So have you ever been in a shop, cafe, restaurant, supermarket, library or anywhere remotely public and your little angle has decided to choose that precise moment to have (the dreaded 'T' word) a tantrum? Yes...well join the club.
Emily rarely bothers with tantrums at home because she has realised how ineffective they are in the home environment. Mainly because no-one will take the blindest bit of notice and it really doesn't matter if she trashes the whole house. We are parents afterall, disposable income has become a thing of the past and we no longer have anything of any value or if we do we aren't stupid enough to leave it lying around.
However Emily has realised that when we are out and about, potentially she has all the power, she holds all the cards. She knows that mummy will not just ignore her or walk away for fear that she could bring down a whole shelf of very expensive items mid tantrum (and as we have already established money is not something we have a great deal of...or any really *sigh*). So she has started to realise that in order to get things done, to get her own way or simply because she can, she will assert herself and her new found independence when we are out of the house.
Take today for example, after visiting the park and spending an hour swinging on the swings, sliding on the slide, climbing on...well the climbing wall, we met with my mum for a coffee. Emily attempted to crawl and climb all over my mother, whilst she was trying to drink a rather full, hot cup of coffee. My mother tried firmly to tell her to sit down but she just ignored her grandmothers pleas. So it was left to me to take her firmly and place her back down in her own seat, to which her response was screaming, crying and beating her fists against the chair, whilst people looked on in dismay. Obviously thinking me the worlds worst mother...I could see the inscription on my award...I could see it in their eyes!!
So this is really the root of the problem isn't it. Children don't generally play up at home because mostly they won't get a response or if they do it normally results in the naughty step. However they have learnt that due to social conditioning we care a great deal about what others think of us, even if we try our best not to. So they know we will want to appear like a caring, concerned mother/father/parent, the kind that does not shout, that does not raise their voice or walk away exasperated at their two year old's behaviour. That pretty damn clever of them isn't it, considering most haven't learnt to talk properly yet or even use a toilet?! It's slightly worrying that the art of manipulation is learnt before our children can even communicate fully, before they learn to control their bowls, they learn to control their parents!
So the solution? Well try not to care too much about what other people think I guess. Beside there are three types of people. The one's that have had children and understand completely, the one's that have had children but still judge you because well they think they are better than everyone else (and yes come on admit it we all know all one of those) and the ones that have not yet had children...but they will learn!