Once when Riley was a little over two years old we made the regrettable decision to make a family trip to IKEA, probably because we needed something for the endless remodel that was going on at the time. We tried to be strategic about it and parked near the exit instead of wandering all the way through the labyrinthian confines of the store to pick up our stuff from the warehouse section, but the instant we got inside I knew it had been a Terrible Idea. Looking back on it, I don’t know why on earth I didn’t cram Riley in a stroller and push him along instead of letting him run free, but run he did, as though the very IKEA air had suddenly made him crazed, filled with a sort of madness brought on by affordable Swedish furnishings. He bolted all the way from the checkout lines straight back to the stored furniture, with me—bulbously pregnant at the time—chasing awkwardly behind. I shouted his name but it only seemed to spur him on, and when I finally caught up to him I had to corner him like a wild horse between a display of EKTORPS and KARLSTADs. I tried to distract him, calm him, even offer him a ride on one those flat carts, but he was having none of it and I was forced to pick him up, at which point he went completely boneless and started shrieking.

While JB rushed to make our purchase, I carried my screaming, flopping, kicking child past endless aisles of GRUNDTALs and KROKENs with what seemed like a thousand pairs of eyes fixed on me, all the way past the jars of lingonberry and whimsically-shaped watering cans and out the exit and into the truck, and which point I dwarf-tossed him into the backseat, slammed the door shut, and leaned against the window to enjoy a brief, hearty bout of hysterical weeping.

Later, I may have eaten my own weight in frozen meatballs to help soothe the pain.

That’s probably not the worst public outing we’ve had with one of the kids, but it sure ranks up there in my mind. I tell you this in the hopes you’ll share one of your own stories, and I don’t normally toot my own horn but I think this is a GENIUS idea because I’m about to fly across the country with a 3-year-old and who knows what’s going to happen, it could be like Snakes on a Plane except with a preschooler (“Enough is enough! I have HAD IT with this motherfucking kid on this motherfucking plane! Everybody strap in!”), and if so I know reading some of your only-funny-in-retrospect tales will make me feel better.

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Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

Dwarf-tossed HA!

I think my worst outing was when I took my son to a birthday party at a friend’s house for their older son. I think Eric was probably about 3 at the time. It was a nightmare, when I told him we had to leave he FREAKED. I was so embarrassed carrying my son out of their house slung under my arm with him kicking and screaming and hitting me! Then to top it all off I put him in the car and buckled him into his carseat, I told him (screamed at him) to stay put because I was going to say goodbye to everyone. When I came back to the car he was unbuckled, freaking out again and trying to get out of the car. It was such weird behavior for him and he had never acted that bad before and never has again but it was AWFUL.

Katie
Katie
13 years ago

Worst outing ever was Christmas shopping with my 3.5 year old and almost 2 year old with Grandma in Target this last December. Flaming meltdown in the dog supply aisle for both boys, with grandma on the phone for over 5 minutes with another family member, and I’m just trying to remain sane enough not to grab a muzzle off the rack for each boy and make a run for the exit! I was horrified! Grandma (my mother-in-law) was oblivious to the shrill screams emitted from my little foghorns, and came back as calm as a woman on Valium would be asking if there was a problem…yeah, I was a little bit unhappy. Just happy that both boys were strapped into their respective carts, I sprinted up and down aisles to get the remaining presents for Christmas and then departed the store. Within 5 minutes of being strapped into their car seats, both boys were snoring and I wanted to cry for joy!

Have a great trip! Just remember, Dramamine will knock him out for a matter of time, not that I’m advocating drugging your child, no not at all!

Erica
Erica
13 years ago

I don’t know why I find this post so comical – I am sitting at my desk LMFAO. But I have so been there. The worst was when my 2 year old son had a major meltdown leaving a department store because I made him stop playing with the Thomas the Tank set they had set up. After I forcefully strapped him into his stroller he screamed the whole way out of the mall “NO CONSEQUENCES MOMMY, NO CONSEQUENCES.” I will never forget that day. I am pretty sure I cried after I got him strapped into his carseat.

Janet
Janet
13 years ago

I’m going to share a friend’s experience. Her 4 year old totally hyper little girl had fallen from a tree and broke her right arm. It had been in a cast for a few months, and then it healed up after several more and was OK and in full use now.

They were in a department store and the girl, now 5, was trying to run everywhere. Her mom grabbed her by her LEFT arm, and was trying to restrain her. The little drama queen kid is trying wildly to wiggle out of her mom’s grip and blurts out – “Ouch mommy stop – don’t break my other arm.”

ahhh, memories

kristylynne
kristylynne
13 years ago

Our Shopping Rule No. 1: Never allow the toddler’s feet to touch the floor. If there’s a cart, firmly strap him into it. If there are no carts, don’t shop there.

We’ve actually had more than one incident similar to your Ikea experience. The worst I remember was when he took off in Kohl’s and almost knocked down an elderly lady in his haste to hide himself in the racks,leaving me and his grandmother frantically searching until a kind shopper pointed out where he was hiding behind the jeans stacks.

Good times.

js
js
13 years ago

“Dwarf toss”. Love it!

