To feel like breaking down when other mums are critical

(165 Posts)

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flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:24:41

Hi there,
I just had an awful experience at local council run leisure centre where I had taken DS1 age 2 yrs 11 months to soft play. I also had DS2 age 4M with me in buggy.
I think already off to bad start as DS1 has habit of late bedtime and needing to sleep in afternoons unless he is with childminder who has been away last 2 weeks (bring on the Valium...!!!).
So DS was tired but thought I would try and avoid afternoon sleep by stopping at leisure centre for lunch and soft play..(we had already been to singing thing in morning)
So DS insists on wheeling in his dolly size buggy..
We enter soft play and he manages to busy himself for about 20mins before being able to push open non child proof door into foyer of leisure centre where there is a cafe.
I figured he was hungry - I perhaps should have ordered food the minute we Arrived - I took a chance and paid consequences..
So I join queue - 1 lady making order and having leisurely chat with canteen lady. Another lady behind her.
DS runs out of cafe area and into main foyer and up stairs and is basically all over place.
I can't see him clearly from back of queue so move to other side and ask another staff member behind till area if I could make an order. 2nd lady in queue tells me there is a queue and I say I can't queue as need to watch son. 2nd lady tells me to stop standing still then and to "go after my child" and "control him". Lady behind till continues to serve oblivious to all this.

I go and retieve DS from swimming changing area, speak firmly to him and return him to cafe. Then I apologised to canteen lady for asking to skip queue adding that I hoped she could understand my predicament. She got quite defensive saying "we need to have a queue here to keep things orderly" she also said " Yes weve all been there" in a rather unsympathetic way when I continued to state how difficult it was to order food and watch DS in open uncontained space.
By now both DS's screaming +++.
I realise need to cut my losses and go home as need to wait to order food them long wait for it to come..
I realise left dolly buggy in soft play and rush in to retieve it leaving crying DS2 in cafe area.
DS1 rushes in ahead of me and jumps into soft play. I locate buggy with another child and claim it. Mum holding this child as I extract buggy from child's hand - child was holding quite strongly so I had to pull a little - all the while could hear DS2 screaming outside door. Mother with child totally loses it With me and tells me "not to snatch". I explained I was anxious that I had left my baby unattended ( mumsnetters please don't judge me for this latter faux pas- there were a handful of mums and kids in cafe area and did not feel baby at risk of being kidnapped over the 60 sec period I thought I'd be away!!)
Mother says "it doesn't matter ( re unattended baby) you don't snatch!"
I felt totally feel at my wits end and grab Ds1 and buggy and make a run for it. I was feeling totally desperate and persecuted from all angles.

DS1 playing up again on walk across cArpark and I really shouted at him again prompting lady from hotel next door to come out and shout something critical or even abusive at me but I was walking so fast did not make any any attempt to listen. But I must have been shouting quite loudly for her to get that angry!

But overall 3 diff women all had their share of telling me off over a short time and all because of my anxious and prob seemingly aggressive reaction to fear DS unsafe..

Whole experience left me feeling like I was an ineffectual and even dangerous and aggressive mother who needs professional help!!

I wonder whether maybe sometimes I should not take out both kids on my own as I as am unable to contain DS1.

(Note sorts of things don't happen to me very often - not usually aggressive person, just utterly exhausted from 2 weeks no childcare and very active and curious toddler)

But the criticism from others really added ladel of salt to the wound!

I also could not help feeling quite pissed with leisure centre for not being more childproof and also sympathetic.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:25:47

Sorry this is so long!
I just needed to present entire scenario poss as a cathartic measure!
Just skim through if you can!

forevergreek Fri 30-Aug-13 14:31:58

Personally. I would be getting 2.11 to nap still, ideally baby at the same time, then you can rest

Otherwise very thing above sounds rather complicated and confusing so not sure how much help I can give

MrsWolowitz Fri 30-Aug-13 14:32:06

Take deep breath. Have a brew

We have all been there, I've even cried in M&S at the till so you're not alone.

My tip for you - reins.

It's not ok to let your DC run riot. It's dangerous for them, stressful for you and annoying for everyone else. I don't want to make you feel bad, you've had a tough day. However I do understand why you may have had a curt response to asking to cut in the queue.

Mother of the toddler who was clutching the pram was wrong, yes you shouldn't have snatched but she should have taken it off her kid and given it back to you once you'd explained it was your DS's.

It's done now. Don't dwell on it. It really does happen to us all. Stick cbeebies or a DVD on and rest.


YouTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 14:33:05

I'd invest in some good reins for your ds1.

CaptainCapybara Fri 30-Aug-13 14:34:21

You sound like you are very stressed, I hope you have had time to have a breather and some brew and cake.

Have you considered backpack reins for DS1? I think YAB a bit U to be pissed off at the leisure centre for not being childproof, you can't reasonably expect a multi use public building to be, you need to think of other ways to contain DS1 until he learns to listen.

ImAlpharius Fri 30-Aug-13 14:34:46

My first thought was reins as well.

MrsWolowitz Fri 30-Aug-13 14:35:38

These are great.

Reins really are a life (and sanity) saver.

Bowlersarm Fri 30-Aug-13 14:35:39

Oh dear!

I used to have days like this and a DS like this.

At aged about 3 my DS once in M and S ran to the fruit and vegetable section and started lobbing fruit at other customers. Then running to the other side and doing the same thing with me chasing him with my other two dses in the double buggy. i thought i would never ever leave the house again.The was 15 years ago and I still blush at the memory. And have the memory of people's faces which were shock..

Tomorrow is another day, and I hope it is a better one for you.

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 30-Aug-13 14:36:25

Oh I had many days like this when I had a toddler and a baby. Sympathies!

I think you need to not be so hard on yourself. You didnt do anything wrong - you were trying your best to deal with an active toddler and a baby. Most people with small children have hideous days when it just all goes wrong and people are grumpy and judgy and dont accomodate your mischevious kids. You are not alone.

But don't take it all too much to heart. Other people were a bit grumpy with you. There are all sorts of reasons for that. Some people are just grumpy gits, others dont remember what it was like when there kids were small, or just dont have the same values as you. Try to shrug it off. if someone is being really rude, I pull them up on it, but mostly its not worth it - who has the energy to fight pointless battles when you have two babies to look after?

If i were you, I'd have a quiet day or two pottering about at home or in the park, take a deep breath....and get on with doing whatever yopu want todo with your children when youre feeling brighter.

fwiw - softplay is my idea of hell. Lots of toddler scant cope with it. Ditto cafes - some toddlers just cant sit down and 'behave', so pick your outings according to what you know your children an cope with.

uselessinformation Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:04

you need to buy reins.

Bamboobambino Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:37

See my supermarket thread in multiple births forum. You're not alone. Have a cry and cup of tea, you will do ok next time. Other women can be bitches. It's a lot to cope with and you did better than me today, I was too scared to leave the car in case DTs had meltdown

SavoyCabbage Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:58

We have all had days like this. I've drawn a crown in B&Q before now.

Perhaps work on him staying with you, for safety reasons. And carry a snack at all times just in case you need it, then you don't have to go to feed him if it all feels a bit too complicated.

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 14:40:43

Double buggy or reins. You need to keep your ds1 contained. I understand the stress of two tiny kids and therefore hope you have the tv on and a cuppa/chocolate as we speak!

natwebb79 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:41:23

Bless you, no advice to add other than 'get DS1 to nap' makes me laugh as I also have a 2year old that WILL NOT 'just nap' other than for his child minder. In fact I'm typing this on my phone parked outside my house, in the car. With DS asleep in the back after driving laps of Norfolk to get him to bloody nap!! grin So unmumsnetty hugs.

