Monday, January 08, 2007


Just when I think I’ve gotten used to one of my children throwing a massive temper tantrum in public, they get louder.

We went to Wal-Mart today to get cat food – a quick errand. Unfortunately, the cat food is in the pet area, which is near the fish. For some reason, the children love to look at the fish. We could stand in front of the fish tanks all afternoon, and they would be ecstatic. I actually thought a Betta fish might be a good present for Eli. Eric disagrees with me and has visions of Eli taking the fish out of the bowl and accidentally flinging it across the room.

But, I digress. The children and I were parked in front of the fish until Eric had collected everything we needed, and we were ready to go. Georgia wanted to keep looking at the fish. So, the moment I turned the cart and began to veer away from the tanks, she let out a massive scream.

Oh sweet merciful crap. I was sooo not in the mood for this today. The further we got away from the fish, the louder the screaming became. And it was complete with full-bodied bucking. At times like these, I have found it best not to look at the people around me. However, since Georgia’s screams could be heard throughout Wal-Mart, and probably across the street, I didn’t really have to look around to know that every single person was staring at us. It didn't help that Eli was sitting in the cart with his eyes closed and his hands clamped over his ears to punctuate just how loud the situation was.

So, I did the only thing I could do that I knew would quiet Georgia down. I broke into Edelweiss. I think I may have mentioned it before, but the only thing that for some reason calms Georgia is when I sing Edelweiss in my very warbly singing voice.

So, my question of the day is this: Which is more embarrassing? My child deteriorating into full-bodied dry heaves complete with ear-shattering shrieks. Or loudly singing Edelweiss in public to calm her down. Just for the record, that did work. Unfortunately, I garnered just as many looks as did Georgia’s tantrum. I still haven’t decided which was worse.


Anonymous said...

what is really interesting about this story is that i am pretty sure you are not the only one to blog about it...

Pull Up A Chair said...

Hi... I have a 6 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. It wasn't too long ago that they acted like total little shits whenever they saw a fish or a bird or any other "thing" --- it didn't have to be alive, it just had to be there... It also had to be there when I was in a hurry to get on with my schedule. My son was the worst little offender. He would flatten himself on the floor like an amoeba and had the ability to transform his 35 pounds into roughly the weight of a large refrigerator.

Then one day they just stopped doing this crap. I mean, they still do kid stuff but they don't do the scream or the flatten out on the floor thing any more. It's different when they embarrass me now. This is what I do:

I get down in their cute little faces and say... "Ian, (or Jacqui) do you want Mommy to make you wish you were invisible because I will embarrass you so much worse than anything you can imagine, you will want to disappear." Works like a charm... I showed them how and what I would do and it involves singing show-tunes while using any object I can reach, as my pretend microphone.

See, you can get even and make the other shoppers laugh like crazy (or make them call the cops on the crazy singing lady.)

pearl said...

I wouldn't be worried about being embarrassed. By reading your story you did what any good mom would do. I have three kids and I completely understand.

Sunrunner said...

The tantrum was worse than singing. Definitely!

Misty said...

LOVE your blog. So funny!

Stacey said...

Are you serious? This is not even a question. The tanturm is so much worse. Every person that sees you singing to a tear stained face will know you are doing everything possible to keep the peace, and you will be admired!

PAULO said...


Sadie said...

I love your stories! You make motherhood seem less scary to me (even with the tantrums).

Desert Songbird said...

Ditto everyone's comments -- you did what most moms would do -- you took control of the situation AND got your butts outta there! I think what would've been worse was if you had ignored it and then continued to shop. Don'tcha just love parents who think ignoring the situation will make it go away?

There were plenty of times in the past (and a couple recently as well) when my kids' behavior was less than acceptable, and rather than subject others to their tantrums, we've left the store or restaurant. Then, when the kids want to know why there's no milk in the house, or why they didn't get to eat their pizza at the restaurant, I remind them of the facts behind said condition.

They finally understand I MEAN BUSINESS.

Morgen said...

I love the "singing showtunes" to embarrass the kids! That is awesome!

Also awesome is your mommy-ing skills, Neila: From working in retail -- I have seen SO many kids who are either HIT for crying, or who are totally ignored. Your solution is brilliant! Trust me, shoppers and retail associates should applaud you for attempting to defuse the tantrum!
Next time, just grab your hairbrush and start belting out something from LeMiz. Or how about "It's raining on prom night" from Grease?

You are an awesome mom, and don't you forget it!!!


SQT said...

OMG! I have to try that! If for no other reason than it will embarass the heck out of my kids. Brilliant!

Tisha said...

*LOL* Love your blog! Seems as though we have a lot in common. I had the exact same thing happen to me this weekend. You did the right thing. Don't look up! Heh heh

Congrats on being a Bestest Blog!!

Hulai said...

hmmm. well years from now you will look back and laugh at this!

Diana said...

How I would have loved to be in that wal-mart today! LOL! Thanks for the laugh!

Pull Up A Chair said...

Hey -- This morning I was the one who was almost crying... I gotta tell you, I was trying to get them ready for school and make a lunch and iron a shirt for my husband while making my 7 year old do his homework that he could not do the night before because he was soooo tired... All the while I was telling them to "Get dressed...put down that cookie...leave the cat alone...get dressed...where are your socks! You can't wear those shoes without socks! It's 35 degrees outside!... put that cookie down! No I can't get you a drink, get it yourself, I'm ironing this f-ing shirt for your disabled father who thinks an iron is something you build skyscrapers out of..."

I pulled it off, I tell ya it was a close call but they all left and I, well, I sat down and cried for about 5 minutes and then I put a pillow over my head and smiled.