My daughter didn’t have the Terrible Two’s. So I thought I lucked out. Then she hit three and it was like the Terrible Two’s and Terrifying Three’s all rolled into one. EVERYTHING set this child off into a rage. We were at my folks house for my mom’s birthday (read: Every member of my extended family was there) and she started to act up (my daughter….not my mom). I picked her up to take her to a bedroom upstairs away from everyone. She became this little wild, raving lunatic. She was so out of control I couldn’t contain her. I got punched in the eye, scratched, donkey kicked, everything. My sister finally came up to help and she got treated to the abuse too. I was trying to restrain her myself but couldn’t so my sister grabbed her legs, I grabbed her arms and we held her down until she would calm down (wasn’t hurting her, but was afraid she’d end up hurting herself). One of my aunts came up to see what was going on and was horrified at what she saw. We don’t get a long very well as it is, and she decided to remind me (as she often does), “This is what happens when you try to raise a child without a father. You have no idea what you’re doing.” I looked right at her and said, “I don’t need your fucking help.” For the rest of my day, my daughter repeated at random, “Don’t need you fucking help.” Nice.

As far as the feeling of “a million eyes on you” when this happens in public, I hated that. I always felt like I was going to snap and go postal on the next pair of eyes that looked my way. I usually don’t pay attention to this sort of thing when I’m out. If a kid is having a tantrum, whatevs. Kids can be bitches and assholes. It happens. If I do happen to make eye contact with the parent, I flash them a sympathetic smile. I’m sure they’d prefer a shot of vodka though.

Hm, guess I had a lot to say.

Gertie
Gertie
13 years ago

I was a nanny to a (most of the time) adorable 3 year old. I’d been teaching her that grabbing stuff of shelves is wrong, putting stuff in her pockets was VERY wrong, tantrums would mean leaving the store, etc.

I was also teaching her to count and when we reached the bins with wee toys (those nickel sized teddy bear things they had years ago) I said she could have three. I had her hold out her hands to show me what she had, made her count out three and put the others back.

When she hastily shoved her hands in her pockets I took them out, made her show them to me and said “what is the punishment for taking what doesn’t belong to you?”

And in an angelic voice she YELLS “you beat me?”

Oi.

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

Sorry, letting a toddler down in a large store is like putting the Republicans in charge of the government; it sounds harmless but you know nothing good will come from it. Being a guy I have no problem pulling my kids pants down in the store and giving them a smack on the ass. You only have to do that once and they learn where the boundary is. This is sure to get flamed but I could put my kids down at Costco and they would stay in the aisle and not tear up the place. My wife on the other hand is the kinder, gentler parent and would keep the kids strapped in the cart.

Keli
Keli
13 years ago

My brother was in Target with his 5 year old son. My nephew was running up and down the aisles screaming and grabbing things. My brother grabbed his arm and was going to bend down to tell him to calm down. My nephew screamed, “NO DAD! DON’T HIT ME!” and threw his hands up to shield himself as if it happened all the time.

Everyone in the aisle turned to stare and my brother and make sure he was not, in fact, going to beat his son in the Target aisle. My brother had to leave the store immediately lest someone send security after him.

Karen
Karen
13 years ago

My stories won’t be any different than the above… but you’ve made my day the way you describe yours! Dwarf-tossing will make it into our lexicon methinks! Believe it or not, I’m fondly remembering the days when a problem could be solved by physically extricating said child from a location, football carry more often than not, and forcibly buckling into seatbest restraint system. Now we have a 10 year old who I swear seems to be on hormones already, and I wish I could haul her out of stores over my shoulder sometimes.

p.s. Dimetapp for the ears on the plane, and it takes the edge off too.

Carrie
13 years ago

My story would have to be taking my then three-year-old who was a known “runner” to DSW Shoe Warehouse where she was kept firmly in the stroller until I took her out and trusted her to stand still for one stupid second while I grabbed my purse to take her to the bathroom. She bolted up and down the long, straight isles of DSW. I was chasing her up and down and up and down and was finally gaining momemtum when she started grabbing shoes off the shelves and chucking them backwards at me and laughing hysterically. It was so humiliating that after a very kind woman caught her at the end of one isle and held her up like a trophy, I sat down on the floor in one of the isles and cried. I am grateful every day that four is so much better than three. Happy travels!

Dana
Dana
13 years ago

I was in Juicy Couture with my single, childless sister and my 4 week old, hadn’t-pooped-in-two-days daughter, watching my sister try on flip flops and praying that we could just be done soon, since NOTHING in that store fit me, including the G.D. flops, and all of a sudden my daughter makes the most horrible sound out of her nether regions. Three times.

I lift her dress up slightly and see a lava flow of poop coming out and it doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Through clenched teeth I tell my sister that it’s time to go NOW, but my urgency doesn’t seem to register with her, and she’s asking me if I like the ones with the bows or the ones with the chains, and honestly, I could give two shits, just get the fucking shoes and let’s go.

Still not realizing what’s happened, she starts to smell something and assumes it’s me and I am like, “NO, it’s your niece” and FINALLY she’s rushing to pay, and I’m following her with the stroller of stink and all of the other patrons and the staff start to smell what’s coming from us and we are getting strange looks and I am shoving wipes up my daughter’s dress and in the crevices between her bloomers and her legs and I see the lava going everywhere…it’s coming up and around her shoulders at this point.

Finally the princess has purchased her overpriced flip flops, and we book it to Macy’s, find a bathroom and strip the baby and attempt to clean the stroller and we have baby poo all over our hands and if I had a second to think, I would have dry heaved all over the place, but I was in the zone, you know?