Hi flat white, I think that you've got so upset about the criticisms because you feel you're not handling 2 kids very well. People will always have something to say, it's not always negative but you're feeling a bit sensitive about it perhaps? One of them did say 'we've all been there'. The first 6 months with a new baby much less with a sibling is hard, and some days just are rubbish like the one you've just had. It's difficult to maintain your cool when one dc is crying and you had 2 of them, so try to just laugh about your disaster of a day and let it go. If some places are too difficult to manage with 2 just now, then avoid them for a while to make it less stressful. I remember feeling exactly the same with my 2 older dc, they were 3 years apart. When you're stressed and tired, any comment from someone else can make you want to cry. I know you're trying to sort out naps etc, but maybe doing 2 things in a day plus getting lunch out is a bit much for now? It's all too easy to curse yourself for not getting things perfect all the time, but you're being the best mum you can be for your boys. Have a wineor a brew smile

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:42:13

Thanks mrs W!
Re Reins. We have tried them but DS just lies on floor and screams when you try to keep him still with them. In retrospect maybe should have purchased double buggy when preg with DS2 but really wanted to encourage Ds1 to walk more as was 23/4 when baby born. Also wanted facing buggy re DS 2.
You are right re keeping him under control I'm sure.
Should really have upped and left the moment he would not manage soft play. I have done that before -once got to front of queue at adventure park and turned straight back around to car as DS not able to stay by my side.

It was just an awful day!

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 14:42:55

Totally agree with the snack too, and a drink. The main triggers for my toddler terror's tantrums are hunger and thirst (besides tiredness of course!)

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:44:50

As I write so many lovely sympathetic replies.
Thank you!! :smiley face:
Feels like not alone now!

Lilicat1013 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:03

I have a baby who is six months and a child who is 3 and a half. My older son is autistic so his developmental age is probably closer to the age of your son. I deal with outings like this a lot, my older son will run if given the opportunity.

I wont deal with how you could have handled things better today as that wouldn't be helpful anyone can look back from a calm point of view and tell you how to do better but that is completely different that dealing with the situation there and then. However I would suggest you let your older son sleep in the afternoon if he needs to. A lot of children still nap at that age.

Trying to only do one proper activity thing a day might also be helpful so do the singing thing in the morning and just have a relaxed afternoon, maybe go to the park.

Finally reins, they are very useful if you have a child that runs. I wouldn't leave the house without reins on my oldest. I also have a rule that if we are out he holds on to the pushchair. He doesn't have enough communication for me to really explain that so to teach him I used to put his hand on the pushchair and every time he took it off I stopped walking and put it back on. After a while of that I just stopped and waited for him to hold on again before moving. Now he holds on automatically when we are out which makes it easier to keep track of him.

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:35

Bless you. We definitely all have awful days. I am so grateful for the sympathetic smiles from older ladies who remember what it's like. Miseries can sod off! grin

Parmarella Fri 30-Aug-13 14:45:37

Just don't take such small kids to softplay, you need to be able to really supervise a 2 yr old.

Don't take dollie-prams into softplay, or any other toy all kids will pounce on

Only queue if DS stays with you ( pram, reins, hold hand)

Don't shout at such young children to correct them after an event. Just gets you more stressed.

All easier said than done!! B i know reality us tough but it will get easier, meanwhile we learn from our mistakes

usualsuspect Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:06

I think you need to pick your outings more carefully until your DS is a little older.

A park for him to run around in, with a snack for him if he's hungry.

Please don't feel you are a bad mum, we have all been there.

LingDiLong Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:15

Oh dear, you've had a pig of a day so far.

I agree with the others, reins or just wedging him in between you and buggy/counter so he can't run off. You need him at arms reach really if you're queueing - I can kind of see why the people in the queue got a bit funny with you. I think you were unlucky with the other 2 women though - the mother with the buggy should have just forced it out of her kids hands herself. And shouting abuse at someone for shouting at their child is stupid and hypocritical. Chin up, it'll get better!

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:46:38

Realised not doing smileys right as used to a diff forum - I am learning.
Hee hee! Need wine

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 30-Aug-13 14:48:14

You poor thing. That sounds like a shocker of a morning and I'm not surprised you feel drained now.

Cup of tea, good cry and chill at home for the afternoon.

Reins are an absolute godsend for children this age with that much energy. My ds1 was a swine for running off and when he was 2 and ds2 was 6 months, I hated leaving the house for precisely this reason.

I hadn't been dating DH for very long when we were invited to his dad's milestone birthday bash. BIG extended family get together, lovely picnic, etc. Ds1 was EVIL all afternoon. Running off, throwing things, screaming, stole a bowl of strawberries that was meant to go in the dessert. I had to make a quick tearful exit when DH's aunt tried to distract DS and he responded by throwing gravel in her face. blush Never felt so mortified in my entire life. Off the back of that incident, MIL & I had a falling out that saw us not speak for almost 2 years.

Lilicat1013 Fri 30-Aug-13 14:50:06

Sorry, I cross posted with your reply about having tried reins. It might be worth persisting, maybe trying the ones shaped like a cuddly toy to tempt him.

My son refused reins but it isn't an option in his case. I wont leave the house without them as he tends to run in to roads. Pick a day when there is nothing you urgently need to get to and wait him out if he refuses to move. He will give up eventually.

neolara Fri 30-Aug-13 14:51:43

My dc3 was hideous at nearly 3. The tantrums and not bloody doing what she was told Ugh. It does get better. (OK, maybe not for a couple of months.) In the meantime, you probably just need to make it easier for yourself. Naps and CBeebies are your friends. Carry emergency biscuits for bribery. One outing a day may be enough. As others have said, reins may be a good investment. I had a bolter too - absolutely nothing I said or did made the slightest bit of difference in terms of getting her to stay by my side (and I am a fierce, stricty pants mummy who, as an ex child psychologist, thought I had a lot of tricks up my sleeve.)

And some people are just not very nice. Or maybe they too were having a very bad day and you were unlucky enough to get in their way.

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 30-Aug-13 14:52:26

I Couldn't cope with reins that and I hate them. If you don't like reins stick him in double buggy when you're in queues. If he was tired he would have fallen asleep there too. Plus in bad weather they're all covered

I sympathise with you, and the lady saying we've all been there would infuriate me. Everyone's experiences are different and each child is different . I suppose this lady was a lot older than, you? So no she wouldn't know what you as a mother face now, women are expected to be superwomen in modern society .

Agree with last poster park is heaven with kids even library is great. Take snacks and even in library you can give your child some dry not so messy food.

Kids playgroups locally are better than soft play unless you have a friend or partner with you to help.

The soft play area should have been childproof a child shouldn't be able to open the doors and exit into the eating area.maybe get a complaints form and suggest it?

peggyundercrackers Fri 30-Aug-13 14:53:00

sorry but if ds1 wanted to run away i would have reins on him when i went out.

currentbuns Fri 30-Aug-13 14:55:47

Have you got a buggy board? That might be an option if he won't tolerate the reins?

MrsOakenshield Fri 30-Aug-13 14:56:06

if reins won't work, is it worth having a sling for baby so that you can use the pram for DS1 if needs be?

Otherwise, snacks and avoid soft play like the plague. Playgrounds are you friend!

BooCanary Fri 30-Aug-13 14:57:59

Poor you OP.
The trip was ill advised -I have done similar and kicked myself afterwards.
Soft play with a baby and toddler should only be attempted with other mum-friends (to watch the baby whilst you dive in after toddler), and only at optimum time of day (when DCs are not tired).

My DS was (still is to a certain extent) a bit of a 'runner' and used to play dead with reins on, so I'd have to drag him along - totally unfeasible! So I just had to choose my outings verrrrry carefully.

Most of us have been there (i'm another one who has cried in a shop!). Have a cuppa tea (or preferably gin), and don't try anything similar for a long while.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 14:58:52

This forum has really helped me take stock and realise I am sometimes really setting myself up and putting added pressure on myself and poor child more then I need to.
I rarely shout at him but sometimes feel pressured to when in public!

currentbuns Fri 30-Aug-13 15:01:28

Yes, there's nothing worse when you're already stressed than the added pressure of an audience!

pollyblue Fri 30-Aug-13 15:03:06

I have twins (now 4) and another child 2 years older and my blood still runs cold at the memory of the twins bolting in a split second in opposite directions across a car park, when I distracted by my older dc. I got reins grin I used either reins or the double buggy for them for a good year before they were 'tamed'. Seriously, sometimes you just don't have the necessary number of arms and eyes to keep on top of a fast determined toddler (or three).

