Before the birth of my small person, I was guilty of tutting and passing comment on parents that supposedly couldn't control their screaming brood, bubbling and frothing at the mouth in full tantrum (the child not the parent). What a bastard I was. I am sorry if you were one of those parents and you felt my cold, hard stare as you desperately tried to console your small one and get the straps on them to stop themselves hurling onto the marble floor of Westfield. I now realise how wrong I was.
When you are in the middle of a full on small child meltdown there really is nothing you can do other than try and stay calm. When my daughter was a baby the crying was seen as cute and people would stop and say, "Ah. Someone needs a feed" or "ah, someone's tired" Really useful idioms that are supposed to be helpful and understanding but that really get up your skirt. Just piss off and let me get on with it. I remember when she was about 14 months old, I was on as train and made the schoolgirl error of letting her sit on the seat. We were only going four stops. I know, silly mare. Should have kept her in the buggy. When we got to the stop before we had to get off I prepared my bags and then attempted the transition of train seat to buggy. She practically kicked the thing over and did this ear piercing scream. I could see people physically suck their teeth and squint as the noise was so powerful. The sort of high pitch used in the training of dogs. I really didn't care and pushed on through until she was strapped in. I left the carriage with my head held high, laughing it off.
Now that she is a fully fledged toddler things aren't quite so simple. By and large she is a pretty good gal and public outbursts are few and far between. However, when she is tired, hungry, bored or just being nearly two all hell can break loose.
When we were holidaying in Northumberland last summer I actually saw her frothing at the mouth in Alnwick Castle Gardens as she really didn't want to get in that buggy. It took two of us to wrestle with her and do up the straps to prevent her falling into a very prickly, tetanus inducing looking bush. I was so cross with her that I stormed off and refused to speak to her for half an hour and pretended that we weren't related in any way, leaving her father to push her screaming, red faced and still frothing at the mouth.
We've had another full on buggy related meltdown in John Lewis. The hallowed turf of JL for goodness sake. They are never knowingly undersold and their staff are never knowingly ruddy saints. One of their staff members in haberdashery (please note I was not buying buttons or hemming. We just ended up there because there were fewer witnesses to the meltdown) dangled her lego keyring infront of my crimson daughter and this seemed to do the trick as I quickly tried to fasten the straps. When you are doing reconnaissance for your first pram purchase, try timing yourself as to how quickly any model can be flattened and then fastened with a moving object in it. If it's quick and can be done by an individual, then that's the pram for you. Any fannying about with two or three participants and complicated clasps then forget it. They don't tell you that at NCT.
It's amazing what really pisses a toddler off. Living with them is like living with a very hormonal woman. You can be treading on egg shells with every step you take.
Here is a list of potential things that could cause Meltdown:
1. Sock has turned round or slipped down over heel
2. Packet to the cereal bar isn't far enough down for ease of consumption
3. Apple juice has not been served with a straw
4. You have chosen the wrong shoes
5. You have chosen the wrong coat
6. The cheese is not grated
7. You weren't quick enough holding their hand
8. You have walked the wrong way in the park. They wanted to go through the quagmire of dog shit to the left.
9. I wanted to eat the dirt off the end of that pointy stick.
10. The temperature in my bedroom is three degrees above the desired temperature of 18 degrees.
11. No. I wanted Cheerios NOT Weetabix woman.