Crap I have done to stop my kid from freaking out in public

If you are a parent, then you know the feeling….you’re walking through the store/park/mall/restaurant with a seemingly human child who is interestedly looking at their surroundings. They might be excited or chatty or pointing out new things they like. They’re happily engaging and saying “hi” to everybody that walks by.



If you’re not a parent – you’ve seen this in action. And at this time, I’d like to beg you to please remember that the parent is FAR more annoyed and aggravated in this moment that you could possibly imagine…so have a heart?

Because truly, I have done some INSANE crap to stop my kid from freaking out in public. Here are a few examples:

Pineapple freaked in the grocery store after we’d had a nightmarish stint at the self-checkout stand where she proceeded to remove all of the paper bags from their holder, rearrange the gum aisle, and sit on the scale. I’d grappled with her and managed to pay for our items; scooped her up and prepared to leave. She decided she didn’t want to be carried and started acting like an insane person. To quiet her, let her walk, and still make it to the car in a timely manner, I jogged through the store, arms full of groceries, with my keys dangling from the back of my pants, repeating “come on Pineapple, grab the keys – almost there” while she frantically tried to keep up – squealing and laughing the whole way…while reaching for my ass.

I once purchased an entire sac of lemons because when we got to the checkout stand and she realized she would have to put them down, she behaved as though I deprived her of food on a regular basis and parting with these lemons might mean she would never eat again. As she gnawed on the lemon rinds through the mesh bag, I figured I’d bought them now. We had a brief meltdown while they were being rung up but the cashier was, thankfully, smart enough (or valued her hearing and sanity enough) to return them quickly.

I sing peeing songs in public toilets. Loudly. Detailing exactly what I’m doing so she’ll stay put, not try to crawl on the floor or under the door, and stop trying to touch everything. I make her clap and dance along while I sing. It’s awful. And to make matters worse, I have to let her “wipe” for me (this would be where she rubs a wad of toilet paper on my knee cap – she’s clearly confused) and then she shouts “bye bye pee pee” as I flush.

My iPhone has suffered as a result of my child. It has been covered in goo and slobber and macaroni and cheese. It has been dropped and thrown and stepped on. But if she is freakin’ out in a restaurant and I am at my wit’s end, it works every time. PSA – I’ve also handed my phone to another parent whose child was going ballistic. Worked like a charm.

I stood in the pacifier aisle in a Walgreens and opened 10 packages to try out the varieties until we found one that worked. She has been a dedicated MAM user ever since. And yes, I bought all of those passies and then donated them.

I cannot tell you how many packages of juice, cookies and crackers I have opened and fed to my daughter in the store. Tomatoes, too. Too many different foods to count and I’ve never once had a clerk complain – I think they’re just grateful I’m doing what I can to shush my ornery kid.

I feel like I’m constantly doing silly things to entertain her – though I can’t think of them all here – share YOUR story!

XOXO Rachael

7 thoughts on “Crap I have done to stop my kid from freaking out in public

  1. I totally love that you open food in the store to keep her quiet. I don’t know why I have never thought of that.

    And I am always trying to figure out how to put stuff back that kept him quiet during the shopping trip but that lord knows, I don’t really need.

    • I own one $15 doll that is about the size of your hand and a mangled black Hello Kitty cat because both were inserted straight into Pineapple’s mouth during a shopping trip and were too sopping wet for the cashier to reasonably take back (trust me – I tried). It is such a challenge – but opening food ALWAYS works. Because now, she has food to eat and a bag/box/container to destroy. I’ve even opened juice boxes.

  2. My son hated shopping. I don’t really remember what I have done because I was so traumatized I appear to have blocked it all from memory. My daughter too. But your story brings to mind a day recently when I saw a baby of maybe a year and a half with an entire Walmart tub of Fuzzy Peach gummies sitting open in the cart beside her. While other mothers might have been horrified by allowing the child to take so much license with all that candy, I smiled, remembering that once upon a time, I likely did stuff like that too.

    • Really, what’s a sugar high and a peach-scented satiated kid when compared to a fit-throwing, completely insane, mom-kicking kid??? In public?? While you sweat and pray for it all to END PLEASE END?! I’m all for the gummies that woman handed her kid – bravo to her! And to you for stopping at judging her for letting her kidlet have a (admitedly unhealthy) snack rather than a fit. 🙂

  3. I find my entire day is spent avoiding a “fit”. and by 3pm when my daughter is freaking out because I’m reading the wrong page in a book, I find myself with no ability to creatively guide her out of it. again!!!?!?!?? seriously? do these lovely children have to freak out sooooooo much. so bloody much???! I feel like I’m trapped in a vortex of “mommmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ………..”

  4. Sara says:

    I have never had to bribe or distract my child to get him to behave. Your kid needs discipline and fast! You don’t have much time left to get her under control. If you don’t, you are going to have a nightmare of a teen, complete with school suspensions, sneaking out of the house, drug and alcohol problems, teen sex and pregnancy, and possibly run ins with the police. She knows she can do whatever she wants and that is the main thing that troubled kids have in common. I’m honestly trying to help you and that child. She must be afraid of the consequences of her actions or she will run wild. Please get a handle on her now or you and your DH are going to have years of misery and worry.

    • Hi Sara –

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on my blog. I’m glad that you’ve never had to bribe or distract your children to help them behave in public or prevent them from melting down. You must have normally functioning kids and I’m sure you’re very proud. Pineapple is not a normally functioning child…but I’m still pretty darned proud of her. She has a fairly severe disorder, with some ancillary issues to accompany that. As parents, we’ve had to seek medical and psychological help for our child – I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen for you.

      I understand that you are trying to help but unless you are a clinical psychologist with some honest recommendations for treatment and behavior management, I’m not sure what you mean by “get control of your child.” I’m also sad to think that all you see for our futures is a boatload of misery. I really hope that’s not the case, too. We are working hard to help Pineapple get control of her own self – since we obviously cannot always be with her to scare her with consequences or control her behavior. We are hoping she can learn to control herself.

      Right now we are working on respect, empathy, and recognition for the struggles others are going through.

      Best of luck to you!

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