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Attention shoppers: tantrum on aisle six
Grocery store tantrums.
They’re not uncommon, but they weren’t really talked about as much as they have been recently, after a particular scenario was spread all over social media: talk radio host and blogger Matt Walsh posted about sticking up for a mom.
To make a long story short, Walsh felt compelled to speak up for a mom whose child was having a fit when another shopper made a snarky comment to her.
The other shopper had also approached Walsh minutes earlier telling him he was a fan of his radio show.
"I guess you thought we were friends, you thought you could confide in me your deepest thoughts. You glanced toward the mother and the kid, then at me, rolled your eyes and said in a loud voice: 'Man, some people need to learn how to control their f**king kids.'"
Walsh's experience got me and many other moms thinking.
What if my Jack was having a tantrum bigger than one of those kids in TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras?
Before I became a mom, I would have probably wanted to book it out of there.
If I was a bystander, I wouldn’t have shook my fist or sneered, but I might have thought something like, ‘Wow, they don’t have much control,’ or, ‘That kid’s sure a bugger.’
Now that I’m a mom, my reaction both as a parent and bystander would be completely different.
As a passerby, I’d probably give a sympathy smile.
As momma bear, I’d stick to my guns, try to ignore the fit, and if it didn’t stop, maybe crouch to their level and say something like, ‘Look at how silly you look. You’re not getting your way and everyone’s watching, so please stop.’
Or maybe I’d do what my dad did to me on the bus ride to our hotel when all I wanted was to head straight to Disneyland, and say, ‘If you don’t stop, I’m going to make you sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in front of everyone on this bus.’
I was shy, so it worked.
Circling back to my pre-parent thoughts about grocery store tantrums, I didn’t have a clue then about how parenting works.
I didn’t know no matter how patient and loving you are as a parent, transferring that aura to your children takes time.
I’ve never met a child, no matter how typically well-behaved they are, who hasn’t taken a trip to meltdown city.
Or as Walsh states, "toddlers are notorious for losing their cool at the most inconvenient times. Nobody likes to hear it, but it happens."
If you practice patience, it will eventually pay off.
But I’m sure it’s going to take a few episodes, however, before your children realize that’s not how we roll.
Just keep calm and shop on. Eventually mid-shop tantrums will become few and far between.
And finally, if I was to ever pass that radio dude Matt Walsh in the produce section, I’d definitely slap him a high-five.