Make life as easy for yourself as you can. Personally I think young dcs don't need as much in the way of 'organized' activities as we are led to believe - trips to the library/playground/park/picnics in the garden etc are all in my experience much easier than indoor activities such as soft play. And if things start to go wrong, it's very easy to up and go home. And yes, take plenty of snacks/drinks with you, for you and dcs, so you can avoid cafes etc when you're out.

pollyblue Fri 30-Aug-13 15:05:33

flat I also found that using a low, quiet, mildly menacing tone (think Ray Winstone!) bought the dcs to heel much more effectively than shouting.

ArtexMonkey Fri 30-Aug-13 15:07:19

Been there, done that -it is rubbish. As other have said, try a buggy board, and perhaps do less in the day. If you go to an activity in the morning, then a tootle round the park or some drawing/play doh/telly time at home is fine. I only ever took mine to soft play with other mums at that age, so that we could divide and conquer - one person queuing for food order, the other on ball pool detail etc.

uselessinformation Fri 30-Aug-13 15:07:19

You said he lies on the floor screaming when you use reins but better that than running amok and out of sight.

AdmiralData Fri 30-Aug-13 15:07:43

Arghh, I seriously feel for you. People are quick to pull up their judgy pants aren't they? I've got a serious anxiety disorder so just leaving the house with my very quiet and very smiley DS 5 months has me cacking my pants so I can imagine how you must have felt. I second other posters suggestions of a double buggy, reins, buggy board etc smile Other than that my only other suggestion is don't give two seconds thought to any fuckers who judge you or give their opinions and attitudes when it isn't wanted.

Munxx Fri 30-Aug-13 15:08:35

It's hard I know. I have 2 under 3 as well and I am close to tears most weeks!

For us, we do an activity every morning we are out from around 10-12 then home for lunch and naps.

Perhaps you could have a buy morning and then after lunch if naps won't happen you could have books or
DVDs for an hour or so? If we need an afternoon activity we then pop out to the park or just a little walk.

To be fair it has taken us a while to get our rhythm, my youngest is almost one. I have a double buggy but I also use a sling for the baby and a single buggy for my toddler. Or reins (she doesn't love them but I insist).

You'll be ok, be kind to yourself you're only 4 months into having two children.

Chippednailvarnish Fri 30-Aug-13 15:08:41

Maybe I'm reading too much into your posts OP, but your DS appears to be in charge?
Saying that DS insists on wheeling his dolly size buggy, he won't nap for you, he won't tolerate reins, comes across as though he gets his own way for everything.
You might want to start enforcing some rules now before you have a toddler and preschooler to deal with...

Munxx Fri 30-Aug-13 15:10:00

A busy morning I mean!

Also, our activities are all either toddler groups or classes. I am not brave enough for anything else solo!

saggybaps Fri 30-Aug-13 15:13:10

Get a secondhand double buggy, mine is a life-saver at times, otherwise my daughter would just bolt. She's just turned 3. She also just lolls about the floor with reins on.

Don't worry, we all have crap days.

usualsuspect Fri 30-Aug-13 15:18:06

I think a double buggy would help, then if he's tired he can nod off in it.

You can strap him in and bribe him to stay there grin

Munxx Fri 30-Aug-13 15:18:50

At least with the buggy they may both be screaming but yo can just run home quickly!

VestaCurry Fri 30-Aug-13 15:32:28

Lots of good advice from which I'm sure you'll choose what will work for you.

Parenting is a learning experience grin and when my dc's were small (2 year age gap) I definitely had the odd 'mad' outing where, when I got home, I wondered why the bloody hell I had handled things the way I had! Luckily I had my sister (who had had 2 children with a small age gap) to ring and moan to about an awful day, which was very cathartic as she'd always be able to recount some similar scenario she had faced.

We learn from these crapola days, do things differently next time and see if it helps. Put your feet up tonight with a cuppa or some wine and remind yourself that you are doing your best.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 15:32:28

I actually think that most of the criticism was due to your poor manners, as opposed to your parenting.

It was rude to try to jump the queue in the way that you did and I'm not surprised that the lady was cross with you.

The dolly buggy - the way your OP reads, the mother was holding her child, who was holding the buggy and you pulled it out of their hands.

I realise you were stressed and distracted - but the extra 30 seconds it would have taken you to say

"I'm so sorry to bother you but would you mind if I tried to get served before you?"

and "I'm so sorry, but I need to take the buggy now, it belongs to my DS and we have to leave now, please could you help?"

would have prevented you being told off by those people.

I had two under two and it was very hard, so I sympathise.

This is totally out of left field, and only anecdotal but I have noticed that the general public seem to be less tolerant of the behaviour of little boys - I only say this as I have 2 girls and my friend has 2 boys and they are all as boisterous as each other. Yet when we go out together people seem to comment on her children's behaviour and not mine (and that's not because my children are better behaved).

I may just have one of those 'don't mess with me' faces though!

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 15:35:05

Sorry, I also think if a child is tired but you don't want them to nap then you need to keep things low key, especially after a morning activity.

I had this phase with both of mine when the nap meant a late bedtime and I would just keep things very quiet in the afternoon - marathon story sessions or a quiet DVD or quiet carpet play.

CailinDana Fri 30-Aug-13 15:42:59

Poor thing. Those women were so nasty - had I been there I would have offered to watch the baby/order your food/whatever to help you out.

Ok, some things that have helped me (I have two of very similar ages):
One outing per day followed by chill time
I never ever go to soft play without a friend- an extra pair of hands/eyes makes a huge difference.
Don't take a tired/hungry child into a stressful situation - guaranteed disaster.
No toys outside the car - having to look after 2 small children and keep track of a toy is too much.
Keep a carton of juice and a snack in the change bag for emergencies
Get a buggy board for ds - has been a total lifesaver for me
When kids do kick off don't ask for help from strangers unless desperat but accept offers of help. Pretend you're on your own- don't look around apologetically as you'll give an opening for the shitheads to criticise. Slow down your movements and lower your voice - it makes you seem in control and that makes people back off.
Make life as easy as possible for yourself. There is nothing wrong with just playing in the garden or sticking a film on for your ds. If an outing is going to stress you all out what's the point?

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 15:47:31

I just re-read your OP, I don't mean to offend (really) I just wondered if your DS has some kind of speech delay that's making it difficult for you to understand his needs?

It's just the way you said you figured he was hungry because he opened the cafe door. Is he able to communicate when he's hungry/thirsty? I just wondered if you could work on that if it was an issue (sign language or something maybe)?

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 15:53:38

we have all been there and then brought your best friend.. meet reins!!

2 years and 11 months is too young to be running free while you hold the buggy.

very dangerous. as a mum of 4 and ex cm advise again reins. your life will be calmer and your child safe.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 15:58:21

sorry just read your post re reins..

mmm tough really. your ds is nearly 3 so can understand you will and you won't? you can't and you can?

out them in him and just go out.

if he lies and kicks go home. tell him he's not going out to soft play or the park without them.

you are the parent and you will win.

a tantrum is a legitimate kid protest but one they can't always win.😃

hang in there. it gets better op.

Wuxiapian Fri 30-Aug-13 15:59:49

Sorry you had such a hard time. It is mortifying* when DC misbehaves in public.

My Asperger DS, 15, was an absolute rotter to take anywhere when he was younger - he'd kick other children/spit and clear the shelves in shops. I'd often end up in tears. Thankfully, he stopped these behaviours after afew years!

We've all been there. Please try not to let others responses upset you too much - people can forget how hard having little children are.

I hope you have a better weekend!

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 30-Aug-13 16:01:20

Hi Flatwhite, sympathies, I can almost picture you stressed and sweaty, trying to look after the two of them and getting glared at by unhelpful strangers.

