Wednesday 8 October 2014

Hissy Fittin'
A RECENT blog post by the lovely Elizabeth who lives on Hushabye Farm got me thinking about the tantrums our kids can throw in public. 

I can quite honestly claim that between all four of mine, there haven’t been many. In public I hasten to add.  The ones inside the four walls of our home are too many to mention.

But when a public one was thrown, let’s say it was worthy of an Oscar statuette!

There was the time when one of them threw an epic wobbler in a café for some unknown reason.  Mister Husband removed him and he was so loud coming across the square in the middle of the town, the lovely lady in the newsagents at the traffic lights, came out to him with a lollipop.  The screaming boy took one look at it and his screams grew louder, his face red and snot streaked with his fists rigid by his side. 

That one lasted for over two hours.  I had to drive home with Mister Husband in the back, holding the struggling, screaming exorcist child on his lap because he attempted to open the car door as we were driving out of the car park.

He cried himself into a three hour sleep and his parents spent an age in the kitchen wondering and agonising over the reasons for such a powerful performance.  Like a bad smell, the atmosphere lingered for the rest of the day.

I was 6 weeks post-partum in the supermarket for the next one.  The baby decided to air his lungs at the check-out at the same time the three year old with a dodgy tummy lost control of his bowels.   His screams for someone to “help me!  Help me!” reduced his mother, that would be me, to her own snotty tears.  I still avoid that check out girl whenever I see her!

Those were the worst ones.  These days my lot like to stand back in wondrous awe and watch another child losing it down the dairy aisle. 

Sometimes they even ask, “What’s wrong with them?” and turn wide, innocent eyes up in my direction.

We’ve moved on from the tantrums but I can’t seem to outrun the antics that happen every time we enter the supermarket.  Or Penneys.  Or the café for our Saturday family breakfast.

I can be heard stressing/begging/pleading before we go in to “have manners,” and “please, no fighting,” with “don’t touch anything,” and frequently “stay right beside me!”

At this stage I reckon my boys view every supermarket as a massive playground.  The shiny floors?  Perfect for sliding up and down.  On their knees.

The tall piles of toilet tissue and cereal boxes?  A mountain to climb.

The plastic wrapped trays of vegetables?  Those are for sticking fingers through and mushrooms are for squeezing.

A couple of weeks ago one of them took a fancy to the tall fridges in the frozen food section.  He used the handle as his grip and proceeded to climb, Spiderman like, up the door.  He was halfway up before I spotted him.

You know that expression boys will be boys?  Does it apply in situations like these?  How about when one of them is climbing onto the bonnet of your car in the school car park?  Or trying to remove your windshield wipers?  Your car.  Not mine.

I glanced out the window the other day and noticed a lovely piece of art work on the bonnet of our own car.  The medium used by the artist was a stone!

I can handle their total inability to sit still for even five minutes.  Oh who am I kidding?  That drives me insane too and I am usually too busy hissing at the four of them to notice if anyone is giving me the evils.  But if I am to be completely honest it is the pure and utter mortification that I might look like a parent who has absolutely no control over her kids that bothers me most.

I’m not sure what that says about me and my confidence, or lack thereof, in my ability to parent but I know what my boys are like.  I know what they are capable of.  So that means not taking my eye off the ball for even a second. 

One thing that does manage to keep us all quiet is food.  If we’re busy eating we can’t be talking or making noise now, can we?

So I’m off now to bake something I saw on Facebook. 


Donal Skehan's chocolate hazelnut cake


  1. I totally get the worry about people's perception of your parenting. I know it doesn't matter...but somehow it does!! Laughing at your boys antics....boys sure are busy! Can't wait to hear how the cake goes down!

    1. Boys are definitely busy and then I reward them with cake!!! I can't wait to see how it turns out either.