Can I ever go out in public again?

(37 Posts)
AmeliaEarhart Wed 20-Feb-13 14:23:52

DS is 2.3, DD is 4 months. I look after them both full time at the moment. I decided to take them to the library this morning, and in a moment of insanity decided to leave the buggy at home and let DS walk and catch the bus. I should have seen the direction things were going in when he lay down on the pavement outside our front gate, and had to be coaxed and carried to the bus stop at the end of the road.

He was good on the bus, and okay at the library to begin with. When he started pulling cups out of the water dispenser and tried to snatch a toy from the only other child in the library I decided it was time to go home for lunch. DS didn't like this idea and was already screaming under my arm by the time we got back to the bus stop. He knocked over the shopping of a man waiting in the shelter, and I only had time for a flustered apology as I carried him kicking and screaming on to our bus. I had to pin him in his seat for the whole journey home as he screeched and thrashed. He kept knocking his baby sister (who was in the sling) and making her cry.

I didn't dare look at any of the other passengers. I heard muttering behind me and glanced up once and there was an older woman giving me a filthy look. At our stop I carried off and apologised to the driver, then staggered up the road to the house with him still flailing under my arm.

He's calmed down now and is watched Peppa. I hoped writing it all down would help me see the funny side but I still just want to sob. Why is it so bloody hard? Why do I never see other toddlers behaving like this? I just want to stay indoors and never go out again.

Totallyataloss Wed 20-Feb-13 14:25:59

I feel your pain... Just remember that tomorrow is another day. Hope your day improves.

steppemum Wed 20-Feb-13 14:31:05

Amelia - there was a thread last week

'Why an I the only person carrying a screaming toddler down the street?'

So you are not alone. We have been there too, just one of those days when it all goes wrong, and for some reason your normally nice toddler turns into the mad toddler from hell.

have a brew

Quenelle Wed 20-Feb-13 14:32:55

They all do it. My extremely placid 3.6yo DS had the first major strop of his life in John Lewis just after Christmas because I wouldn't buy him the (adult size 9) inline skates he had set his heart on.

Have a sit down and a brew for five minutes. I'm sure there will be plenty of parents along in a minute to share similar stories and commiserate.

AmeliaEarhart Wed 20-Feb-13 14:38:35

Thanks Totally. Only 5 hours until DH gets home for bedtime...

I don't blame the woman on the bus really, but I just didn't know what else to do other than get him home as quickly as possible. It's so hard trying to carry him with the baby in the sling and when he's thrashing about, and he absolutely refuses to walk. I feel like he'll never learn to walk sensibly if he's always in the pushchair, but when we go out without it this happens!

AmeliaEarhart Wed 20-Feb-13 14:40:54

... And thanks Quenelle and Steppemum. I'm a very slow typist blush
I have to pull myself together and think of an activity for the afternoon. There are only so many episodes of Peppa on Youtube.

claraschu Wed 20-Feb-13 14:42:56

You poor thing-

I used to tell myself that I was providing a public service when my kids behaved like this. I was giving all the other parents on the bus a delightful opportunity to feel smug about how much better they had brought up their kids. (Or at least to feel grateful that it wasn't their kids acting up at that moment.)

Grumpla Wed 20-Feb-13 14:43:42

Believe me, I feel your pain.

I never really saw the point of prams when DS1 was an only, much preferred slings.

Now I have two children, I very much see the point of having a child-immobiliser/straitjacket-on-wheels at my disposal at ALL TIMES when leaving the house.

Mooshbag Wed 20-Feb-13 14:49:32

Whenever DD does this type of thing I always feel like she's the only one who does it. You're definitely not alone. It's something that most toddlers go through, no matter how placid they are. It's not your fault and anything/nothing can set it off.

You're not the only one believe me.

I think people who have older children forget what the terrible twos are like.

Also as said up thread tomorrow is another day.

Rockchick1984 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:00:42

I only have 1DS at the moment and have been there with the meltdowns at the least convenient time grin

On a practical note, is the sling you use for DD suitable for back carries? Far easier to pop her onto your back so you aren't restricted if you don't have the pram with you!

BackforGood Wed 20-Feb-13 15:06:53

Sending you some un-MN-y hugs

We've all been there, done that, and got the t-shirt.
Generally, those looks you get off others are really sympathy, or relief that we are no longer in that phase, it's just that, at the time, you interpret it that people are looking daggers at you.

Just remember - it's a phase, and they do outgrow it.

recall Wed 20-Feb-13 15:14:09

You really are NOT alone. I have had some truly awful experiences, and similarly to you, it has been times when I am trying to do the best for them. It would have been easier for you to stay at home, so well done for trying I say.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Wed 20-Feb-13 15:18:05

My tip, don't look embarrassed or apologetic when the toddler is making a show of you, look stern and "I mean business" and no one will dare give you a dirty look again (thats my experience anyway). Also helps ds know I'm not amused! I feel your pain.

zeldapinwheel Wed 20-Feb-13 15:19:25

This morning I had to carry a screaming dd (2.6 ) from the lake back to the car,past lots of dog walkers and fishing people who all seemed to be tutting.