The stroller was ruined, and I had no spare clothing for the baby because, mother of the year and all, and I had to carry a naked baby, save for a diaper, out of the mall like a classless piece of trash, not to mention the horrible steaming stroller that necessitated all the windows being open for the drive home in 45 degree weather.

NEVER AGAIN.

barry
13 years ago

uh..y’know Ikea has ribs now.

pam
pam
13 years ago

Well, my story is more about a trip than just an outing, but I will share. It will give you much hope for your trip, for it could not possibly be as bad as this was for me.

When my triplets were 6 months old, I had to take a business trip to San Antonio, which is normally about a 9 hour drive from New Orleans. My best friend volunteered to come with me to help. Let me just list what went wrong.
– I took too much cough syrup with codeine right before I took the boys to pick up BFF at airport. Made her drive to my house, I had to stop to puke on the way.
– The day before we were supposed to leave, she, I, my husband, and all 3 babies got a stomach bug. Commence the puking and shitting.
– The day we left, we planned to stay overnight, at the halfway point. It took us 8 hours to get there. The boys literally screamed the last 90 minutes of that leg of the trip (I do mean literally, without stopping to even pause for breath) and then they stopped LITERALLY 30 seconds before we pulled into my cousin’s driveway. They were not sleeping. They were looking at us, with a “look what we can do!” look on their little faces.
– My BFF was supposed to watch the boys while I went to the conference. (I was on the board, so I could not miss this conference.)
– On day 1 of the conference, she got strep throat. She could not take care of the kids. She was bedridden.
– The boys were not sleeping through the night yet. They were still waking up in the middle of the night to eat. I had to feed them and take care of them and still go to the conference (days 2, 3, and 4 of our hellish adventure.)

Fortunately, the ride back home was easier (funnily enough, we stopped at IKEA in Houston on the way back and the babies cried the whole time) but overall, it was quite nightmarish. It’s a wonder our friendship survived. (Not to mention the kids.)

Christine
13 years ago

Well, it probably wasn’t the worst, but definitely the most expensive: He pulled a pair of sunglasses off the display at the optician’s and somehow (I really don’t think he did it, or at least all of it) they broke in half and I had to fess up and pay the damn $60 for a pair of broken, ass-ugly glasses that I didn’t even take out of the store.

Then I was so flustered by that, that I proceeded to lock us out of the car. At least we were both on the same side of the doors.

Trina
Trina
13 years ago

Let me tell yah, we actually stopped going out in public for about a year and a half. Mostly to kid stuff like parks and the beach and any mall that had kids play areas because when we had to leave it was EPIC. The screaming and hitting it was like she was some sort of rabid animal. I mean so out of control it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Now she is 4 and it isn’t so bad.
Here is one story for you: We were at the grocery store. Me, my daughter (3 years old) and my newborn son (not even 1 month old yet). This store has the little kids carts. So, we let her have a cart and put the groceries in her cart. The problem we have is she runs up and down the aisles with the cart and she is always crashing into my legs and other people. Before we got started with the shopping I told her if you run into me with the cart or run away from me the cart was going back and she would have to ride in the big cart. She did great the whole time until right before we went to the check out and she ran into my legs at full speed with a mini cart full of groceries. It literally knocked me down. I told her she really hurt me (trying not to totally loose my cool in the middle of the store) fighting back tears because holy crap it hurt and my hormones were still all out of whack from just having a baby. I made her put all her groceries in the big cart and take her cart back to where it belongs. The minute she realized that the cart was going back she LOST HER DAMNED MIND. She was screaming like her skin was being peeled off her body with a potato peeler. I went into total panic mode because I was alone with a screaming 3 year old and a newborn baby. I couldn’t pick her up and carry her out of the store because I had to carry the baby in the carseat. If I tried to get her to move she flopped on the floor so I couldn’t drag her out of the store on the cement ground. Oh the looks people were giving me were priceless. Thankfully a woman came over and helped me. She calmed my daughter down. When we got in the car I was sobbing. I had to sit there for 5 minutes before I could even drive I was so upset.

I am going to one up you on the travel. I am flying alone with both my kids (4 and 1) on Monday. Thankfully not a long flight (only 2 hours) but still. I am trying to figure out how I am going to do a stroller, 2 car seats, a suit case and 2 kids all by myself. Mostly when we get to San Francisco. I have to get to the rental car place by myself with all that stuff. Any thoughts? :) Oh, how much benedryl do you give a 1 year old to knock him out for the flight?

