One Sunflower


on August 9, 2011

The four-year old stood screaming at the top of her lungs in the garden area of the outlet mall.  Her aunt leaned wearily on a stroller turning her gawking son away from his older cousin lest he decide to join the chorus.   The grandparents stepped delicately to the sidewalk and walked to a bench, this little scenario might take a while to play out. Meanwhile her mom was calmly stating the obvious, “No, I’m not going to get that for you.  If you continue to cry, I’m taking you to the car.”

Every parent has been there, held hostage to bargaining with a tantrumming child.  Of course we know there should be no bargaining and no threats we don’t intend to carry out.  We know our children best and know that ultimately we are in control as their parents.  But it doesn’t lessen the awkwardness of standing in a crowded space with an out-of-control child, knowing that the minute you begin walking towards that child, you are claiming responsibility for their behavior and the outcome of the situation, whatever it may be!


9 responses to “detente

  1. Matt says:

    Thanks for this..air traveling today and it’s a little rough with our 4-year old and 1-year old. Nice to have a little perspective 🙂

  2. Donna Smith says:

    I had to giggle at this. It would be so nice to be able to walk away and let someone else claim them! I remember being in the grocery store and having to leave all my stuff and take my young son home. It isn’t convenient, but sometimes it just has to be done, or what will they learn?

  3. Deb Day says:

    I agree with Donna–walking away would be nice at times! But this too shall pass!

  4. Betsy says:

    It is like a hostage situation . . . too bad those of us held hostage are also the negotiators answering the call to talk the hostage taker into a resolution.

  5. Linda Baie says:

    I have to say ‘me, too’. It’s just so hard to do what you say when you really want to finish the shopping or ? We’ve all been there & you described the scene exactly.

  6. MaryHelen says:

    Bravo to the parents for taking the time to do it. The underlying emotion was captured well in this post.

  7. grade4wizard says:

    I like that the grandparents stepped aside allowing the mother to deal with the situation. She knew what to do. Keeping calm is not very easy. You wrote this post with care and understanding. Sometimes the bystanders tend to judge too easily.

  8. mardie says:

    It’s not easy for a parent to watch the tantrum and not feel embarrassed or lose patience. As a bystander, I remember what it was like as mom of young children, so when I see someone like you, talking calmly to her child, I want to run up and shake your hand. Well done.

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