DS was a bolter. Once he made it all the way out of the automatic opening doors (two sets) at the library and across a road to the play park whilst I sprinted after him. I don't have another DC but can only imagine how hard that situation must be when you also need to consider a baby. Oh and DS wouldn't entertain reins, he would throw himself in the middle of the road and not get up until I took them off. They aren't called the terrible twos for nothing !

You've had a rough experience, take some of the learnings from here and chalk it up to experience.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:05:16

Wow lots to talk about!
Yes tried buggy board. DS initially loved it but now feels restrained. Also I actually feel safer holding his hand with other hand on buggy as when he is on board have to wheel buggy from side as arms too short [smiley face]
Re my rudeness - you are right I was rude to expect to be served first. I was terrified harm would come to my son. It was my nerves talking. But snappy response to "control ur child" not helpful!
Also I hadn't realised I was being aggressive with dolly buggy! But still think mums response was bit OTT. But totally regret chain of events!!
Been talking things thru with Dh and we have agreed need to be more selective and strategic re outings. Not raising voice at DS also helpful advice. I totally lost it!

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:05:35

Big hugs, what an horrendous day.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 16:06:05

I think your day out was over ambitious with such young DC. Put it behind you and plan quieter, shorter outings in future. You and your DC are perfectly normal - you were just over stretching yourselves smile.

Floggingmolly Fri 30-Aug-13 16:07:09

So ds was tired but I thought I would try to avoid afternoon sleep by stopping at leisure centre.
Why? confused. Did you not suspect all would not go smoothly?

geekgal Fri 30-Aug-13 16:14:56

No advice to offer but just wanted to add to the sympathy - bummer of a day, dude, it happens, just try to relax, forget it, and pick up on a brighter note tomorrow!

wannaBe Fri 30-Aug-13 16:19:54

I think we've all been there in terms of having lost it with our kids and shouted at them. I blush when I think of times I've lost it with mine and I only have one.

Tbh expecting to be served first was never a workable solution because if the café took that stance and ten mothers with runner children showed up at once it would be chaos.

I know it's hard, but you really do need to take control here a bit. Your ds is nearly three, he's at an age where he can be reasoned with. "won't do/will only do" etc just isn't good enough - you are the parent, you are in charge, and if he needs to wear reins because he can't be trusted to stay with you without them then he needs to wear reins and to learn to do as he's told. After all where do we draw the line at making allowances because a child is stubborn and it's easier to give in for a quiet life than to tackle that? Too many children are allowed to run riot (and I'm not saying your ds was running riot but he did seem a bit out of control) because the parents won't tackle it because it's easier not to for a quiet life (and that's an easy route to take). The exception of course here is children with sn but we're not talking about a child with sn here are we?

If he still needs a nap then let him have a nap - it's not uncommon at this age. Don't try to over stimulate him with activities in the morning and afternoon, the child won't care in ten years if he went to soft play or sing-along every day for the first three years - in fact they won't remember the good activities and you will be left with the fvivid memories of the hell that was soft play. wink grin

if he's tired in the faafternoon stick the tv on and have a rest - all ofyou- and life will seem better in the morning.

MaMattoo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:21:17

I was driving back home from a disastrous tantrum filled trip yo the shops with my DS yesterday...know the feeling-sympathy!!
It happens, it's ok! Grow thick skin!!
Reins work well as exhausted or hungry (or god forbid both) toddlers are hard to handle but need to rain safe! Double buggies look cumbersome but my friends give them useful.
Why are you avoiding the nap? My 5am wake up call toddler crashes for a nap each afternoon and he is 3yo.

Chill and have a brew it's okay!

MaMattoo Fri 30-Aug-13 16:24:57

Forgot to add, I was driving back with tears streaming down my face yesterday, from a disastrous tantrum filled trip to the shops with DS yesterday..felt frustrated, disappointed and a tad heart broken about my own abilities or lack of....

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 30-Aug-13 16:26:17

My double buggy is my best friend and my oldest DD is 3.5 (bought it for impending dc3!! grin)

Katkins1 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:26:35

Sorry, but you were rude OP. I understand tired and so on, but you shouldn't have tried to skip the queue because your child was tired and understanably grouchy. You should have called him back when he walked off the first time, not followed him and let him have whatever he wanted. If you let him, he will do this a lot more as he gets older. Get some reins and trust yourself to be firm. You're in charge, not your children.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:29:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:30:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 16:32:06

You're sounding a little bit rude and entitled there, OP. Be careful, people have been largely kind so far but this is AIBU!

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 16:33:12

I always found reins were really useful for when they throw themselves on the ground in a paddy; you can lift them off the ground again without having to bend. In a worst case scenario you can haul them away with their feet dangling above the ground. grin Holding hands is much worse as arms can easily dislocate.

I would sit down and work out in your own mind a few ground rules that have to be observed however much he kicks off. The first being he has to under restraint (reins or buggy) in a shop, queue or while next to a busy road. Non-negotiable. Explain it to him every time as if it were something self evident: "now we are going to X so you have to put your reins on". Eventually he will get the idea that kicking off doesn't get him anywhere.

It would probably also help if you tried to see the other mums from your own perspective and that of your ds. How would he react if you swooped down and snatched a toy he was playing with? Would he be upset? Frigthened?

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:36:44

Oh sorry only being facetious. I totally appreciate all the love shown by everyone. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. I am so tired today - sorry to be rude about queues.
I think I a just trying to understand what drives me to be so unreasonable.

I think I have stated my gratitude in an earlier post but will say it again.
Thank you so much fellow mumsnetters! Really really really!

bigkidsdidit Fri 30-Aug-13 16:37:10

I went to soft play with my two boys this morning and I sympathise grin

I put baby in a sling when we go somewhere like that then all my attention can be on DS1. Could you do that?

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:39:56

Re snatching the buggy. I had called out calmly and with a smile i was so trying to maintain " kids does anyone know where the little buggy is"
I really didn't mean to snatch it - it was perceived as such.
The mum got very angry with me.
I would never scare a child. It was a misunderstanding

Katkins1 Fri 30-Aug-13 16:40:11

the problem in this situation was that you did not explain yourself properly to anyone OP . I know it's hard, but next t ok me, take a breath then ed explain to your child that his behaviour isn't acceptable. Then make him have a time out, remove yourself from the queue and wait until he is calm. As for the piling the you from the other child, to be frank, that was unreasonable and and if some one did that to my child I'd be very cross. You could have explained to the child and mum before pulling it. You need yo learn to communicate better. Sorry.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 16:40:55

Re sling - still lack confidence re using it but on my list of things to do to practise.
Thank you!xx

mrspremise Fri 30-Aug-13 16:44:16

If your little one won't tolerate reins, how sbout a wrist strap? That was the happy medium for my boy, somehow he felt less restricted by it, but I retained control over him slipping my hand and dashing off.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 16:46:17

Have you tried the backpack reins or just the traditional ones? I have a little life backpack that needs a new home, you can have it free if you think it would help?

KatoPotato Fri 30-Aug-13 16:47:28

Sounds like a horrid stressful day, but It's all one hour closer to bedtime! I'd second the reins and the afternoons at home if you've been out all morning.

Just trying to understand what happened here ^DS runs out of cafe area and into main foyer and up stairs and is basically all over place.
I can't see him clearly from back of queue so move to other side and ask another staff member behind till area if I could make an order. ^

Do you mean he ran upstairs and you didn't go after him straight away? Obviously I can't picture the place but I'd have been straight after him and It would have been hometime for everyone!

Chalk this one up to a bad day and try to relax, can you have a wee treat for yourself tonight?

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 16:47:51

ANy planning ahead helps at this stage ime. Explain to him what is going to happen, explain what the rules are, explain what you are going to do (now we will put the reins on, now you will have to wave bye-bye to the slide).