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

My youngest had to get his tonsils out when he was two and a half. The day after his surgery his brother had a Christmas singing program. I told him that I might not make it if his brother didn’t feel good. That morning my youngest was in such a good mood I decided go watch my older boy sing. All went well until after we stood in line to visit Santa and Santa presented my boys with candy canes. Candy canes are a big no no for kids who just got their tonsils out. So I hurriedly swiped the candy canes and whispered to my oldest that I would give them back when his brother was sleeping. He nodded and was fine. My youngest on the other hand screamed and kicked the whole way to the car and when I tried to buckle him in the car and he climbed into the back window and no matter how hard I tried I could not get him out. So here I am with tons of parents and kids walking by trying to get my screaming child out of the back window. He was completely hysterical and I was getting punched and kicked. Just then my husband showed up. He had wanted to watch the singing program but was running late and saw me in the parking lot and came over to see what was going on. Just then the little one kicked out and hit his brother, who was sitting in his booster seat waiting for me to get the insane child under control, right in the face. While I tended to the my oldest child’s bloody nose my husband yanked the crazy one out of the window and forced him into his car seat. Then he turned around and said, “I don’t know why you let him get away with that.”

lumpyheadsmom
13 years ago

When I was on maternity leave I wanted to let my husband get a nap, so I took the 3yo, the almost 2yo, and the 3mo to the playground. It’s a long walk to the playground, but when we got there, I realized the stroller had two flat tires and I didn’t bring any kleenex for the 3yo’s runny nose. Then the almost 2yo unleashed a huge poop that escaped the confines of her pants – and I didn’t have any diapers. Or a change of clothes for her. Or the eighty bajillion disinfecting wipes I would need to clean off the now-soiled playground equipment. I had to call my husband to come rescue us.

kim
kim
13 years ago

I don’t have kids, but my cousin had surgery and I volunteered to go out and watch her 2.5 yr. old daughter for a couple of days. Being a teacher, I dedided that the library would be an awesome way to kill some time. She had never been to the library and was not so into the quiet voice and the book reading. However, she was excited about running around the childrens’ section and then the staircase in main atrium of the library, all while screeching and giggling. I spent 30 minutes chasing her up and down those steps, cooing her name, then hissing her name, and then finally almost yelling. Every time I got close enough to grab her, she screamed bloody murder and yelled as if I had just hurt her “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” Finally I had it, and much like Riley, cornered her, put her under my arm, and hauled her out of the library while she SCREAMED! and screamed and kicked and punched all the way to the car. While wrangling her into the carseat, she threw an all out tantrum and tossed her head back, whacking it on the door jam. I have to admit that I didn’t even check to see if she was ok. I ran around to the driver’s side and screeched out of the lot. I am pretty sure I heard clapping when we walked out of the library.

I definitely saw one of the ugly sides of parenthood that day. I hope I can handle it when I have my own.

Amanda
13 years ago

There have been so many … but most recently, The Easter Throw Down at The House of the Lord, which I documented just two short weeks ago.

http://blabbermouse.typepad.com/blabbermouse/2009/04/easter-throw-down-at-the-house-of-the-lord.html

Claudia
13 years ago

Well, I don’t have any such tales about my own kids because #1 is the Perfect Traveller in Every Way and #2 is not and so doesn’t get to do much. We keep her locked in a cage in the basement. It’s for the best.

But, when I was 19 or 20, I was a nanny for a time for my two youngest half-sister who were 5 and 18 months old or so. My stepmother worked for this amazing ad agency that decided to have a retreat in Hawaii. They decided to turn it in to a vacation and I got to go along. We took a plane from Virginia to San Francisco and the toddler WOULD NOT sleep or sit in her seat. She would only sleep on the floor and the stewardesses would absolutely not allow it. What if we hit turbulence and she rolled down a couple aisles and got hurt? What is your point, I wanted to scream? R pretty much screamed and cried during the ENTIRE SIX HOUR flight because she wasn’t allowed on the floor. Every passenger hated our guts. The flight to Hawaii was a breeze after that. I learned to be very patient and understanding of parents flying with children after that. I realized – long before I was a parent – that so much about children is just OUT OF YOUR HANDS. Good luck.

Erika
Erika
13 years ago

Wow! Those kinds of “toss him over the shoulder and exit” tantrums happen to me all the time. I thought it was normal but if is memorable to all of you maybe I need to re-adjust…

most memorable was when my 2 year old had a non-stop hissy fit during a mothers’ day brunch at a hotel restaurant with all of my in-laws (including a niece the same age as my son). Everything set him off (not to mention it was a quiet, fussy, non-kid-friendly place with slow service and fancy food, what were we thinking?) He kept making my husband take him to play outside in the garden and I (also 7 months pregnant), in an attempt to give my husband a break, picked my son up to take him outside. He flailed at exactly the right moment and with my center of gravity “off” because of my belly, I almost dropped him. I think it looked much more violent than it was (I knew I wasn’t going to drop him) because the entire room turned to watch in horror. Eek.

Sunny
Sunny
13 years ago

No kids for me, but I can tell you THE story that my mother has told me 3,567,678 times (and of course, each time she tells the tale it gets more and more dramatic). Admittedly, I was a complete asshole as a kid, so I think most of it is true.

At about 3 years old, my Mom packed up my year-old sister and took us shopping to K Mart (pre-Costco & Ikea days, so when it was time to stock up we hit the K-Marche, oooh la la, not).

Somewhat like Riley, the smell of blue Icees, scorched popcorn, cheap tennis shoes and soggy sub sandwiches must have been too much for me and I took off running wild through the store. Mom had my sister strapped down in the cart and she couldn’t run after me and abandon the baby (she’s always been Mom’s favorite), so Mom tried her best to hiss at me to stop and followed behind. I’m told I headed toward the garden dept. and a huge display of garbage cans. Mom swears they were stacked four or five cans high in a pyramid-fashion, but the pyramid seems to grow higher with each rendition of the story. At any rate, it was a respectable display of METAL garbage cans. Mom looked down the aisle in horror as I hurled myself into the display (toddler bowling?) and took that bitch down. Thankfully (I guess) I wasn’t hurt, but Mom said the cacophony of the cans tumbling down, slamming into each other and rolling around was amazing and it seemed to last forever. At that point, I freaked and ran back to my Mom, who was mortified and nearly shitting her pants trying to get us the hell out of there. She claims people were abandoning their blue-light specials to investigate the disaster, but we made it to the parking lot in record speed and it was the last trip ever to the S. Everett K-Mart.

