23 November 2011

Tantrum Tactics - The Grab and Run technique

Mya had a tantrum today. In public.

Okay, so this is not the first tantrum she has ever had in front of strangers but this was the first one that I actually considered walking away and pretending she wasn't mine! Not that that plan would have worked ... The child chasing me calling me Mummy would have been a bit of a give away.

So there I was with a screaming, writhing child in the middle of Primark's children's section. I only went in for a pack of vests for Mya. It wasn't even like I was being selfish going out on a shopping spree for myself but did Mya care? Erm ... no.

We had just come out of the lift and I had parked up the pushchair next to the sleepwear aisle when the whingeing began. Not thinking at all, I unstrapped her and held her in my arms.
Rookie mistake.
I knew as soon as I did it that there was no way she was going to get back in the pushchair.
By this point she had managed to wriggle her way out of my arms and was pulling all of the clothes off the rails.

I could already feel myself going red in the face, anticipating the tantrum that was about to ensue when I tried to pick her up. I was nervously giggling and smiling at the other mums who were fleeing the area, shaking their heads as if to say 'Get out of here while you can ... She's gonna blow!!'

But I had to do it. As much as I wanted to wait until the store closed and had emptied of customers to try and get Mya out, I couldn't. I had to face the inevitable.
As soon as my hands tucked under her arms to pick her up her back arched, her eyes widened with a terrifying sheen of anger, her mouth opened wide enough to fit an entire melon and then it came.

The scream.

The scream that echoed through the entire floor of the shop. The scream that caused an old lady to stop and grab at her chest as if she was going to keel over and die right there in Primark. The scream that made me want to cry, scream back at her and run away all at the same time!

I attempted to put her in the pushchair but as I had expected I would have needed the strength of ten rugby players to pin her down long enough to get the straps on, so I made the decision to implement the Grab and Run technique.

Step one of this plan is to Grab. In order to get her to stop writhing out of my arms I had to tickle her into submission. It was one of the angriest laughs I have ever heard but I had hold of her. Step one complete. Now for Step two. Run.

We got to the lift and I said a little thank you to Jesus (and I am not religious...at all) for presenting me with an empty carriage to my escape! In the lift I tried once more in vain to get her strapped into the pushchair but to no avail. The doors pinged open and the queue of people waiting were presented with a panting, red faced, sweaty woman with hair in her mouth and a breast half hanging out of her top armed with a wriggling, growling toddler, foaming spit bubbles.

Needless to say a path was quickly cleared.

At that point I could see the exit.
I took a deep breath and half jogged the last stretch of my escape, taking out about three rails of clothes with the pushchair and inadvertently punching an old man with an angry child.
But I made it out. I was safe. I was free.

I quickly disappeared down a quiet alley, took a deep breath, looked Mya directly in the eyes and calmly asked her to sit in her pushchair.
To which she happily obliged.
Little bugger.

The Grab and Run technique treated me fairly well today. It was in no way glamourous and it didn't avoid embarrassment, however, the tantrum was pretty short lived and I did escape alive ... and most importantly, so did Mya!

Next time on Tantrum Tactics ... Bribery.


  1. "Oooh look there's a cat!" works really well too!

    Absolutely brilliant. I can, unfortunately, relate to every word!

  2. Haha thanks.
    Yeah tried the cat trick but she wasn't falling for it!

  3. Hilarious post! Particularly enjoyed the 'melon wide mouth' and the lady who looked like she was going to die.

    I have all this to come...am scared...and hoping I can see the funny side when its my own child.

  4. Thanks!
    Haha it is always funny, in retrospect of course.
    At the time I wanted to die of shame!

  5. I am knackered for you - *passes gin*