I am not a big fan of shopping. I like to go into a store, get what I need, and get out. Add four young girls, ages 5, 7, 10, and 13 that are just as not thrilled as me, and you have a mess. Now add seizure meds, extra grumpy moods, and a lot of extra spoiling because of a serious medical condition to the youngest, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.
I could probably choose a number of different public meltdowns to share, but for today, I’ll stick with my favorite; not because she had a meltdown, but because I am still, ever so proud of my response on this particular day.
My daughters and I walked into a Dillard’s department store in a high-end mall. I preferred shopping at this mall when I needed something for the simple fact that it had less people, and I could usually get my quick shopping done with no hassle, and no dodging hundreds of other customers.
As we walked through the men’s suit department, suddenly Bella, my youngest, over-loved, over-spoiled, tantrum-throwing, world’s best hugger, little stinker threw herself to the ground, and started screaming at the top of her lungs. She did not want to go shopping (wonder where she got that feeling). I understood why she was upset.
As her three older sisters tried to help me calm her down, as we each took our turns trying to be “the good guy,” I saw out of the corner of my eye that the four or five people working in that department had decided it would be a good idea to stand across the way, probably 40 feet from us, shoulder to shoulder, arms folded across their chests, and stare me down as my child threw a fit. Perhaps they thought intimidation would calm her down.
I stopped bending over my wildly kicking/screaming child, and I stood up straight. I mustered up an old Pee Wee Herman quote, and I calmly, yet loudly stated without a stutter or hesitation, “Do you have a camera?! Take a picture, it will last longer.” They were shocked, and swiftly scurried away from one another, and got back to work.
I turned toward my girls, and while the older three snickered (and gained more love and respect for their mom, no doubt), Bella stopped her fit immediately. She could hear the undeniable, “I will not lose this battle” in my voice. The tantrum was over, and we finished our day; just another day in the life of our unique little family.