Good luck with your flight. I’ll have fingers & toes crossed. I have a feeling you two will have a terrific adventure.

Drama Queen Jenner
13 years ago

Toddlers are the best, aren’t they? The only bad outing I can think of was back right after high-school when I used to babysit my 2-y-o cousin. I took him to ride the zoo train and locked my key in the car. At least it was a nice day out. If my girls have ever caused drama, I’ve blocked it out!

Robin
Robin
13 years ago

Wow, Pam, you have us all beat. That is one of the worst stories I’ve ever heard.

My bad outing with the boys (at the time 6 months and 2.5) happend at Target. There are 2 locations near us, and I had gone to the one the 2.5 year old usually goes to with daddy. Big mistake. My husband is a big pushover and J always gets popcorn, juice and a toy when they go to Target together. Horrors that mom didn’t immediately supply these things (and I wasn’t going to).

At first I ignored the whining. Then it got more and more obnoxious, then he started flinging himself about inside the cart. Little brother starts getting upset, too, and I’m trying to finish my shopping and get out of there. Then J lets out a mighty scream, grabs my hair, and punches me in the face. I let out a yell, cuz that shit hurt, and all 3 of us are making a big spectacle of ourselves. I throw all the items down and wheel ourselves out of there, tears all around.

And as soon as he’s in the carseat, I get a sweet smile and he says “Hey, ma – fries?”

He didn’t get fries, of course, and I no longer take them to that location. For some reason, the Super Target a few miles away isn’t associated with POPCORN/TOYS NOW.

Amanda
13 years ago

Wanna hear the good part? My kids are eight and six and I have blocked this all from my mind!

H
H
13 years ago

My husband left our groceries in the cart, at the grocery store, when our son threw a tantrum. I wasn’t there so I can’t share the details but it had to have been pretty bad. I got to deal with the tantrum-y toddler at home while my husband went back to get the groceries. I just want to say that I love your posts and your commenters. You have a way of coming up with very interesting and/or very entertaining stuff!

Korinna
13 years ago

Reading these stories makes me more and more fearful for the crapstorm that is awaiting me as my baby gets older.

Catherine
13 years ago

At 3-years old I ran away at Knott’s Berry Farm, or so I’ have been told repeatedly. Apparently I was also found – so I couldn’t have done a very good job.

As for traveling my own kids … when Audrey was 1-year old I took her to visit my grandmother in PDX. As we’re standing in line at DIA she’s wailing. And I have to hold her because I’m not giving up my space in that line should she choose to bolt. So the screaming continues. And people stare. And finally someone says to their travel companion something along the lines that she hopes she’s not on the plane with the screaming kid. To which I reply, amen sister – how do you think I feel given that I’ll have to hold her the entire flight?

Did you get a leash? I think they’re handy for crowded areas. I never wanted to be on the 10 o’clock news as the mom that shut down the airport because her toddler ran through security.

Alli
13 years ago

I’m flying on Tues with my 4 year old and two month old. The four year old will be fine while watching movies on the iPod or sleeping. The two month old is the ticking time bomb of travel terror. On our four hour drive home last Saturday, Tebow screamed for three of them.

But Fuller,the 4 year old, had an awful flight experience when he was 2. It was the second leg of the trip, an hour flight. He had been drugged on the flight before due to a cold. He slept that whole first flight. But when he woke up on the way to the second flight, that was it. He screamed the entire way back to Chattanooga. A well meaning old lady gave me a lollipop to try and calm him down. I wanted to eat it myself.

Jessie
13 years ago

Sea World with a barely 4 year old, I was also largely pregnant and something Very Bad happened in the gift shop. It was one of those phases where we couldn’t take anything out of our daughter’s hands and shopping had become a bit like russian roulette. We never should have done it late in the day, rookie mistake. She went totally apeshit when I took a stuffed penguin away because she “didn’t get to kiss it goodbye”

My parents and my husband are also with us. I realized immediately what was going to happen (doh!) but at that point there was a long way to go to get out of the park, screaming, kicking etc. My poor husband looked like he had wrestled a bear and LOST. I waddled as fast as I could and we got out of there, it pretty much killed the entire vacation mood. We were able to joke about it a little by the time we left Orlando, as we were driving out of town we went by a huge inflatable penguin at a gas station and my husband yelled out “anyone wanna kiss THAT PENGUIN?”

Ages 3 and 4 were hard for us, but 5 seems to be a great age. We’ve got a 16 month old boy that also only wants to play with sticks, cords and anything vaguely dangerous. I think the penguin episode is only the beginning. Hope your trip goes well!

anon
anon
13 years ago

our story: my mum travelled with me and my siblings – aged 3, 6, 9 – from canada to india (return) all on her own. at one point en route somewhere in asia she had no choice but to leave us with the suitcases to sort out a ticket emergency. she returned, 10 minutes later, to find her two jet lagged elder kids fast asleep and her youngest (age 3) wide awake and “guarding” the suitcases. yikes! but hey, looking back, we have wonderful memories of that trip.

