OMG! You know the kids who act out only in public, who have tantrums at the drop of a hat in public, who embarrass their parents in public??? I HAVE ONE!!!
J is a complete angel at home. Going out in public is total touch and go. Two nights ago we went to Applebees and J was so well behaved. He played with his crayons, fed them imaginary food, played peek a boo with me, and ate all of his food. He started to have a fit at one point but Daddy gave him "the look" and J immediately corrected himself. We got lucky that night. Today, not so much.
Daddy had a ceremony at his job and I baked a cake for them. They invited us to stop by for the potluck to have some lunch. It was scheduled to start at 11:30. I knew right then that it would be a problem b/c J usually takes his nap between 11:30 and 12 noon. Well I took my time leaving and decided to stop at the bank and pick up my friend on the way to Daddy's job. This would make the ride longer and let J get a nap in the car. Well he sang for half the ride, then rubbed his eyes to fight the sleep. 5 minutes away from Daddy's job and all is silent...I look in the mirror and J is zonked out!! So I parked in the lot and called Daddy and told him that we would sit in the car until the were ready to start the luncheon. I laughed at myself b/c only a mom would sit in her car to let her baby finish a nap. We sat in the car for 45 minutes. I felt that the nap should have refreshed him, even if only for an hour or so. Well he woke up when I took him out of the car. He smiled and played with his daddy, carried my purse around, and played with my keys while in Daddy's office. Then 10 minutes later the meltdowns started. I was letting him play with a broken keyboard on Daddy's desk and all of a sudden he screamed at it and slammed his fist on it and tried to throw it down. I said "No baby be nice." Oh that set him off! He threw his head back and I sat him on my lap and he bit me. So we have started putting him in timeouts. We've been doing it now for about a week and he simply sits on the floor for 30 seconds (if that long) and he has already picked up on changing his behavior, but he didn't understand the timeout in Daddy's office. So I pulled out his umbrella stroller and strapped him in it. Then we went to the luncheon. He was doing fine and then Daddy's coworker asks why we have him in the stroller. Why not let him out to play. That bothered me a bit b/c Daddy knows what his child needs and why his child is in the stroller. So the guy takes J out, J immediately starts to have a fit b/c he doesn't want to be held, instead he wants down. He gets down and starts pulling the table clothes off the tables. So I got out of line and put him back in his stroller. They can call me mean but it was only going to get worse from there. So finally I sit down and I start to feed him. I packed him some spaghetti, which he devoured the night before. I put some in his mouth and he dug his fingers in his mouth and threw the food on the floor. I said, "Okay. Let's try this again." I gave him some more and this time he starts crying and having a tantrum. Daddy's other co worker chimed in to say, "Oh he must not like that then." Um no, he enjoyed this last night. Why do people assume that parents don't know what's wrong with their kids?? So then she says, Well what's wrong with him?? I said "Nothing is wrong with him. He is acting his age." So I tried again with the spaghetti and he finally started eating it. After he was done he continued to have fits b/c he didn't want to be in the stroller. As soon as I was done eating I took him out and he was fine...for 5 minutes. Then me friend who came with me and is 21 weeks pregnant held him for me while I folded his stroller up and took out his jacket. She started putting his jacket on for me. He had a spoon in his hand and she tried to take the spoon and put it in his other hand so that she could put on his jacket. He had a tantrum. He threw his head back so hard and bust my friend's lip! Her lip swelled up pretty badly. I was so upset and embarassed. Daddy called me on the way home so that we could discuss J's behavior. He is worried and wants to have J evaluated b/c he only acts out like that in public. I told Daddy that I don't believe there is a single thing wrong with J. He is a very independent child and he is learning how to express himself, but he can't use words yet. He acts out in public b/c there's really nothing familiar to him and he's attracted to new things. When we tell him No he gets upset. We need to figure out a way to help him work through his anger in public. Hopefully we can figure something out soon b/c at this rate, J and I will have cabin fever for a long time!!