Tantrums: You Can’t Legislate This Birth Control

The public tantrum. That moment when an adult feels one of several reactions depending on their own life experience.

I worked retail for a decade– I’ve seen my fair of epic tantrums. Excellent birth control reminders, all of them. I often judged those parents as pushovers being led by the nose like obedient cattle. In retrospect, many of those judgments were likely unfair, and more

—-> because I was stupid. <-----

I continued to sneer even after birthing the first Small Person, hopefully with more subtlety, though I doubt it. Sixteen hours after his 3rd birthday, Zach morphed from a compliant, laid-back kid to…well, a normal kid. But still I sneered,

—-> because I was stupid. <-----

Despite all the prior experience, I still find myself taken aback by E’s tantrum tenacity. Even his last tantrum didn’t clue me in that I was soon going to star as that mom.

And I’m considered to be an experienced mom? Pffft, what a outstanding crock. Listen to my words, hold them in your heart: for every new kid, you are a first-time mom.

I never had to put Zach in a therapeutic hold to safely remove him from a store. All it ever took was my drill sergeant face/voice, and he’d whine his way out the car. Z likes to comply and repress– his therapist can fix that for him later.

Using the drill sergeant voice on Elliot yields the same result as putting water on a grease fire.

Zach and I chatted while we watched Elliot perform his improv street theater.

Z: “Mom, I don’t think I did that when I was three.”
Me: “Yeah, me either.”
Z: “He looks…well sort of ridiculous.”
Me: “Absolutely.”
Z: “Are you mad at him?”
Me: “I’m annoyed, not mad. Remember yesterday, when y’all were just poke-poke-poke at me all day? I felt a lot like that, too. Maturity is learning how to not do it on the floor in a public place.”

I hope the half dozen tween girls who passed by him at the peak of the screaming, filed the moment under “birth control”.

Thank You to the older woman who came over with a reassuring smile, murmuring, “we’ve all been there.” I wasn’t embarrassed–more awed- (remembering this was essentially my first time), but it was still nice.

Her understanding made me so glad that I had resisted the urge to roundhouse kick those 4 moms standing between me and the door. See, maturity.

Real quick. I have a vision of a moron room, packed with the acoustics of a thousand wailing children. All adults are eligible for entry — but especially moms — that continue to stand between another mother struggling with a frothingly-spitting-angry child and the only exit. To the four of you standing there with your angelic 9 month olds… when I rolled my eyes? It was actually AT you (and also the memory of me, when I was you), not my screaming kid. I saw your round-eyed shock and smug superiority. You think this won’t be you? Ha, only

—-> because you are stupid. <-----

It will be you, maybe even worse for you because that 9 month old of yours appeared to weigh about the same as my three year old. Assuming average growth, you’ll be sweating a ton more than I was today.

However, even smug me would have OPENED THE DOOR for the other mom.

Don't let the sweet look fool you