The hazards of having children.
One of the many tools that your child has been born with is the ability to throw a tantrum in public. They have an inborn sense of the dramatic and love to create a scene where there is an appreciative audience to watch and comment on their level of skill. In fact, I am thinking of introducing a Best Actor award for Toddlers. We would be flooded with nominations.
The hardest part of dealing with the Public Tantrum Throwing Menace is the stares of judgemental people directed straight at you. Yes, it is embarrassing! Embarrassing and children go together. From the moment they vomit all over your new outfit to the moment they arrive back home with their own kids and tell tall stories about your parenting ability, you will be in a permanent state of embarrassment.
If it hasn’t happened yet to you then you are lucky or childless. If you have kids it is going to happen, so why not start mentally preparing yourself for the inevitable.
Before you venture into the wide world with your children, you need to develop this special skill of self defence. It takes time and persistence but eventually it will get you through almost every situation. It is a series of Vital Parental Reactions that you will need to be able to assume at will and instantly. Selected carefully, you will defeat embarrassment in its tracks.
The most reliable reactions are:
Disdainful - of course that isn't vomit on my shoulder. Do I look like the kind of person who would have vomit on my shoulder?
Intellectual - Yes, there is scientific evidence of the existence of children in my home. Let me discuss it with you....... (Guaranteed to scare anyone off.)
Comic - Yes, it may be dribble but you should see it when he piddles on me! Disinterested - Oh, is that all!
Innocent - No, of course it isn’t mine! It must belong to someone else.
Frustrated - For pity's sake pass me the grog. (This is my personal favourite because everyone will want to help drown your sorrows with you.)
Patronising - What? Your child can’t do it as well as this?
Remote – No, I don’t have children.
Delicate – This requires practicing the ‘uplook’. Point your chin to the floor and look up from under your eyelashes. If you can manage to well up with a few tears you have got it made! Don’t utter a word.
Vacant – huh?
Saintly – Thank you my child. Bless you.
Tough – You wanna make something of it, do ya?
Peaceful –a catatonic trance with a Mona Lisa smile.
Pacifier – Should I just wait on you, hand and foot, while I fix all this up?
Sober – hic! Whassat?
The Mother In Law – If I tell you that this look is also known as the ‘Turn to Stone’ I won’t need to say anymore. No words needed. The look says it all. You have probably been on the receiving end of one of these looks in your time.
The beauty of this skill is that you only have to change yourself. No one is ever going to stop your child doing their best to make you squirm, but by perfecting this you can go straight into damage control.
Of course, it is always possible that if your little devils don’t get the satisfaction of seeing you embarrassed they might retire from the battle. Now there is a nice thought. Just don’t turn your back on them!