A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

How to Stop a Stranger’s Baby’s Tantrum March 16, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:21 am
Tags: , , , , ,

We were in Target the other day, and there was a baby crying, more like wailing, at the top of his lungs. He was buckled into the seat in his mother’s shopping cart, and she was totally ignoring his screams.

We were simply trying to do some shopping.

It was the kind of crying that could be heard aisles and departments away. The kind that made you wonder what’s wrong with that kid? I hope he’s not hurt.

I have kids. I’m not insensitive to the challenges children present when taking them out in public. Let’s see, Max has embarrassed me in both good ways and bad. I remember distinctly a few episodes.

There was the time I had him strapped in the buggy at the grocery store. We were in the cereal aisle. I turned my head while pushing the cart, and he stretched his arm out, held it rigid, and swept all the boxes of cereal off the shelf. He has thrown up in the bakery department (of course he has). He has flipped a shopping cart over on himself (that one made me feel like a very inadequate mother). And he, at two years old, sang Beyonce’s Single Ladies at the top of his lungs the whole time we were in Target. There were, of course, the usual tantrums every parents deals with at one time or another as well.

Anyways, the kid in Target would. not. stop. crying.

We had to walk right past his cart. His mother had her back turned looking for a birthday card. Really, I couldn’t imagine having the patience to read greeting cards while my kid was screaming his head off. She must have had nerves of steel.

We walked past the cart, and the kid abruptly stopped crying. The tantrum that had been going on for at least ten minutes ended as soon as that tot and I made eye contact.

“Huh, he stopped crying,” I said to Ronnie, with a mischievous and rather triumphant grin on my face.

“What did you do?”

“Oh, I just helped that mother out. He’s not crying any more. Isn’t that nice of me? I just have a way with kids.” I was laughing really hard.

“Mandy, what did you do?”

“I just looked at him. Like this.” I contorted my face into one of the ugliest expressions I could muster. That kid stopped crying because he was shocked. How dare some strange lady make an ugly face instead of avoiding him or coddling him?

Ronnie shook his head in disbelief. Well, not really. I think he has finally come to expect such things of me. Now everyone in the store could shop in peace.

And, hey, at least it wasn’t our kid making the scene this time!



18 Responses to “How to Stop a Stranger’s Baby’s Tantrum”

  1. Connie McSwain Says:

    Love this!!! Using the shock factor typically works for me, too. One of my latest experiences was with a little boy in the driver’s seat of the kiddie car attached to the shopping cart at my local grocery. It was not his fault that he was so miserable; he was just tired, I hope… Anyway, he was fully enveloped in his tirade and the effect it was having on his poor mother was evident. Not one to shy away from an opportunity to meet a new friend, I pulled him over and asked to see his driver’s license. A little shocked, he looked at me like I had 3 eyes. Okay, I have his attention and he is dry eyed, now! I pretended to hand him his license and told him I was going to have to give him a warning ticket for yelling in the cookie isle. Everyone should know you can only yell on the isle where cleaning supplies are stacked. Then, I showed his mom how to let him help her steer around the isle and down to the cleaning supplies so he could continue to yell. Well! That’s what I’m talking ’bout… there is nothing to cry about on this isle with the boring stuff! Always, always find a way to make “IT” fun, no matter what “IT” is.

  2. ObiWanCanubi Says:

    LOL! SOme guy walked up to my son one day and did something similar and it worked also. I need to start trying this.

  3. sherbear64 Says:

    She learned that from her father!

  4. betsyk1 Says:

    I’m going to remember that! And did the mother turn and look at him when he suddenly stopped crying and then look at you, like, “What the…?”

  5. Katie Says:

    Ha! I do that too!!! I call it Operation: Shock & Shoosh.

  6. ghfool Says:

    I’m pretty sure that face would have made me START crying! ;>)

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Yes. That was definitely another possibility. I can only imagine what that mother would have thought if she turned around at that exact moment and caught me making that face at her baby. Risky!

  7. It’s a good thing you included a picture of your “crazy face” as it really added to the story! What a unique and clever way to handle a stranger’s crying baby. This line was great, “Oh, I just helped that mother out. He’s not crying any more. Isn’t that nice of me? I just have a way with kids.” 🙂

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Thanks! It was a real stretch for me to post that picture of myself. I usually don’t let people see that side of me…well, people other than unsuspecting babies, I guess. Thanks for reading!

  8. Great idea! Let’s be on a mission to stop other parent’s kid’s tantrums with a scary/funny face. We’ll start a movement! I’m off to ignore my kids now so I can give it a try! Thanks for the laugh!

    • mandyholbert Says:

      I think this could backfire when we accidentally scare a baby who we may have misjudged the age a little and the kid points and tells his mom that a strange lady is making mean faces and the mom calls security and they pull video footage and suddenly we have a lot of explaining to do. But, hey, I’m up for it if you are! Thanks for reading!

  9. ememby Says:

    That is just awesome! So awesome! Thanks for posting a pic!

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