Christ
13 years ago

I too am sitting at my desk LMAO… omg tears in my eyes trying to stifle my howling.

I have one written on my blog if you want to visit. Umm it just happened this past Monday, like the day AFTER my son turned fucking FOUR.

I muttered to our nanny when we got home – will the tantrums ever stop? She just looked at me like I was insane and said “just think NEVER…” weep weep sigh sigh!

Clueless But Hopeful Mama

Oh jeez. I DO feel a little bit better reading all these as my dear daughter has become a whiny terror recently.

I can’t bear to rewrite my own worst public outing but I did post about it: http://cluelessbuthopeful.blogspot.com/2009/02/that-mom.html

Good luck this weekend!

SJ
SJ
13 years ago

My worst outing with my kids wasn’t that long ago unfortunately (it’s still painfully fresh in my mind). It involved the grocery store and one of those huge double-seater ‘kid friendly’ carts.

My boys (ages 6 & 3) had been a pain in the butt from the start of the trip and I was irritated and frazzeled just getting them IN the store, to which I really should have just taken as a sign and turned around and gone home, but no, I was bound and determined to get the shopping done, alone with two kids in tow, as quickly as possible.

The entire time I had to constantly bark out orders (hands off each other, stop this, stop that, be quiet, stop yelling, sit down, etc.) all the while I was crazily cruising up and down aisles to just get the shopping done and over with already. I turned my back for just a split second to grab something off a shelf and the next thing I know my boys (one of which had his arms INSIDE his shirt) had toppled out of the cart and into the middle of the busy aisle landing one on top of the other. The one with his arms inside his shirt knocked his head on the floor and broke out into crying sobs because hello! Floor + Concrete = Painful.

It was a weekend – the store was jammed packed with shoppers. I could feel the stares from other shoppers burning holes in my skin.

I.Lost.My.Shit. I had had it with their behavior and that little antic was the last straw. I grabbed both my boys up off the floor by their armpits, shoved them back into the two seater cart while words of embarrassment came spewing out of my mouth. Two seconds later me and my two kids were heading out to the car. I was so angry that I just left my full cart of groceries in the middle of an aisle in the store and left.

The car ride home was completely silent and as soon as we hit the front door they both went to their rooms. I didn’t even have to explain myself further, they knew how angry I was.

They have been perfect little angels since while shopping at the grocery store.

Ashley
13 years ago

My worst outing just happened this past Monday, still too raw for me to talk about but I am thoroughly enjoying these comments. I think your trip will be fine…or not ;)

Val
Val
13 years ago

My worst kids in public story weren’t my kids – I don’t have any. I was in a restuarant and why they put me at this table – I don’t know but I could strangle the hostess who put me there. I was next to a long table of family – 3 generations. The two cousins – maybe 2 or 3 were running around the table chasing each other and screaming. One kid took a full body fall on the ground. When I commented to the parents to please tone it down, I was THE BITCH who got smartass comments tossed at her from the moms. Luckily, the rest of the family decided it best to get the hell out of there before blood was drawn by the moms protecting their innocent children. Needless to say, the waiter got very little tip and a comment from me to tell the hostess don’t subject the single party to a party of 12 to 20 in a room alone.

Belle
Belle
13 years ago

In a very sick way, I am glad to know that outings with screaming kids have not changed since the early 80s when mine were small.

I think Dana and her “lava flow of poop” is the winner of the “worst” award!

Our all-time best incident was at a drugstore when son was around 3 1/2. He kept running off, wouldn’t listen, wouldn’t stay with us. After finally capturing him, he started screaming, so hubby did the throw-him-over-his-shoulder routine and headed out the door….the kid is kicking my husband in the chest and flailing and screaming the whole way, hubby is just whistling a happy tune. I stood in line to pay for the stuff, mortified, trying to pretend that child/hubby could not possibly belong to me.

An older woman ahead of me started clucking her tongue and shaking her head and crabbily said “Well, that’s just terrible. How can he be so mean to that child?” WTF? I didn’t say a word because, well, you know, I was still pretending I didn’t know the kid/hubby. But gee whiz, grandma…..I thought hubby handled it well and what the hell else ya gonna do?

And yes, that was probably the end of store outings together until the kid was at least 6 and reasonable again.

Cara
13 years ago

I have to say, I think the worst story is something I did to my poor mother at about age 3.5. We went to a birthday party at a neighbor’s house. We were in their basement and this horrible girl from elsewhere in the neighborhood took something I had been playing with. (Yes I actually still remember this. I hated her!) I flopped down on my belly because I was mad, and then tripped her as she was walking by with the toy she stole (that B****!) Mom scolded me and told me we had to leave the party early. As she is saying bye to the neighbors I take off back to our yard, in December, without my coat. She starts after me and I (now this is where it gets fuzzy for me, but is still very unfuzzy for my Mom) run to our driveway and CRAWL UNDER THE CAR. IN DECEMBER. WITH NO COAT ON. Mom can’t reach me/is afraid I’m going to die of pneumonia/wants to sell me. She starts crying, and has to have the neighbor watch me while she goes inside and calls my uncle (Dad was out of town on work)to come get me out from under the car. Uncle Mike gets there and apparently I crawl out smiling, and proceed to pretend sleep as soon as he picks me up. Oh geez. I can only dream of the karma I’ve got coming for that one. Dang you, three year old self!

