Holy cow, last night we saw a tantrum like no other! We had to go to Target after dinner to get granola bars and kitty litter (odd combination, no?). Charlie was in rare form. It started out easy enough, he rode on the cart as we headed back to the pet supply aisle. It all began to roll downhill when we passed the toy aisle. For the past few months, there's been a car display where you can push a button and the cars race around the track. Well, last night it was GONE! There was no button to press! The world came to an abrupt end, complete with screaming and sobbing and flailing, like I've never seen before. He eventually calmed down, but decided that he was going to walk through the rest of the store. Ok, Charlie, but you have to hold my hand or hold the cart.
That lasted a whole 30 seconds, and then he was zooming down the aisle ahead of us. My pleas for him to slow down or stop went unnoticed, so I was left with no choice but to sprint after him while the crowd snickered.
The screaming got worse when I finally caught up. There was NO WAY he was getting back in the cart, so I did the logical thing - left the husband with the cart of litter and took Charlie out to the car. It was a totally new "walk of shame" as I carried a struggling ball of cranky toddler while rushing toward the exit. And then, the unthinkable happened. Just as we reached the door, he reached up and slapped me in the face. I've never seen that kind of behavior from him. I was so shocked that all I could do was laugh. Of course, that's when the screams of "I want to behave! I want to behave! I want to go back in!" started.
I thought the Disappearing Armpit Act was bad when he was 2, but 30 pounds of toddler pulling that trick is just unmanageable. I had to stop numerous times to adjust my carrying stance.
We finally made it out to the car, and then began the task of trying to get him into the carseat. He held his entire body completely rigid. Try shoving a 40 inch 2x4 into the backseat of a car and bending it into a carseat, and then you'll know my pain. I somehow managed to get him strapped in. I closed the door and breathed deeply, grateful for the silence (well, technically you could still hear him shrieking, but there was a car door to muffle the sound). I looked up to see a woman laughing at me as she put her groceries in the car. And what does she say when she looks up? She cracks, "I should call child services on you!"
WTF? Not funny, lady.
Please, don't let this be the start of a "phase." There isn't enough vodka in the world to get me through that.