We'd run out of bread and the ducks refused to eat the leaves she was throwing at them. So obviously it was the end of the world.

NoHank Wed 20-Feb-13 15:23:54

You are not alone. My 2.8 year old always saves the best for the school playground first thing in the morning to ensure the largest audience possible. I have lost count of the number of times I have carried her out kicking and screaming tucked under my arm.

The reason you don't see other toddlers behaving like this is because all your attention is being taken up by yours. Believe me, they are all around you!

Have a brew and count down the hours till wine time, after all, tomorrow is another day grin

AmeliaEarhart Wed 20-Feb-13 15:28:56

Backforgood, I don't think bus lady was sympathetic. She was still glaring at me through the window and shaking her head as the bus drove away after we'd got off. It probably looked as if I wasn't even trying to calm DS, but he was so hysterical there was nothing I could do but try and get home without him injuring himself / me / the baby. The driver gave me a kind (if pitying) smile though.

'Straightjacket-on-wheels' made me laugh. Not fail-safe though - we lost a brand new welly last week when he kicked it off while tantrumming in the buggy and I was too blinded by misery and embarrassment to notice.

I'll look out the thread steppemum mentions for some comfort.

Nicolaeus Wed 20-Feb-13 15:29:29

I had to carry a screaming kicking toddler out of a toy shop the other day - he kept falling off a toy and hurting himself so I got fed up and said we had to move to a different part of the shop.

I was a bit embarassed but figured it happens lots in toy shops!

Only got sympathetic looks though (i think - thats how I chose to interpret them anyway)

Tee2072 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:33:03

Been there, done that. And we were getting off at the last stop.

I hauled him off the bus, apologizing to everyone else along the way, sank down on the side of the road holding onto him and burst into tears. Then had to haul him home. He was around 2.9, 3, something like that.

Next time? Use the pushchair! He'll get the walking thing, I promise! My son, now 3.9, walks 3 miles a day to get to school and decided on his own he didn't need the pushchair and hasn't had a fit like that one in ages.

AllSWornOut Wed 20-Feb-13 15:37:22

I got to carry DC1 kicking and screaming to the CM this morning. I left him knocking forlornly at the door and WAILING at the top of his lungs didn't really but was tempted to Don't think my CM was too pleased to see us grin

MarianForrester Wed 20-Feb-13 15:47:20

This happens to everyone; rest assured you are one of millions.

I am still haunted by a particular memory of one such occasion, when had to walk to length of a cafe and attached garden centre with dd and numerous bags/coats under arm, full on kicking and screaming, couldn't remember way out in my flustered state, staff asking "is everything all right...?"


matana Wed 20-Feb-13 15:50:01

The worst is when they do the "slippery fish" routine and make themselves go all floppy so you can't even pick them up off the floor effectively without looking like incompetence personified. Ds did this at lunchtime when I was trying to get him into the car seat before an oncoming car was able to take the door off. He just crumpled in a floppy heap and dissolved into floods of tears sort of half way underneath my car. Ds is 2.2. I only hope he gets to see 3.

HamAlive Wed 20-Feb-13 15:58:56

I usually feel like it's just my 2 year old who likes to do that in public. I took him to the library a couple of weeks ago, there were two little girls there sat choosing books nicely. DS stomps in, tries to climb in the book box to get up onto the windowsill, sat on a shelf, knocked over another girl's block tower, walked over to the older children's section and started pulling books off the shelf. Then I discovered he'd pooed so I had to change him (they have a baby change thankfully!) but that involved more kicking and hysterical laughing.

Once we had to wait 30 minutes for the bus because it was delayed. That didn't end well.

You really aren't alone! If you lived near me I'd meet you for coffee, I could do with a friend who understands!

MariusEarlobe Wed 20-Feb-13 15:59:43

You aren't alone, I was in a shop the other day and saw a dad with a toddler having a full meltdown over some adult gloves she wanted.

I shared a moment of solidarity with the dad and hope he knew it was through solidarity not judgement.

I worked with toddlers pre dd and when fire alarm went off one of the three year olds refused to leave his painting which resulted in me carrying screaming child under my arms while he dragged paint easel with him.

