Saturday morning, I dressed the kids up for Christmas pictures. Stella was having none of that...as you can see here in her facial expression...
Perhaps I should have known that this was not the day to run errands, but they had to be done with her party the next day. So, after her nap, I ventured out. It was cold and raining. I ran the errands and was at the last store, picking up the last few things we needed. I don't even remember what set her off, but Stella began getting fussy and was getting close to tantrum status.
Of course, you know it's the law that when your kid is being a total brat that there will only be 3 checkers and like 5 million customers in line and you will undoubtedly pick the one line where the person at the front has coupons and complains about the price of every item. Oh and don't forget that the cashier will have issues and have to call for help. Yep. This is what happened to me. And then it began. Stella started to cry about whatever it was. I really don't remember what.
So, I'm standing there, holding her while she climbs all over me, contorts her body in ways that can't possibly be human, and screams at the top of her lungs, "MOMMY!! NO MOMMY!!!" People start looking at us. Seth starts laughing, because I guess it's hilarious when your little sister starts acting a fool. Me? I start sweating. My anxiety is kicking in. I am sure my face is bright red. But I will.not.back.down. Nope, I will keep calm and pretend it isn't bothering me. I am trying my best to ignore her because the more I say, "Oh Stella, sweetie, we will be done soon, it's alright" in my nice voice, the more she screams and the louder it gets. So, I just stop trying to say anything to her and try to keep her from hurting herself. I just try not to look at the people who are staring at me like I have two heads, even though I really just want to say to them to mind their own business. I mean, don't they realize it is just as embarrassing to me as it is annoying to them?
Anywho, it seems to be slowing down, which is good because we have been standing in this line without moving for at least 10 minutes. I swear it had to be that long. Ok, so it was probably more like 5 but it really felt longer than that. Suddenly, Stella bit me. Ohmygosh, she bit me! I could not believe it! It hurt really bad too, so now I am not only sweating profusely and beet red, but also have tears in my eyes. I of course said, "No Bite Stella! We do not bite!" in my firmest mom voice. This set off a brand new fit of screaming. Oh gosh. This is just great. I didn't know what to do anymore so I just held her and let her scream. Everyone stared at me. I wanted to scream. I mean, look, we all read the articles and every book under the sun to learn how to deal with a tantrum. Some say take the child away to calm down. Well, this was not practical in this case because I had already been standing in line for so long and if I left now, I'd just have to stand in line again and she'd just flip out again. Also, it was cold and raining outside. So taking her outside wasn't the best option. Yes, we all know there are things we are supposed to do when our kid throws a tantrum. But none of those things really work in the heat of the moment in public. Plus, you can't reason with a toddler. It just doesn't work.
Finally, after what seems like ALL FREAKING DAY LONG, we make it to the cashier. She asks how I am and I very honestly say "Well, embarrassed, how are you?" She hands Stella a sticker. And she stops crying!!! She even smiles. And sits down in the cart, happily playing with her sticker. You have got to me kidding me!!!??? Some teenage girl just gives her a random, orange sticker that merely says "thank you" on it and that shuts her up???!!! I nearly cried. From frustration or elation, I'm not sure which, but it really doesn't matter.
All I know is that I'm pretty sure we've all been there, in public, with a screaming child acting completely nutso like they are possessed by some demon. Everyone looks at you like you're an alien and like they would never ever let their kid act that way. But let me tell you something. They probably would. Because at the end of the day, the kid will calm down and will smile and you'll be so happy, you forget about the tantrum that got you all flustered in the first place.
Oh and by the way, the spot she bit me? Right on the neck. And it looks like I have a hickey. And people have been staring at that too. Fantastic.