Very soon he will (I assume) be going to playschool and then to school. His life will be a lot easier if he has already got used to, as a matter of course, that adults are in charge and that small children can't actually enforce their will against a grown-up who has made up her mind. It will just make it a happier experience for him.

Floggingmolly Fri 30-Aug-13 16:57:20

For next time; remember none of us could stand in a queue and "watch" our constantly moving toddlers either, you need to hold his hand hmm
I can see why you got little sympathy from the cashier, tbh...

everlong Fri 30-Aug-13 17:08:42

wine for you tonight!

Horrible day.

You need to make life a lot simpler for yourself.

Take them out after his nap or first thing. Take a packed lunch. Use a sling and a buggy. Forget the dolly pram.

And remember this stage will pass eventually

AmberLeaf Fri 30-Aug-13 17:10:52

Another recommendation for wrist strap reins here.

The ones that go around the body encourage that 'swinging' thing IME! and the wrist ones are better for older children and children who dont like feeling restrained.

I had a runner and the wrist reins were essential.

One strap around your wrist and one around his, leaves your hands free to push the buggy etc.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 17:13:44

Omg wrist reins sound like an excellent idea.. Will explore

everlong Fri 30-Aug-13 17:14:09

I think the toddler needs to be harnessed in a pram so the OP has full control. I've used those wrist bands and they are horrible when the child decides to have a full blown strop.

At least when getting from A to B he will be safe, baby fast asleep in sling?

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 30-Aug-13 17:18:37

(Sorry to butt in) flatwhite we've replied to your emails, but your email address is bouncing back! Could you please update your MyMumsnet account to include a current email address? Thanks.

(Sorry for hijack)


HeySoulSister Fri 30-Aug-13 17:21:22

In what way do you expect the leisure centre to be 'childproof'?

DanicaJones Fri 30-Aug-13 17:21:27

LOL at Bowlersarm dc throwing veg at other customers at M&S grin

Idespair Fri 30-Aug-13 17:23:02

They are at difficult ages - toddler and baby, very hard.

Get the into a double buggy, both strapped in so you can do things. Also carry reins with you for 2yo and never let your 2yo run off out of your sight. If he tantrums on the reins, he will at least be safe. Also avoid leaving the baby unattended by having a sling or baby carrier if necessary.

Only go to places where you can maintain control or both of them. Very small soft play for eg. I used to go to one which was the size of a room in a house when mine were this age.

Forget about the people who you encountered when you were having a nightmare.

And remember it will get easier and they will probably play very nicely together in time!

AmberLeaf Fri 30-Aug-13 17:28:29

everlong, I dont think harnessing a nearly 3 yr old in a pram is the best idea, he needs to learn to walk in a sensible manner, that wont happen if he is always in a buggy.

My son had many a strop while using wrist reins, I never found them an issue. In fact they stopped him running off [which is the point]

A 3 yr old having a strop while harnessed in a pram isnt exactly nice either, they are generally too big for a buggy at that age and Ive seen many a 3 yr old doing the stiff arched back thing trying to protest at their incarceration!

He needs to learn not to run walk nicely, reins will help do that safely.

I think I got my reins in Boots OP. They weren't expensive.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 17:28:32

Sure... Thanks!

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 17:30:29

whatever method you use op you do need to restrain a toddler as that keeps them safe. end of. no argument with a 3 year old as you are the adult and he is the child.

however I defy even Mary popping herself to not get fucked off with kids sometimes.

be nice to yourself and maybe less ambitious. a cuddle watching TV is fine for an afternoon or a potter in the garden. kids don't need soft play and lunch really. keep it simple.

now shove them into bed and get a large glass.[[😄]{

everlong Fri 30-Aug-13 17:30:32

I get what you're saying amberleaf I just think the OP needs to make things as easy for herself as she can right now.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 17:31:39
WallaceWindsock Fri 30-Aug-13 17:32:13

I always feel like a horrid strict mum when reading threads like this. DD doesn't get chance to run off. She's 2.5 and walks everywhere as 5mo DS is in the buggy. I hold her hand just at the wrist so that if she lets go I've still got her. She is not allowed to let go until we are somewhere appropriate - park, playground etc. if she starts to tantrum she gets a warning to behave and if that doesn't work I fling her over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes until she stops.

I've had to be tough like this because we couldn't afford a double buggy and I don't drive so we have to bus everywhere. I knew I couldn't be in that position where I had to chase her and abandon the baby. She now has good recall grin and will come back when I call her so I do sometimes let her run about but never in queues or shops etc.

Write today off, plan a strategy be it reins or double buggy etc nd then stick to it no matter what. I don't be scared to lose it now and then. Before I had DS I once completely flipped out at DD after she ran into a road. She was petrified and I didn't hold back. She now knows that roads aren't safe and always points and says "danger mummy".

AmberLeaf Fri 30-Aug-13 17:36:03

This is what I used;

Boots wrist reins

AmberLeaf Fri 30-Aug-13 17:38:38

Oh, I agree with that everlong. Whatever it takes.

BoffinMum Fri 30-Aug-13 17:48:25

I am sure people think I am a terrible mother sometimes, but IMVHO you need to pace yourself and not take things to heart so much. Leisure centres and the like are full of miserable people waiting to be difficult IME - so I rarely use them. What I do like is to meet equally rebellious friends and moan collectively about being tired and simultaneously having a laugh about how difficult and bonkers our children are being while they play. If you pepper your days with more of that and less of the rule-orientated grumpy stuff you might feel a bit better.

I would recommend double buggies, wrist straps, toddler reins, 1-2-3 Magic and so on however, as then you can Have Dominion and the children will soon learn You Are In Charge and They Do What You Say, making life a bit more settled.

BoffinMum Fri 30-Aug-13 17:49:32

PS It would have killed the cats bum people in the queue to help, wouldn't it? FFS.

everlong Fri 30-Aug-13 17:56:18

I agree Boffin.
Obviously weren't MNetters wink

kungfupannda Fri 30-Aug-13 17:59:13

It sounds like a terrible day, OP. Have some wine and remember you'll probably never see those people again.

BUT I would suggest having a bit of a think about how you manage your own reactions when in stressful situations like this. I understand getting stressed and focused on your own situation, but I think you need to take a deep breath and remember that, in places like soft play, the other people around you are also trying to order food while keeping an eye on one or more children. So some of the people in front of you in the queue might have been trying to look in three directions at once at a 4, 3 and 2 year-old for example.

If I had been in the queue, I'd like to think I would have been a bit gentler with you, but I probably would have said "we're all in the same boat - sorry, I need to get back to my two asap" or similar, and not let you go in front, because I wouldn't have wanted to find myself in the same position.

If this sort of thing happens again, it's probably worth catching someone's eye and making some sort of "oh dear, isn't it a nightmare" comment. You'll probably find people more sympathetic (although still probably not amenable to queue-jumping!) if you acknowledge that you're not the only one in a bit of a stress.

Samnella Fri 30-Aug-13 18:01:32

Have a wine later when they are in bed. You had a bad day.

Personally, I don't do more than one activity a day especially with that age and for your own sanity don't try and drop the afternoon sleep.

If I am being totally honest I don't think you should have left a child of that age unattended whilst you queued for food nor dare I say expected to jump ahead of the queue. But I would imagine you weren't thinking straight as you were trying to do to much.

I did a similar thing once. DD aged 2 went missing in a very busy shop whilst we were queuing in one of those roped off sort of pathways to the tills. I was so worried about how I was going to turn round and push past all the commuters (all very sour faced as DD had been screaming) that I left 4 month old DS alone in the buggy whilst I hot footed after DD.

That was a classic case of doing too much and tired children.

Re: the buggy mother and hotel woman. They were unreasonable. Buggy woman should have forced the buggy back although perhaps thought it was the softplays.

kungfupannda Fri 30-Aug-13 18:05:01

Do you have more than one local softplay? Can you drive to one?

I used to go to a very big one, and found it quite stressful as soon as DS2 was mobile. It was just too big. You couldn't keep an eye on the kids while queuing for food and the toilets were a fair walk away.

