Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Last Tantrum


Don't let the tie fool you.

Our eldest son had a world class talent.
World class.
If it had been an event in the Olympics, he'd have taken home the gold.
But there wasn't.
And he didn't.
Maybe I should explain.

Mark was born with the ability to throw a tremendous, colossal, stupendous, prodigious, enormous, fantastic, howling, mind-blowing tantrum.
I know that many children do.
Even some adults.
But no one has ever done it quite at the same level.
And he saved his best performances for when we were in public.
Usually in the toy section of the local department store.
Sigh.
When he was three, he gave his most memorable performance.
Well, I certainly can't forget it . . .
He wanted a toy.
I can't remember which one, but he wasn't getting it.
The family budget was already suffering chills and fever.
Any unnecessary purchases would have surely sent it into a coma.
We started to move away from said toy.
Mark realized that his begging and pleading had come to naught.
He dropped to the ground.
And began to flop around like a landed fish.
Then the screams started.
Now, my Husby and I had learned that that proper way to handle a tantrum was to just keep walking.
Which we did.
To this point, it had never worked.
We discovered that Mark could flop and scream AND keep up with his moving parents.
See?
Skill and talent.
But this day was a little different.
This day, we had unexpected . . . help.
As we ducked around the corner, and before Mark could start after us, an elderly gentleman walked up to our writhing boy and stood there, looking down at him.
Mark finally realized that someone was standing beside him.
He opened his eyes.
To see a perfect stranger.
“I guess you'd better come with me,” the man said.
Tantrum instantly forgotten, Mark scrambled to his feet.
“MooooOOOOMMMMM!”
His father poked his head around the corner.
Mark ran to him and grabbed him about the knees in a grip fuelled by three parts fear and one part . . . okay, four parts fear.
My Husby silently looked at the man.
Both of them smiled.
And just like that, Mark's public tantrums were finished.
Oh, he still treated us to private performances, but never again were we humiliated in public.
We often think of that man.
A father?
Grandfather?
Whoever he was, his wisdom . . .
. . . and timing . . .
Were one of the greatest blessings of our parenting years.
I wish we could tell him.

6 comments:

  1. This is wonderful. The kind gentleman apparently took him for a little, lost boy who needed to go to lost and found. We know who Mark thought he was.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love it! Had to read it to the whole family just now. I wonder if we could pay some wise, older parents to walk around stores, say around Christmas, and try this out??? It might help with all the tantrums. Thanks for linking up with us at NOBH :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. God sent him--he might even have been an angel.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's awesome! I bet you wished he could come around with every child, huh? I know I would have liked to have seen him a time or two. Thankfully we are past that stage! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is classic! What a great story! I'm so thankful that none of my kids throw tantrums, but if I ever have a problem with it in the future, I'm going to remember this story.

    ReplyDelete

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