canada said...

Oh this happened to me with Taylor. And one day some fucking bastard said "can't you control your child?" And I lost it. Totally and completely. Had my Nan not been there? I would have hit that man. Apparently I'm not over it since I still refer to him in the above terms.

So, yeah, I never judge the parents with the kid in the midst of a meltdown. Been there, done that.

Sandy said...

So sorry but sooooo funny! Of course, the last time my baby threw a tantrum like that was in 1980! It will get better, I swear!

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

Live & learn. I've seen how he cries. I can only imagine him in Wal-hell doing his high decibel AHHHH. Yay, for you. I'm banking on the fact that you'll never let him stay up that late again?

Oh, and we're still on for lunch Thursday, right?

ohio blue eyes said...

lunch on thursday AFF? TP and I will SO be there. Put me on speaker phone.
and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you threatened him with a can of thats my kind of parenting skills!

jempress said...

ohhh - is it bad that reading this post made me happy? because not only are you amazingly funny, but i'm glad that i'm not the only one. i took lala to the mall the other day while chaco was having dinner with some friends, and she turned into a banshee. i'm pretty sure all of northpark heard her screech song. i got some nasty looks and overheard some teenagers say something along the lines of, "and that's why i never want to have kids."

That Chick Over There said...

Oh. I'm so sorry.

Sam said...

I can so relate to this. I remember many a time when my eldest daughter would throw tanrums at the supermarket and I just wished the ground would open up and swallow me.

Julie said...

Oh, we had a similar incident on Sunday - but it was Abby throwing the fit. And then grandparents putting in their two cents - it was just one big barrel of laughs - NOT. It still makes me tired thinking about it.

And when Abby was about 1 1/2 she threw the biggest fit in the grocery store. I couldn't get her to stop and I was so mortified I ditched my full cart and bolted out the door with her.

Rachel said...

Awwww, welcome to the club. We are happy to have you as a member.