What Do You See

“What do you see,

You people staring at me”

These words are from one of our favourite films of all times…Chitty Chitty Band Bang.
These words rattled around my head today as I tried desperately to make it from the shopping centre back to the car.
The afternoon had been going so well. Tuesdays are always hectic, there’s a mad dash between school collects to do a ballet drop off, then back for a second school collect, back into town for a ballet collect, a 45 minute wait for the next ballet class to start and another 45 minutes until we can finally go home!
I usually try to break up the time by doing something nice with the children, babychinos, a trip to the library, a short trip to the park, anything that distracts from the feeling that we are hanging around,waiting until we can finally go home.
Today was a lovely sunny day and I had a few jobs to do. The children were in great form so we parked the car, and with the promise/bribe of gingerbread men they all behaved great. They held hands when asked, they didn’t bump into any older people ( a common hazard when walking with 4 children on the street) and I even managed a quick look in the home department of Dunnes and nothing was broken ( despite one persons insistence on practising  her ballet moves!!)
And then it happened……
A refusal for extra treats at the exit of Dunnes resulted in an EPIC meltdown from both the three year old and the four year old. 
The three year old had the typical boy meltdown, you know the kind….the all head butting and fist thumping kind, and ROARING at the top of his lungs.
The four year old kept yelling at me that I was the meanest mummy EVER and she was NEVER coming near me again…this all being yelled from the furthest distance she could get from me.
I tried to stay calm, at least I tried to look like I was staying calm, inside I was fuming. I thought we’d left these meltdowns behind, and to be faced with two of them, in public, was mortifying.
  
As I struggled with a wriggling, roaring three year old in my arms back to the car, being trailed by a petulant four year old and an equally mortified 8 year old, I wondered what people were thinking. 
Did they see a woman who’s kids were out of control or did they realise that it was just a snap shot , all be it a horrible one, in a day filled with great moments as well as great upset.
When the 6 year old skipped out of ballet she was unaware that m the happy afternoon in the sunshine had been spoiled, she seemed oblivious to the sullen atmosphere in the car and her happiness changed the mood again. Suddenly we were all chatting on the way home.
I’m glad that life has taught me that what other people think of me is none of my business……but today I did wonder.

8 thoughts on “What Do You See”

  1. I have those moments regularly. Perhaps the answer is to break into a song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and mortify them into silence. Or we could always try to employ the childcatcher for a day…

    1. Oh the Childcatcher….he would have been most welcome yesterday Kate….why didn't I think of it!! I'm storing that idea for next time😊

  2. I feel your pain! Mine are *usually* good and I can honestly count on one hand the number of times all of them combined threw massive tantrums in public. But when they did – Oh My God – were they Oscar performances.

  3. I'm finding that the more I worry about a public meltdown, the more likely it is to happen! You definitely need to develop a thick skin or you'd never be able to leave the house… I really struggle with looking calm and unruffled when I'm furious inside too.

    1. It's so true, sometimes the kids pick up on your worry and play on it, I also think how I react is often influenced by where we are!

  4. I didn't have any meltdowns, they saved them for their Dad, who couldn't be embarrassed or flustered no matter what happened. I do know that when I see a meltdown in action I have nothing but sympathy for the parent. It is as you say, just a snapshot, a moment, and for all children, part of growing up.
    I was particularly amused to see how you all got over it on the way home. Now that is really good parenting in my book.

    1. I'd love some of your husbands nonchalance!! And thank you, I should actually look at how we moved past it as part of the whole picture….it's an ongoing learning curve!

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