I suppose I should be used to public humiliation by my children. Not in the cute "Awwww did they just say that?" kind of way. More in the screaming until they're red in the face and kicking their boots off in the middle of the mall kind of way.
Way back when Monster Bean was about 6-9 months old, he hated walking around the mall with me. While it was my escape from the boredom of sitting at home, it was fast becoming my least favorite thing to do. Monster Bean would sit in his stroller and scream and scream and scream until we were back home. Made browsing for clothes I didn't need incredibly difficult. ;)
Today we were doing pretty well. That was until I asked him to stop walking backwards because he was going to run into somebody. Instead of stopping the first 3 times I asked he walks faster backward. So I try to intercept him before he crashes into the various things in front of the checkout and still there's no stopping. Whoosh I finally pull him into an aisle and ask him to please stop because I don't want him to get hurt or break anything. Instead of being compliant he throws envelopes on the ground and sulks and when I ask him to pick them up, he freaks out a bit and when I go to help him back up he wrenches himself away causing my grip on him to pinch him instead. Awesome. Now he's screaming bloody murder and refuses to listen. Thankfully the hubby was there so I was able to direct daddy and Little Miss to the checkout while I steer Monster Bean outside the store.
Here's what the public humiliation gets even better. The entire way, the entire 30 feet it took to walk from the bathroom aisle to the seats outside of KMart, Monster Bean is screaming "OWWWWWWWWWWIEEEEEEEE". Then we are sitting down and I am calmly trying to explain why we left and instead of listening he slumps onto the floor. Pick him back up. He kicks his boots off across the floor. At this point I turn my back on him and take several deep breaths all the while trying not to blush at the mom and daughter who are so very obviously staring at me with what must be a horrified look. I try again. Nope. So I tell him to calm down otherwise I can surely find a corner to put him in until he settles down.
He starts to settle down and then we see his teachers from last year. This puts everybody in a slightly better mood as I always enjoy chatting with them. Then everything is good and we are able to leave with no more tears.
What I absolutely hate about times like these is that everybody seemingly stops and stares and judges you when your child is freaking out. As if I could help that my 5 year old sometimes gets so wound up he flips out. Like nobody my age ever feels like that. Ever been pregnant and can't find what you're looking for at the store? ;) Anyhow. I hate that I know that simply talking to him won't work because he's too busy freaking out to listen; you can't yell at him either for the same reasons and plus then people just judge you for yelling; all you can really do is leave and wait for the storm to blow over. All the while people stare and probably whisper "We'll never let our kids do that". Ugh.
On the upside, this is only the second time (since he's been aware of good/bad behavior) we've had to leave a store because of a meltdown. So I guess twice is pretty good in comparison.