Karen
13 years ago

I don’t remember any really bad outings, but I do have a story about kids on a plane.

Mine were 14 months and 4 years old when I got out of the Navy. We were stationed in Spain and had to fly first to the Azores, then to Philadelphia on our trek back to the States. The 14 month old was cutting teeth and the 4 year old was on a peanut butter and jelly jag.

Approximately 2.39 seconds after sitting down, the baby started howling in pain. He did not stop (I am not making this up) until about an hour after we left the Azores, when he finally fell into an exhausted sleep. I was so embarrassed that I was glad the windows didn’t open – I would have seriously considered throwing him out.

The big kid (HA) was served a meal by a lovely stewardess. When she pulled the cover off and discovered a lack of peanut butter and jelly, she picked the tray up in two fat hands and flung it. Past me, onto the stewardess who was serving the other side of the aisle. And several people in that aisle. And the people in the aisle seats for the next two rows up. Again, it’s a good thing the windows didn’t open, that’s all I’m saying.

Good luck….

Maureen
Maureen
13 years ago

When my daughter was 4, I was visiting my sister and decided to take a trip to Target. We didn’t have one in our town so I was excited because they did have some cute kids clothes.

It was just me and my daughter, and when we got to the store-she wanted to see the toys first, and I said no, we will look at the clothes then the toys. In an instant she was in full meltdown. Honestly, she was always a pretty easy going kid, and I was shocked. Like so many others-I did the walk of shame out of the store, with her kicking and punching me. I was so mad, it took everything I had to control myself.

Not very exciting, but whatever I said to her in that car-she never did that again. Too bad I can’t remember, I think I have adrenalin related amnesia.

Best of luck on your trip-I’ll be thinking about you and Riley!

Peggasus
Peggasus
13 years ago

When my youngest was 1 1/2, we traveled by plane to go visit the in-laws, who had rented a condo in Florida for the month. We got ON the plane with no problems, but shortly after takeoff, the baby began fussing something awful, felt hot, and would not stop crying: no binky, no water or formula, nothing would soothe him. There would be twenty minutes of fussing, maybe ten minutes where he had exhausted himself so much he would be spent, and then it started all over again, for the remainder of the flight. By the end of the FOUR hour flight (after this had gone on for, uh…3 1/2 hours) when we landed in Ft. Myers he had a full-blown case of the measles. Well, not REAL measles, but the kind you get after you’ve had an MMR shot. THREE WEEKS EARLIER. Yeah, my FIL was a doctor, he diagnosed it. Niiice.

And my husband and other son (six at the time) had had to sit in another row, and so could completely pretend that they didn’t know us. Niiiice.

Yes, I am/was one of those people that other people always talk about when they say, “Man, I was once on this plane with this kid who would NOT stop crying…” That would be me.

That big baby cryer is going to PROM tomorrow night!

Carrie
13 years ago

I took my oldest when she was 5 months old on a long plane trip. She did just fine on the trip down. But the whole four days we were visiting family, she did not sleep hardly a wink–just a few hours at night. On the flights home–OMG. She cried and screamed and cried and screamed the whole way down. I was nursing and since the flights down were so easy, I didn’t pack any pumped milk in my diaper/travel bag for her–and she absolutely REFUSED to nurse. My layover was so short I didn’t have time to even THINK about nursing. I took to walking back and forth down the tiny plane aisle with her just to try to rock her to sleep–nothing doing. One nice lady offered to hold her for me, but I was too freaked out to accept (You’re a stranger! I’m traveling with this wailing banshee ALONE, and I’m SCARED! Seriously–where was the lady going to TAKE HER on this tiny airplane??). The stewardess kept trying to help by giving warm washclothes in the hopes that it would help with what she thought might be the air pressure on my daughter’s ears. But I knew it was just the exhaustion and lack of nursing. I gotta admit, most of the folks seemed more sympathetic than angry. By the time we finally got home (around midnight) and my husband was NOT at the airport yet to pick me up (GRRR), I was so exhausted, I just sat down in a seat outside this closed cafe where my prescious finally, FINALLY nursed–and finally, FINALLY fell asleep. (And if the ordeal and then absence of my husband wasn’t what made me cry, it was definitely the ENGORGEMENT from this child not nursing for nine hours!) THIS is how my late-coming husband found me 20 minutes later.

He’s lucky he’s still alive. So is she, for that matter!

