Before I had kids, I would have known exactly how to deal with this situation:
Jack, my 2 year old son is crying for reasons known only to himself as we make our way through Woolworth. Tyson, my 3 1/2 year old is good as gold… until we reach the cleaning aisle, of all places.
Ignoring Jack’s tears as best I can, I put a box of OMO laundry powder in the trolley. That was my biggest mistake of the day.
‘Not that one, mummy! You’ve got the wrong one!’ Tyson yells, as loud as his little lungs permit.
‘This is the right one, sweety. Look at the sign, it’s on special.’
‘No, mummy! It’s the wrong one. Take it out of the trolley!’ Tears of shock and horror fill his eyes.
‘I’m not giving in to this ridiculous tantrum,’ I think to myself, aware of the side glances we were receiving from fellow shoppers. I push the trolley forward, escorted by two screaming boys. Sigh.
For 3 aisles this continued… ‘you’ve got to wrong powder, mummy! It’s the wrong one!’ Glances around me are getting more and more stern. His tears are getting more and more earnest.
Sigh. ‘Okay, let’s go back.’
So, back in the cleaning aisle, Tyson chooses a large box of ‘Surf’ washing powder. Apparently we’re a Surf family and not an OMO family as I had long thought.
As the commotion quietens to a dull roar and 2 year old Jack has forgotten why on earth he was crying in the first place, another mum walks through the aisle with her two angelic children and my embarrassment is evident.
‘That was me last week,’ she gently smiles at me. ‘My two year old was screaming the house down over something ridiculous. Who knows what’s going on in their little heads?’
‘Thank you,’ I smiled back. And we stood, united in this unpredictable and often-times humiliating experience called ‘motherhood.’