I found a tiny local one in a leisure centre and it's lovely. The tables are all round the play area and the café is about 20 feet away so you can see them while queuing.

It's actually quite a pleasant, restful place to go!

Kaekae Fri 30-Aug-13 18:05:39

I say F**k them all, you don't know them from Adam so why worry about what they think? If anything I would say toughen up and in the future don't let judgey strangers talk down to you!wink

Katkins1 Fri 30-Aug-13 18:20:47

I don't think other Mums/women were criticising her parenting or her, just the way that she dealt with that particular situation.

Kids of that age are very challenging; add a baby in to the mix and its hard. But there's no excuse to be rude, jump the queue ,let your child run around in a busy place, leave your baby unattended, be unkind to another child and shout so loudly at your children that some-one else comes out to see what the fuss is.

If this were a young mum, single parent (assuming you aren't because you have a new baby, though I could be wrong), or some-one who looked like they were struggling even more then they would be judged even more.

So : YABU. And this thread is making me cross. You handled it badly, put them to bed, move on, and learn for the future.

NorfolkIngWay Fri 30-Aug-13 18:22:01

Some 3 year olds respond better to a choice.
So reins or hold buggy when in a queue or near road.
You must enforce this every time. Don't cave at the first protest.

Think about what things are important and work from there.
Mine non negotiable ones were:

Sitting at the table to eat.
Safety near roads, holding buggy or reins on.
No running off or reins on.

Your children need you to be in charge .Do you have a HV that you could talk to get some support ?

Have also done the quick exit with child under arm "Smile and wave"grin
Tomorrow is another day OP.

insummeritrains Fri 30-Aug-13 18:24:26

I will never understand other mum's who watch and are critcical of situations like yours - it will be them and their DC next week!

wine and cake

Tigresswoods Fri 30-Aug-13 18:26:44

Feel for you. Xxx

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 18:32:35

I agree with Boffin and there are some very smug posts on here. I mean people have not lived if they think you were 'incredibly rude' - bloody ridiculous!

Fwiw, I don't think you were rude at all in trying to retrieve your property- you explained that you had a baby to return to and the other Mother was totally obstructive. You have a lot more patience than me!

Equally, a bit of empathy in the queue wouldn't have gone amiss. I agree with whoever made the comment about grumpy, middle England moaners at the leisure centres.

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 18:34:51

Katkins - it's making you cross? Why?

HaroldLloyd Fri 30-Aug-13 18:40:23

I've had a similarly awful day with my ds's op. I had three people from the same group come over and have a pop at me for one incident.

Some people are just dicks.

Filofax Fri 30-Aug-13 19:00:59

You have my sympathies OP, mine are same ages and the early years I was often close to tears after outings.
See if there are any cosy softplays near you that are just for babies and toddlers.
Always have food in your bag.
Have a look at Jojo for wrist straps and they do little life rucksacks which are reins in disguise.
I like to give catsbum faces a cold hard stare.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 19:08:24

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 18:32:35
I agree with Boffin and there are some very smug posts on here. I mean people have not lived if they think you were 'incredibly rude' - bloody ridiculous!

Not a single poster has said she was 'incredibly rude'. Some people have said she was rude/lacking in manners, to which the OP agreed.

I'll never understand why people make stuff up on here to try to reinforce their point.

flatwhite Fri 30-Aug-13 19:17:01

I just want to challenge comment from someone re being "unkind to another child".
I don't remember it like that at all! A child had my child's toy. Her mother gave me permission t come and retrieve it. I did so - but had to exert a little pressure to release it from other child's grasp.
I dot think that is being unkind - perhaps I pulled too hard yes but i wouldnt go as far as saying being unkind
Sometimes it can be like Chinese whispers! shock. A bit out of hand.
Thank you so much everyone for all the support and advice.
I am no angel I know. I just panicked my son was running amok and unsafe and dealt with things awkwardly. I think I came off worst though - and my poor DS who I hope is not too traumatised by my exasperation!

BoffinMum Fri 30-Aug-13 19:19:47

You don't have to justify yourself here. We've all had bad days and children running amok. Where is it written that we have to get it right all the time? Would these women judge their dad as harshly? Next time choose to spend your day in a more laid back way and your kids will pick up on it and calm down too. They don't need activities or soft play - just veg out a bit and have fun. xx

Fakebook Fri 30-Aug-13 19:31:50

Sounds like a bad day to me!

Never leave the house without a snack and drink.

If your instinct tells you that one of them is tired and will play up then don't take the risk of taking them somewhere without a rest first.

Could you get him a scooter with a scoot'n'pull rein when he's tired?

mrsfrumble Fri 30-Aug-13 19:37:18

Nothing but sympathy from me. My son is 2.9 and 'spirited' shall we say, and my daughter is 10 months. We've had many days like the one you describe. It makes me so sad that there seem to be many people who would rather tut and criticize than actually help.

It's easy to say that you could have handled it better or not bothered with soft play at all, because hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it? I expect that - if you're anything like I was when Dd was 4 months - you were just so pleased to have made it out the house at all that you were trying to make the most of it!

My one piece of advise would be to persevere with the sling. If you're not comfortable or confident with the one you have then see if there's a sling library near so you can find one that does work. I have a Connecta which is brilliant because it takes about 30 seconds to get the baby strapped into it then I have my hands free to peg it after the absconding toddler without having to abandon Dd.

NervousLaugh Fri 30-Aug-13 19:39:02

Pretty sure I live in a parallel universe sometimes.
'Ds ran out the cafe' so your 2.11 legged it across a room where people carry boiling drinks and hot food. 'Into the foyer area' where he could have chosen to run out the entrance/exit door. 'And up the stairs. Out of sight' and you only went after him when someone told you too?? Has it occurred to you that when you 'finally retrieved him in the swimming changing area' that he could have quite easily come to some serious harm?
You've had a bad day, you have my sympathies. But, please do as others have suggested and hold hands/use a double buggy or reins, for your sanity as well as your Ds' safety.

nancerama Fri 30-Aug-13 19:40:28

You've had a bad day. We all have them. If I don't start out 3 paces ahead of DS he overtakes me by lunchtime and I spend the rest of the day playing catchup and making daft decisions. You might feel a bit daft, but you're unlikely to see these people again and no one died.

DS hated reins too. I bought him a little life backpack and he used to swing from it, thrown himself on the ground, spiral around. I took him to a field and trained him to get used to it. It's a godsend in queues or waiting to cross the road and I stuff it with snacks and drinks.

Have a wine and a long hot bath.

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 19:49:34

What I found with the buggy was that it worked at this age if used for very specific purposes. When we went to the shops she would walk most of the way, but just before we got to the Coop we would stop, at the same point every time, and she would go in the buggy. Not willingly, but eventually she learned that this is what we do in this particular situation. A bit like teaching them that you always wear a seatbelt in the car. So she was still getting her exercise and learning how to walk nicely, but in very specific situations I kept her under restraint.

FixItUpChappie Fri 30-Aug-13 19:50:09

Sorry your having such a crap day OP.

Mine are of similar ages - really the 2 year old is too young to be out of arms reach of you in a public place TBH. I manage this by keeping DS2 in a carrier/sling - then I have 2 hands free and feel more physically capable of herding DS1 around at soft-play type activities. I keep my carrier in the undercarriage of the pram so I always have it handy.

DS1 is told he will either need to hold my hand and/or stay holding the pram or he will have to sit in the double buggy - end of. I am not shy about putting him in the pram when I am feeling just a bit overwhelmed too - he can sit and eat a snack while I shop etc. I don't give two shits what anybody thinks. At least he is contained and safe.

I also try to keep some fun little toys and snacks always in my purse for when I need to keep him occupied (bubble, raisins and yes chocolate chips).

Don't be too hard on yourself - it takes practice to manage two young children and it can be no easy task I empathize.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 30-Aug-13 19:59:37

OP, ignore, ignore, ignore but for God's sake buy some reins for safety reasons. It is hard when they are little and those with little sympathy have probably forgotten how tough it is or have never had 2 v small dc to deal with.
it does get better I promise you, have some wine and think of ways to make it easier next time.

