Tuesday, May 22, 2012

a first for us

Write about a time your child embarrassed you in public.

It was mother's day of all days, and in the library of all places.

Part of my mama-chosen fun for the day was a family trip to the library. Jacob loves it there - checking out the toys and books and talking to new kids. I love browsing, especially when I have extra hands to keep an eye on our roving toddler.

About 10 minutes before we were set to leave, Husband gave J a five-minute warning, to which J stomped and squealed a bit, but he became tight lipped after we both gave him the stink eye and told him to behave nicely.

So, I wandered off for my last few moments of browsing in the parenting and pregnancy section, and I swear no sooner had I picked up a book about toddler discipline, when I heard the ruckus coming from the children's section. Someone was very unhappy about having to clean up and get ready to leave.

But this went beyond the normal realm of J expressing his unhappy feelings. He freaked. Full-tilt screaming. Huge tears. Meltdown. No, he was not going to clean up the toys. No, he was not going to leave the library. No, No, No.

Colour me crimson. The silent library was not so quiet as he continued to lose it while Husband insisted that he return his toys to the shelf before we left. He did so, and at the end of the 30-second tidy that felt like 30 hours, I sent them out to the car while I checked out our selections at the front desk.

I felt rotten. Not because he was loud in the library. Not because he'd thrown an utter tantrum in public. Not because I was embarrassed, though I was. It was more so because I couldn't reach him. I was talking to him, holding him, looking him in the eye, but he wasn't seeing me or hearing me. All he knew was that he was not happy about what was taking place and he was going to let us know, damnit.

It was a first for us, and certainly not the last, I know. I hopped in the backseat and chatted with J during the ride home. Once he was calm, we talked about what happened and why it wasn't nice. I'm sure he'd long-since forgotten about it by the time we reached our house, but I felt a little better, having done my due-diligence in explaining right and wrong. But it still bothered me for the rest of the day, knowing that he really does have that toddler side to him, and even though I knew it would one day make its appearance, it was still surprising and kind of sad. Sigh.

Come on, mamas, share your moments, too. We've all been there!


Thanks, as always, to Mama Kat for the writer's prompt.


  1. That's pretty AWESOME that you made it this far without a public meltdown. I have experienced those with D, and they are embarassing. I find what bothers me the most is feeling like my parenting is on display, being judged. Yet whenever I see someone else going through it, I feel nothing but sympathy for them. Maybe most of the judgement is happening in my head?

  2. Oh yeah...been there as you said. I think what is hard about those moments is like what Heather said above, people seem to peer at you in judgement with a look of "get control of your child"! And what they don't understand is YOU CAN'T. Also, like you, it bothers me that I can't get them under control and communicate with them. The worst meltdowns have happened at home thank goodness, but we have had plenty in public from both boys (both under 5). Have a great rest of your week!

  3. Sorry, I published a mis-spell. I Loved that expression, "gave him the stink eye." So funny

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