My own dd didnt tantrum at all as a toddler , she's sen, she started last year full throwing herself on the floor meltdowns, imagine the looks you get when the child is 10!!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Wed 20-Feb-13 16:04:50

ColdWinterNights, not true that the parents of older dc forget the toddler years. One particular tantrum my ds1 threw stays with me still; he's now 26 and recently became a father. grin

AbigailAdams Wed 20-Feb-13 16:10:16

Amelia, I am one of those who sees your DS like that and just thinks, there for the grace of god go I. I have also had so many sympathetic looks and words off people whilst one or other of mine has been flying off the handle. Honestly, most other parents are with you in spirit. Non-parents - well meh. Their time may well be coming smile

lurkingaround Wed 20-Feb-13 16:11:46

grin at matana! The floppy fish thing. I know!! How do they (toddlers) know this move? Who taught them etc etc. It's a mystery!

OP, we all feel your pain, but fret not, tomorrow will be better. And I bet the only person tut-tutting was that woman, everyone else had total sympathies for you.

Xiaoxiong Wed 20-Feb-13 16:12:18

You really are not alone - I would be smiling at you in total sympathy and solidarity. My DS is only 14.5 months and has had some epic meltdowns in public recently.

My problem is I find it absolutely impossible to start giggling as soon as he kicks off because his angry cry face is just hilarious. Last week I lugged him down the road flailing under my arm screaming while I was gasping with laughter - just the memory is making me giggle again.

I think I'll be laughing on the other side of my face in a year's time when he's bigger and harder to carry though.

AbigailAdams Wed 20-Feb-13 16:14:17

I remember my mum telling me about a flight she was on and this couple had a very young baby and somehow in the melee of getting on (I think that they'd had help off the crew and such like) the wrong bag had been stowed in the hold - the bag with the baby's milk...on an eight/nine hour flight. You can imagine. Everyone on the flight was very sympathetic apparently. Poor parents!

snickers251 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:24:18

I could have written this post a few weeks ago (altho heavily pregnant instead of newborn!)

I even had a woman come up to me to try 'help' calm my ds 2.6 which resulted in him just giving her a glare .. She then proceeded to compare my ds to her autistic 9yr old and that I should get my son checked out!

I dragged him home and broke down in tears hmm

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 20-Feb-13 16:32:05

I also feel your pain. Took DD (20 months) to church for the first time last month. She refused to sit still and took off down the aisle. I heard an almighty crash as she took out an older lady. Both went crashing to the floor... Not been to church for 15 years so no idea who the woman was. Found out later it was the vicar's wife!! Thankfully they were both fine. Good job they're Christians - they have to forgive us grin.

Goldenbear Wed 20-Feb-13 16:42:51

You will go out again but just be safe in the knowledge that lots of people are understanding rather than judging. It really adds to the pain of the event when you get the tutters but to some extent you have to not care. I remember a time where my 4 year old had just started infants school, DD was 6 months old in a sling and I had decided to pick up some food from smallish supermarket after the school pick up. I'd promised DS a particular ice cream, anyway they had sold out and DS had a tantrum like a 2 year old. An old man walked past and asked what was wrong. I replied that he had wanted an ice cream before I could finish the sentence, he helpfully interrupted my response and said to me, 'you better get him one then hadn't you!' he then walked off and others around me had made the same assumptions, that I wouldn't let him have one at all. Anyway, I turned around and TBH did feel inadequate but I think it was much more overwhelming when DD was a baby.

AmeliaEarhart Wed 20-Feb-13 20:40:49

It seems that staying in is not without its perils too; this afternoon DS managed to escape mid-nappy-change and do a huge poo on the rug in his bedroom. Then DH texted to say he was going to be late home and I nearly had a breakdown...

Am definitely going to have a big wine tonight!

jjazz Wed 20-Feb-13 21:13:47

Bigger picture time: So- you took them on the bus and to the library- an adventure for a 2.3 year ol...... you achieved a whole lot more than the several thousand children who spent this morning in front of the telly. You did everything here for all the best of intentions so give yourself a break. This time next yeat you WILL laugh at this- and may not attempt a trip out without buggy for some time yet- we have all tried to run before we can walk and lived to regret it... but no harm done.xx

EasilyBored Wed 20-Feb-13 22:26:16

DS threw an utter shit fit at the weekend when I refused to let him play with rip to pieces the display stand of nappies in Boots. We got a bit cocky thinking we would put the reins on him and let him walk around the trafford centre, leave the pushchair at home for a change. He's 14 months, you can imagine how that went. He got carried out to the car wailing his face off at the injustice of it all after half an hour of attempted shopping.

Piemother Wed 20-Feb-13 22:47:31

Take the buggy! Dd1 still goes in hers at 3.5 and she walks very nicely now but she wouldn't have a year ago good god no!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Wed 20-Feb-13 22:59:57

I can't go back to our local swimming pool after yesterday.

Had a lovely swim with dds and then dd2 3yo had a full on screaming tantrum when it was time to get out. We'd been in there for an hour.

What made it doubly worse was me hissing through my teeth to myself 'don't fuck with me you little shit' completely out of dds hearing but totally within the hearing of the family behind me who quite rightly stuck their noses in the air and pretended me and my screaming child didn't exist. blush

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