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 20:06:12

Ok I stand corrected 'rude' not incredibly so just 'rude'. Rude enough to get a poster 'cross' - talk about OTT. I am baffled as to why anyone would care to this extent.

Op there was nothing wrong with retrieving your toy, the Mother should've done it for you rather than telling you off.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 20:12:53

Sorry, OP, but the mention of him managing to push open the "non child proof door" did make me chuckle. It's a leisure centre, not a prison. Definitely time to take a bit more responsibility for his behaviour, but it sounds like you know that now.

Re-reading the OP - how come the childminder manages to get him through the day without a nap. Have you asked the childminder what they are doing differently?

HeySoulSister Fri 30-Aug-13 20:18:38

I wondered that about the childminder too?

toobreathless Fri 30-Aug-13 20:26:47

I don't think you are making life easy for yourself, I have two with a smaller gap.

If DS1 can't be trusted to run off he needs to be contained in double buggy. Always carry a snack. I would have found a table & highchair and put DS in with a drink, snack and small toy from bag then got myself in queue.

I'm afraid I would have not been happy if you had taken the buggy off my child in soft play. How was she to know it was yours? I would have been furious had you touched my child & tried to take it out of her hands. I agree you don't snatch and if you had asked nicely would of course have handed it straight over. In that situation I might have let my daughter have another minute with it.

I agree it IS hard but I think you need to develop some strategies for coping better.

Nicola19 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:27:36

Don't be so hard on yourself, honestly, just sounds like an awful day! I had many similar times with DDs, when they were a similar age, they are six and three now.

I found myself dealing with out of control behaviour from DD1 and decided one day i had to be proactive rather than reactive! Very firmly told her my expectations of her behaviour, what constituted good and naughty behaviour, linked with a very timely reward all the time. Reinforced all this constantly in similar situations like yours to rmind her and keep her on track. It was exhausting but worked!

froubylou Fri 30-Aug-13 20:31:19

Op you poor bugger. What a shitty day.

Forget about it now. Try the reins or see if you can get acheap ddouble buggy from eBay or something. Or even a buggy board so you can make him stay in one place when in a queue or something.

Have a nice bath and put a line under it all. And the other women were quick to judge. I hope that they don't have a similar situation anytime soon.

Nicola19 Fri 30-Aug-13 20:34:46

Sorry, meant to say also that i began the 'spiel' as we'd be setting off from the house, and on the journey and as we arrived somewhere, taking time to kneel down to her and reiterate the message. In dead simple terms too! It made me feel a bit like i was one step ahead!

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 20:54:11

Whistlestop your comments about 'responsibility' are very patronising. Would you speak to adults in real life like this?

Op I wouldn't listen to any of the advice that reeks of self-importance and intolerance it will just make you feel more shit about yourself. Forget about what others think as people who have an opinion on a child's behaviour in public are usually always 'angry', 'embittered' people. Most broad minded folk either don't notice or demonstrate some empathy.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 21:13:56

Goldenbear - if I met a person in real life who admitted that queueing wasn't really for them, that they used physical force to prise out of small children's hands, that their under 3 year old ended up in the changing area of a swimming pool and insinuated it as because a door wasn't childproof then I sure would!

I think some people have lost sight of the fact that the OP's child wondered off to the swimming pool changing rooms and instead of following him she started trying to jump the queue in the cafe to order food.

Every swimming pool I have ever been to has changing rooms that lead directly out to poolside - I think it's ridiculous that a parent would be standing arguing trying to order food while their toddler has wandered into a situation like that.

I have been more restrained (up until this point) because the OP was having a shit time, but frankly the "there there, it's ok to prise a complete stranger'ssmall child's fingers off something that belongs to you" posts have frankly made me wonder just how inconsiderate your behaviour is in public, goldenbear.

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 30-Aug-13 21:18:23

We have back pack reins for ds3 2.5, he takes the wrist ones off. If it was me id be saying if you don't wear the reins/back pack we don't go out.

Ds3 walks really well but he's a toddler, they are unpradictable and could easily decide to bolt into a road, which makes things difficult when your pushing the pushchair. (ds4 is 7 months)

Also snacks and possibly shorter outings. Don't worry about today, im sure most of us have been there at one time or another.

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 30-Aug-13 21:20:24

And why on earth the parent didn't just take the pushchair from her child and give it to you I don't know

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 21:28:45

Moomins - the OP left the dolly buggy in soft play and disappeared into the cafe. Then reappeared and tried to take it - it's likely that the other mother (not unreasonably, IMO) thought that the unattended buggy was part of the play equipment on offer and was then affronted by the OP prising it out of her child's hands.

MoominsYonisAreScary Fri 30-Aug-13 21:38:55

The op has already stated that the mother gave her permission to retrieve the buggy

HaroldLloyd Fri 30-Aug-13 22:08:20

The mother should have got it for her, she should not have required OP to fetch it and then complain about the way she did it.

josiejay Fri 30-Aug-13 22:19:18

I find it easier to control my toddler when I'm carrying my 4 month old in a sling, then you have both hands free to grab toddler (providing he is a good walker and doesn't need carrying lots).

I think we can all be guilty of judging other mums for their DCs' behaviour at times, but we really ought to try to be supportive in those situations.

I hope tomorrow is a better day for you OP.

jamdonut Fri 30-Aug-13 22:44:20

Sounds like a crap day, but I'm with those who think reins are the way forward.I used them with all three of my children,it is the only way to keep reasonable control of small active children.

My youngest used to hate them,and lie on the floor, but you just have to be firm and consistent,till they get the idea. I used to have the holding part of the reins wound around my wrist,whilst holding my child's hand,so they got used to the idea of walking whilst holding hands,but couldn't suddenly disappear if they got it into their heads that they didn't want to hold hands any more!

However,there is a bigger gap between my children than yours, so i don't know what I would have done with two very small children! Probably keep them strapped in a pushchair,I would imagine.

Don't let the other women get you down.

Goldenbear Fri 30-Aug-13 23:14:27

Well yes I don't tolerate any of that shit anymore Whistlestop-I would ask for MY possessions back and expect the Mother to get them for me. If she couldn't be bothered then I'd ask for the Money for my stuff. I would not tolerate a condescending 'telling off' or 'lecture' on sharing from some over confident, entitled Mother. However, it was not that long ago that DD was 4 months and DS was 4 and I felt overwhelmed, not 'together' as some and would've probably wrongly felt I was completely inadequate - I wasn't.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 23:20:58

Goldenbear - what you and the OP don't seem to get, is that just as you were trying to deal with your own dc, so was the woman with the child holding onto the dolly buggy trying to deal with hers.

It seems that it's ok in your world to do whatever suits your situation and your own dc - and everyone else has to snap into line to support that. Yet when it comes to somebody else's situation you're a complete empathy vaccuum.

I do wonder how the children of such aggressive and self absorbed parents turn out, tbh.

HaroldLloyd Fri 30-Aug-13 23:23:47

I hardly think passing back a toy is that bloody outrageous.

She had plenty of time to have a pop at the op didn't she.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 23:26:53

The OP says: "I locate buggy with another child and claim it. Mum holding this child as I extract buggy from child's hand - child was holding quite strongly so I had to pull a little "

She pulled it out of the child's hands!

The only mention of her explaining the situation to the other mother is much later on. Perhaps she asked the other mother and waited, and waited for the other mother to hand it over. And just forgot to mention that in the op? hmm

HaroldLloyd Fri 30-Aug-13 23:28:45

She's said she made a few wrong decisions and has taken some advice about things to try. You just seem to be relentlessly sticking the boot in for no good reason to be honest.

HaroldLloyd Fri 30-Aug-13 23:30:31

Wondering how her children will turn out is patently ridiculous.

