It (Finally) Happened To Us – An Oldie But A Goodie

Last night, I went to a Moms’ Night Out meeting with several bloggers from our Mad About Multiples blog. These days, I know that my 6-year-old twins are some of the oldest in our club and many of the moms I meet will likely have younger ones. I truly empathize with these moms’ challenges in caring for their young twins. And as I chatted with one other mom (her twins are now 7-years-old), each of us tried to remember which was the golden age for our kids. The golden age being when we felt like our kids were pretty well behaved in public, when the impulse to run away didn’t overrule any other thought in their brains and the dreaded tantrum/meltdown wasn’t an event waiting to happen. Honestly, I didn’t feel like the terrible two’s were all that terrible. But the three’s? Well, no one warned me about that. I remember thinking then that 4 years old ought to be it. And it wasn’t. In fact, below is a post I’d written for the [now defunct] Silicon Valley Moms blog on January 14, 2008, just after the very public tantrum by one of my twins happened…at four years old. Happy Reading…

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“But I want it, Mommy!” screamed my almost 4-year-old daughter as we attempted to leave The Wooden Horse toy store.

Throwing herself on the ground, she shrieked, “But Mommy, I don’t want to go! I really, really want this! Mommy! Pappaaaaaaaaaaaaa! No! I don’t want to gooooooooooooooo!”

Attaching herself to the box with the soft and shiny lavender unicorn, her vice-like grip threatened to rip the package open. I had moved the toy away so she couldn’t grab it but a little boy, confused by the situation and the fact that I did not want to purchase the unicorn for my daughter, had handed the package back to my sobbing hellion on the floor.

Though I spoke quite sternly with her, all we could do was carry her, crying and kicking, to our car and hope that traffic would not delay us in arriving home to deal with the situation more fully. Knowing smiles and encouraging eyes followed us as we left the store.

Yes, many of you parents likely know what I’m talking about. Some of you are probably cringing as you flash back to your own experience(s) in the grocery store, the crowded mall or down the street at the neighborhood park.  [heavy sigh]  Tantrum. In public. For all the world to see. Horrifying.

I guess we should count ourselves lucky. Our twins are almost 4 years old and this is the first time one of them has subjected us [parents] to such a spectacle. I don’t know why we’ve been so lucky. It may be because I’ve always been conscious of impending naptimes and overtired toddlers. I’ve tried to be good about “prepping” my girls for activities that might frighten (dentist & doctor visits) them. I’ve tried to set expectations as to what we would be doing when visiting a store so that they know the plan and any deviations from such would not be allowed. This time, however, perhaps deluding ourselves that our girls were a little older and wiser after a few shopping trips to Toys-R-Us before Christmas that did not result in goodies for them to keep, they would understand when we said, “No,” to purchasing things that caught their eyes. Not so.
Setting expectations for our kids and explaining the whys and wherefores of what we’re doing and where we’re going are still required steps for a relatively peaceful jaunt into stores of any kind, though this particularly applies to toy stores. I guess it’s part of trying to stay ahead of your kids…though I’m certain that no matter what we do, it may happen again. And then, well, we’re not the only ones and I’ll take comfort in remembering that.

Original post by MommyTwinGirls for Silicon Valley Moms blog and now cross-posted here at It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

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