Saturday, August 19, 2006

Temper Tantrums

The Exorcist
Originally uploaded by neila222.
I remember vividly Eli’s worst temper tantrum (so far). He was about 2 ½, and I was pregnant with Georgia. We had been shopping in Price Chopper on a Friday night, and Eli had been a pill the entire time. When we checked out, he wanted gum. I said no because 1. he knew he wasn’t allowed to have gum yet, and 2. he knows he doesn’t get a treat when he’s naughty.

He threw himself on the floor in front of about 20 check-out lanes full of people. I had never seen such a spectacle. It was complete with crying, kicking and screaming. There were at least 100 people total in the check-out lanes, and every single one of them was looking at us. Without a backward glance, I scooped Eli up and walked out of the store. It took me another 15 minutes to get him buckled into his car seat, but at least then we were only a spectacle for the security camera aimed at our car.

I thought I had another year until I experienced such excitement with Georgia. Plus, the second time around, I thought I was prepared. I’ve been teaching her sign language so she can communicate better, which supposedly causes fewer tantrums. And I think I have more patience this time around, since I knew nothing of what to expect four years ago when Eli was born.

Georgia is quickly becoming very independent. After we left Gymboree yesterday, she wanted to walk through the courtyard by herself. She refused to hold my hand. If I let her go, however, she took off in the opposite direction, so I had to pick her up. This made her mad and she let out a blood-curdling scream. Heads turned.

This should have been the only clue I needed that things were only going to go down hill. I should have put the kids in the car and left. Unfortunately, I had promised Eli a drink after Gymboree, and he really wanted to go to Einstein Bros (which I still refer to as Bagel & Bagel. It was better when it was Bagel & Bagel). We had parked right in front of EB, and I thought we would be quick.

When we went into the store, I realized it was 12:30, so they were packed. Georgia immediately wanted down. I had the insane idea that I could put her down, and she would stand quietly by my side. Yes, I know. Please control your laughter at my stupidity. When I put her down, she made a beeline for the door. I went and grabbed her before someone plowed into her with the door. But when I picked her up, she screamed and started bucking. People began to turn and look at me.

The woman at the counter took my order, even though there were about five people ahead of us. They desperately wanted us out of there before a scene ensued. I put Georgia down again, because I just wanted her to be quiet for about two minutes. This time, she ran over and started to climb into the refrigerated case holding the cream cheese. I knew I was screwed. I was going to have to hold her. Eli was completely oblivious, standing in front of the pastry case trying to decide what he wanted. (He finally opted for a cinnamon twist.)

When I picked up Georgia, she let loose. She tried to squirm away, and when she realized I was not letting her down, she began screaming. I’ve decided she has my mother’s scream – complete with the “shrill.” She also threw in a “Ya Na Na Ma” while hitting and swatting at me. I was attempting to pay for our food – because dammit, after all this, I was getting my toasted sesame bagel – when Georgia started the head butting me.

She was still screaming, and started throwing her head violently against me in her attempted escape. Kudos to me, by the way, for managing to keep a hold on her during all of this. I fully expected her head to spin around at any moment and pea soup to start shooting out of her mouth.

By this point, everyone in the bagel shop, which was at full capacity, was staring at us. Those with children were nodding sympathetically, and those without were shaking their head in disgust. I cursed them all with the hope they’ll have twins.

After we finally got our food and Eli’s drink, I drug the kids out to the car. I passed another Gymboree mom on the way out who was eating with her two children. I just gave her a bewildered look, and she said, “Oh, I know.” She understood.

While buckling a screaming Georgia into her car seat, I had a fear that I would see an Amber alert on TV that night. “We are looking for a woman who shoved two children into a black SUV. One of them was screaming. Please contact NBC Action News if you have any information.” Wouldn’t that be my luck?


ian said...

After a day like that, you deserve a cocktail and a bubble bath. Sheesh. It sounds like the only thing that could have made it worse was the application of projectile vomiting.


leach said...

Your entry was SO funny! I'd love to see what the security video picked up! *lol* hmm...I wonder who/where Georgia got her headbutting technique from!

Stacey said...

You know as I read this, Thoughts of Kennedy, my 3 year old came rushing back. She was just like Georgia. She would immediately take off if I put her down and would scream and scream and scream, if I held her. Who is it that says boys are better than girls, I would ask myself rushing out of Target for the millionth time.