I expect prisons are rammed full of men whose mothers took a pram from other children, or possibly not.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 23:31:38

I'm actually debating a few points with individual posters, haroldlloyd. There's a tiny clue there where I prefix my posts with the name of the person I'm responding to.

But yes, I think the OP sounds rude and entitled, I said that ages ago upthread.

mynameismskane Fri 30-Aug-13 23:34:12

Sorry but it sounds to me like you are assigning to much blame to others. Why shouldn't you queue? You need to be more assertive and stop your child running amok and then blaming others for how they react.

HaroldLloyd Fri 30-Aug-13 23:34:28

You specifically mentioned in your post to "you and the OP"

If you want to carry on arguing the finer points of pram retrieval by all means carry on.

A couple of thoughts, flatwhite - firstly, naps. Naps are wonderful things - I kept them going for as long as I could so,i could have my lunch and watch Neighbours in peqce - they were a godsend. If he's tired, better to let him have a nap, than to try another activity - tired child + busy leisure centre = recipe for disaster - but I think you have realised that.

Secondly, it is worth persevering with the reins, and pushing past the tantrums, not just because they will make your life easier in circumstances like today, but also because if you teach your child that you are in charge, and tantrums won't shift your resolve, that will make your life easier too.

whistlestop Fri 30-Aug-13 23:38:25

Haroldlloyd - it's sad that you can see no wrong in what the OP did, despite her reflecting that she was 'aggressive' in removing the toy.

You seem desperate to normalise behaviour that the OP has said she regrets. Why is that?

FixItUpChappie Sat 31-Aug-13 00:19:44

With respect to the toy...I agree with Haroldloyd The mother should have got it for her, she should not have required OP to fetch it and then complain about the way she did it.

I hardly think trying to get it back from the child by pulling a little constitutes aggression toward the child. That mother should have managed that aspect of things.

MrsWolowitz Sat 31-Aug-13 00:31:04

Oh for goodness sake whistle

In essence I agree with you. The OP was wrong (and a little entitled) to ask to push in and she undoubtably should have better control of the 3 year old whether he likes it or not.

However, she's had a crap day, is drained and just needs a bit of support.

Haven't you ever had a crappy, exhausting day where all you've felt like you've done is fuck up? Stop bleating on about the same old stuff and drop it.

We've heard you, some of us agree with your points but the way you're being so judgy and overly harsh is unnecessary.

Goldenbear Sat 31-Aug-13 01:58:20

Whistlestop, my eldest is fine actually - a popular boy at school and is doing well academically. My 2 year old is a bold character when pursuing activities but is shy and willing to give up toys to anyone merely standing next to her. For that reason I would ask for a toy back because there is no way she'd snatch it back.

BranchingOut Sat 31-Aug-13 08:10:25

I have one child, now a bit older, but I did find the few months leading up to three very difficult.

I do see lots of three year olds in double buggies, so don't worry if you do decide to go down the double buggy route.

However, I think at the first sign of being 'free ranging' or 'all over the place' I probably would have picked him up or been holding his hand extremely tightly, combined with a sharp word, ("you do NOT run away from me!!") mostly because I am terrified of hazards in that kind of public area. The 'carpet roll across the body' or 'sack over your shoulder' holds are useful here! smile Or strapped him into a highchair, or just gone home, there and then. We have definitely done that at times.

I think that unfortunately you did not win friends with the queue jumping and getting back the buggy - I realise that you were in a panic, but suspect that you may need to watch your tone of voice or something about your manner in the way you were asking then...No offence, but I think that something must have been getting the other people's backs up, for that many people to react badly. I have quite a 'soft' polite manner which helps in some situations, although it is next to useless at other times.

But overall, try to put it behind you and make a plan for next time.
Wishing you a better day today.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 31-Aug-13 08:27:39

My 2 year old would have clung on to the buggy until it was prised off him, he would probably then have had a tantrum, difference is if someone had said it belonged to them id have taken it off him myself.

The op has said she should have reacted differently, she was obviously stressed and panicked, I think most of us with similar age gaps have had moments like this, I've forgotten to pack snacks, juice, had to go out without the back pack, misjudged nap times or stayed out a little too long. No ones perfect.

Op if you can afford to id take him to kiddicare and let him pick a back pack, mine has the dinosaur. He loves it and we put his snacks, little toys and juice in the back. He came out of the double at 2.3 so because i already had the baby it was the back pack or back in the pushchair, he knows that unless he puts it on, he won't be going out.

HaroldLloyd Sat 31-Aug-13 13:42:21

Whistle, how am I trying to normalise her behaviour?

If you talk to people like this in real life id be gobsmacked. Have you no empathy at all?

It's possible to think that you probably wouldn't have done something, whilst showing basic human empathy to a lady who was very stressed.

It's very easy to do the wrong thing at times when your stressed.

Your like a dog with a bone, or a toddler with a pram.

Bowlersarm Sat 31-Aug-13 13:49:06

You don't need to come back and justify your actions OP.

You had a bad day. We all have them (except whistlestop who clearly is perfect).

You have learnt from your mistakes. Your DS will forget it by ooh 10 minutes after it happened.

Move on, and have a lovely day today.

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 15:18:17

Suggested homework this week for everyone is to actively make another mother's life easier for 5 minutes when out.

IMO many queues are signs of inefficiency, and if the British were less happy to queue arbitrarily whilst treating it like some sort of necessary virtue, there would be no need for many of them.wink

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 15:19:33

I would not enjoy mixing with the likes of Whistlestop in RL as I often demonstrate imperfection as well. wink

Boffin - if I see a parent in a supermarket, whose child is acting up or whinging or screaming, I do try to stop and say something nice or encouraging to them. Does that count?

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 15:40:25

Yes, or say to the children 'come on, do what your mother says, there's good children'?

See - I would worry that I was overstepping the mark by saying that to the children, but would make some comment like - 'Oh dear, he's really not enjoying the shopping, is he? - it does get better, I promise'. Though when a little boy was about to kick off in Tesco the other week - because his sister had got the bottle of milk that his mum wanted, and she didn't need another one and he really, really WANTED to get the milk, I asked him to get me one instead, and thanked him for being so helpful when he did.

monkeymamma Sat 31-Aug-13 16:33:38

YANBU for thinking these other women were unnecessarily judgey and critical - yes you did need to grab your ds1 as they said, but none of them offered you any help or encouragement. I've had a few rather public struggles with my ds (not yet 2) and on occasion people have stopped to help - evn just a 'now then young man, what's all the fuss about?' can stop him in his tracks and buy me time to get him into the buggy/get his shoes on/whatever. If it doesn't work at least you feel supported and not criticised. It takes a village to raise a child, parenting is bloody hard work some days and IMO shocked looks/tutting/making you feel shit about it is Just Not On...

BoffinMum Sat 31-Aug-13 17:15:10

Once DD was throwing a strop in Waitrose and a wonderful lady traffic warden in full uniform told her to stop being silly and do what her mummy said. She immediately obliged at which point the woman winked and said she was a mother of four and the uniform always worked on strange children as they thought she was the police!!

Thinkingofmyfabfour Sat 31-Aug-13 17:28:35

I haven't read the whole thread so sorry if its already been mentioned, but could you try a buggy board? I find it great to contain ds3, and is also good if he's tired and doesn't want to walk.

Days like that are really hard and if you are stressed these comments hurt even more-someone nearly made me cry at soft play the other day, she was so damned rude!

If the set up of that soft play isn't ideal I'd avoid it in future. It takes a while to work out what is manageable on your own with 2 wee ones, I'm sure a better timed visit at a better laid out place will be fine

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 21:24:11

I can understand why you

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 21:32:26

Aargh pressed send too soon! I can understand that you had a crap day, but I can also understand the reaction of the other people there. It sounds like things totally spiralled out of control for you. However you have to find a way to stop your toddler running off, especially if you have a baby as well. Chalk it down to experience and have wine and cake

PresidentServalan Sat 31-Aug-13 21:34:27

And sorry but letting your toddler run off and the way you acted in the cafe does sound like you were a bit unreasonable.

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