This time yesterday I was headed out to enjoy a beautiful afternoon with The Babe. We've started making two trips out on days that the weather is nice. One trip is a trip to run errands. The Babe is strapped into Big Red the Wonder Stroller so that I can do some shopping/banking/mundane life stuff. The other trip out is just for The Babe. He and I walk wherever he wants and generally that means walking along a street. He loves cars, buses and anything with wheels. He will point to each and every one and say "Car!" "Bussss!" or sometimes "CarBusss!" and I will say "Yes, that is a green car." I think of these walks as learning walks. We stop to look at anything he wants. And even though he is still very young, I'm trying to get a good head start on respecting traffic and how to cross the street. He willingly holds my hand (knock wood), pays careful attention to things when I point them out, and is generally a dream walking companion. That is, until we get to the pedestrian street.
There is a little toy store there and in front of that toy store is one of those electric ride on tractors, the kind you put a coin into (in this case 5 kroner/ $1) and ride for 5 minutes. The Babe loves this tractor. He
could've spent intended to spend all day sitting there, turning the steering wheel and touching the tires. I let him play. I snapped pictures. I edited. I posted them to Facebook. The minutes ticked by. The wind was picking up and it was getting cooler. Neither of us had a jacket.
"OK, sweetheart, five more minutes and then we have to say bye bye to the tractor." It's my standard way of letting him know that the thing he is enjoying must come to an end. To me it's nicer than just jerking him away. And usually it works. He'll wrap up his playing, wave and say "Bye bye".
I said usually it works. Yesterday, not so much. After his five minutes were up, I encouraged him to say goodbye to the tractor.
"Uuuuuuggghhhh!" which translated means "I have no intention of leaving, Mother, now go away."
I gave him another chance to say goodbye and received a much more emphatic "UUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH!!!!" for my trouble. There was nothing left to do but physically remove him.
He saw it coming. He was kicking and screaming before I even picked him up. Once he was in my arms he added writhing and wriggling to his physical protest. People where staring. One nice old man tried to distract him, but that only seemed to make him angrier. Huge tears rolled down his cheeks. Angry red splotches appeared on his face. I set him down in a little abandoned courtyard to cry it out and he immediately ran to a shop window and slapped the glass - his standard "I'm made as hell and I just can't take it any more" way of venting. He seemed to calm down enough after a few minutes of intense tantrum that I thought it might be safe to venture back out onto the street and continue our walk home. But no. He was just getting his second wind. I scooped him up - all 25+ lbs. of squirming 21 month old - and carried him home. He cried all the way and he sat in a corner and cried some more when we got home. I let him. I didn't try and comfort him. I just left him alone to try and work it out.
Ten minutes later he wandered over to where I was sitting on the couch. I picked him up and gave him a good cuddle. We were friends again and he fell asleep.
The calm before the storm.