First public meltdown in almost 5 years...not bad, I guess!
After we went to the pancake breakfast at my school, I took Audrey and Abigail to the mall for a birthday party. My MIL kept Annie for me (thank goodness!) Originally I was going to take all 3...WTF was I thinking?
We got to the food court and right away Miss Abigail decides she wants to run around. Fine, I get it- she's two and loves to explore. So I decided to walk around with her (instead of forcing her to sit still) while we waited for the festivities to begin. She was fine as she ate her cupcake, but again- she just couldn't wait around while the rest of the party just kind of hung out. I totally understood (I was frustrated, but I understood!) She just wanted to dance around the VERY busy mall and when I'd try to wrangle her back she'd fall on the floor. Ugh. If I'd had to feed or hold Annie, there's just no way I would've been able to handle the situation.
So, we get to Build a Bear and for the most part she's fine. I stay with her while Audrey participates in the party. She wanders around, plays on the computers, dances around to the sound machine thing. The party ends and of course she wants to go on the rides that are located RIGHT in front of the store (who decided to put those there?? Bastards!) But hey, I am completely cool with letting her and Audrey hang out on the rides for a few minutes, even though I was DYYYYING to get out of there.
This is where it gets bad...Abigail had a total meltdown when it was time to leave. I have never seen her act that way before! Throwing herself on the ground, screaming, crying, refusing to be picked up. Oh my goodness! I was actually more angry than I was embarrassed. Because really, what's a trip to the mall in December without a screaming toddler somewhere? Too bad it was MY screaming toddler. I almost had to laugh, especially when I see Audrey walking behind us, looking totally exasperated. Actually, now that I think about it- this is HER fault! If she'd gone through the Terrible Twos, I would've been expecting this. But nooo, she was a freaking angel child! Damn it, she spoiled us :(
So we're walking through the mall, stopping frequently to put her down because she's so damn heavy when she's throwing a fit. I'm trying to get her to calm down by telling her to breathe and just TALK to me. But it starts all over again when we decide to keep walking. We get to the exit (what seems like 3 months later) and of course it's freezing rain outside. Perfect. Luckily she decided to take some kind of pity on me and walked. Once we got into the van I laid into her. I was very specific with her..."You do NOT lay on the floor! You COME WITH ME when it's time to go!" I was very careful not to say she was a bad girl. So I'll say it here...she was a bad, bad girl! BADBADBADBAD!!!! I had her say she was sorry and we just hugged as we both calmed down. I don't know if I handled the situation correctly...when we're at home and she gets upset, we do the breathe/talk thing but if that doesn't work I let her work out her mood on her own. She gets no further attention and we don't offer her a thousand options to keep her happy. But I just could not let her work it out in the crowded mall. I couldn't get us out of there fast enough.
Again, I was so grateful that my MIL kept Annie. I didn't bring the double stroller, so there's no way I could've gotten Abby out of there. I should've left Abby with Grandma instead! But I don't like to leave her out of fun things :( Lesson learned- I cannot do it all by myself. Trying to do too much will backfire. All was fine by the time we picked up Annie and got home. I look at her sweet face, hear her adorable little voice and all is good again. Sigh...is she 5 yet?!
I'd love to hear other public meltdown stories and how you handled them. I need to feel better about this!