jen
jen
13 years ago

I was 8 mos preg w/my 3rd. My other kids were almost 2 and 3. I was HOT, it was august. We had gone to a friend’s birthday party at chuck-e-cheese and then spent the rest of the day on the beach. I knew the kids were DONE. My husband and in laws INSISTED we go out to dinner. I was exhausted and knew the kids had had as much excitement as they would take, but my husband told me to shut up and deal, and “there will be food, they’ll be fine, stop overreacting” were his exact words. My little 22 month old at the time son was OUT COLD in the car by the time we got to the place. My daughter had black circles around her eyes and her hair looked a shock. I told the husband again, can’t we just go home and let them sleep? Nope, soldier on! I picked up my baby boy and he was so unconscious that he didn’t wake up. Didn’t wake up while we stood in line for 20 minutes to be seated, with my MIL making stupid jokes about me “tolerating” a sleeping baby on me. My very very heavy baby… We finally get seated. Order.. he’s still sleeping. The waitress puts my food down, and I start to eat, and then he wakes up, looks around, gets disoriented and terrified and starts SCREAMING and climbing up me, grabbing the drapes, clawing at me. Just screaming and wouldn’t calm down, even with food. He wasn’t even all there, it was like a night terror. Screaming. So I took him out of the restaurant, kicking and screaming. Took him back to the car and stood there for a bit. Still screaming and pulling my hair. Tried to put him back in the car seat thinking strappage was a good thing, but I couldn’t even get him in. Finally he got too heavy for me and I just put him down next to the car. We were parked on the end and there was a small grassy area and I just put him down. He was screaming and rolling around and kicking his feet, it was *almost* funny.

Then I realized that grassy area? Was a street corner, and there was a traffic light right there, and there was a whole LINE of cars full of people looking out the window at the fat chick with the screamy kid on the ground.

Samantha
Samantha
13 years ago

My mother likes to tell the story of the time I made her shoplift a cart of groceries when I was 2.

She had taken me to the store to get the grocery shopping done and I started to pitch a fit half way through. Apparently it got so bad she decided we were just going to leave, so she pushed the cart, groceries and screaming child, out of the store. She was in the parking lot before she realized she hadn’t paid, so she lifts me out and just pushes the cart back through the door.

She never did have good luck in grocery stores. My sister liked to strip naked every time she turned her back to get something!

Stacy
Stacy
13 years ago

Just bring lots of snacks and a dvd player with dvds that he likes to watch.

With my kids – snacks are the thing…constant food going into their pie holes. My 3 year old likes to play with cars and as long as he has one to roll around he is happy. Although anything with wheels gets dropped and then rolls away….sigh…which can cause much anger and dismay which leads to screaming and crying. So I have to have my hand out at all times ready to catch the little rolling bugger!

And remember to take a stroller and gate check it! It is much easier to keep the kid and your stuff all together in the stroller plus you don’t have to carry it all or chase anyone…

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

Standing in Macy’s hollering at my 3 year old who was running down the hallway, while trying to purchase a wedding gift and up walks some friends who said, “We thought that was YOU!” EVERY shopping outing with him was filled with those meltdown moments. It was mortifying!

Jenny
13 years ago

So my three-year-old has been horrible all day. Worse than horrible. Smartmouthed, whiny, grouchy, rebellious. And the last stop of the day (God knows why) is the cheese shop. She spots a salami in the display and asks me what it is, so I tell her. “That’s not salami,” she tells me, “what is it? That thing. THAT.” Pointing. Pushing me in the back of the knees. Getting agitated. It’s salami, I tell her, just not cut up like we have it at home. She refuses to believe me. “THAT THING, MOMMY, THAT’S NOT SALAMI, THAT THING, WHAT IS THAAAAAAAAAAT?” Screaming now. Tears.

Last fucking straw of the day. I lose my shit.

I pick her up, carry her to the car, put her in her car seat, and proceed to scream at the top of my lungs, in her face, IT’SSALAMIIT’SSALAMIIT’SSALAMIIT’SSALAMI until I am red-faced, sweating, and hoarse, and my beloved daughter is crying hysterically.

Someone called the police on me. For yelling like that. I had to explain the whole thing to the (thankfully sympathetic) police officer. Worst parenting day of my entire life, yet objectively totally ridiculous. I mean, salami? Sigh.

Sarah
Sarah
13 years ago

My worst moment also involves IKEA but has the added poop factor. My husband and I had left the older child at their play land, and took the then 1.5 year old through IKEA. He didn’t like the cart but I was dealing with the low level whining until I noted the poop creeping out around his legs, up his back..And then had to make my way through the god damn maze that is IKEA to find my way to the restrooms. All the while trying to balance my toddler on his belly on my outstretched arms so as not to drip poo. The worst was it was a weekend and jam packed and people would not get the hell out of my way. I started with the polite “excuse mes” but then lost my shit (so to speak) when this guy a step or two behind me starts in on that horrible stench emminating from my child and why don’t I go change him…I think I could have used my child as a poop bomb at that point. I still get flashbacks every time we walk into IKEA.

MommyMia
MommyMia
13 years ago

A mom of a kid I used to baby sit told me a great one. She had her 3 kids at a fast food joint and when it was time to leave her oldest (about 6 at the time) wouldn’t get out of the ball pit. She leaned over and whispered/hissed in his ear “you’re going to get it when we get home”. He yelled out in reply “I DON’T WANT TO GET IT WHEN I GET HOME”

I was 38 weeks pg with DS2 and I had DS1 at our local grocery store. It was the week before xmas and he wanted me to buy him a pack of hot wheels that he saw. I refused but explained it was close to xmas etc. and he lost his shit right in the toy aisle. He screamed at me “I WISH YOU WENT TO WORK AND DADDY STAYED HOME WITH ME” I grabbed him by the arm and waddled out of the store – I left the cart right in the aisle. I went back later after dh got home to get my groceries and the girl that was working said she could have cried for me when I was their earlier. Ugh. Why do they have toys at the grocery store anyway.

Jenny I’ve had days like that too – thankfully know one has called the po po on me.