Toddlers have BIG feelings:: The inevitable public meltdown


“This is a story all about how”….my piping hot humble pie was served to me for the price of free 99 at an event for this very blog, in the form of a public meltdown, because I would NEVER be the mom dragging her kid screaming from a public place.

If there were a narrator to this story, they surely would have forewarned the audience that my child’s irrational behavior before we even left the house that morning should have been a blinking billboard of the public meltdown that was to come. Me: “We will get to the playdate as I planned, she will be with her friends like I promised, and everything will be just fine.” Narrator: “But it would not be fine.”

We are in that stage of toddlerhood, where my kid can push buttons that I didn’t even know I had. She pulls out the cry-laughing, the mood switching, the ability to scream at a decimal that has not yet been heard by man. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, bless your sweet soul, head out, and hit that little save flag because your day will come momma. It ALWAYS comes.
After I successfully ignored all the signs that this venture would inevitably end in a public meltdown, we headed out with the promise of friends and the fun lingering in the air, ahhhhhhh. Checked in, mingled about, got some face paint for the small one, waited in line to get a bracelet craft for bigs, and then it began, her turn was “missed,” waiting for her bracelet materials.

She screamed so loud that a little girl in front of her stared at her like she had two heads. I, however, did not flinch because mommas, these meltdowns are what we train for, am I right?

I stooped down to her level, and in my best “Mom Tiger” voice explained that her turn would be next, it was, and off we went. Smalls popped into the bounce house, I chatted with friends, and the tables started to get broken down, and the event was coming to a close, and I laughed at the thought that this was a “bad idea” we pulled it together and pulled it off and then WHAM! Five alarm screech, I knew that sound, I was not going to solve this with the PBS mom mode. Only fireman momma could haul this sack of potatoes out.
toddler meltdown
I passed my little off to a friend (thank God for her) as moms looked on and gathered their things. But, here’s the part I remember as I contained my thrashing child anaconda style, all around me were only empathetic eyes and helpful hands, even a shout of “God speed, you got this momma!’ And THAT, that is incredible, and that is why I will make another appearance here, even at the risk of being the mom of the kid who lost her completely and utter mind the first week. Because THEY have been there, or they know they will be.

We can not control or predict the behaviors or our children. We can not “train them” on how to behave in public.

Toddlers will melt down. We can only do all the things with them in tow and pray that it turns out ok. YOU are amazing, momma. YOU are. Toddlers have big feelings that they don’t know how to work out yet, that’s just life. So, swallow that lump in your throat, wipe those tears away, blast some music in your minivan on the way home and try again, and if a public meltdown happens to you, we got you.


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