It happened, it finally happened; Early's first tantrum, a few weeks from turning two.
He decided to really really go for it. At St Lukes shopping mall, from when I tried to sit us down for lunch in a cafe to about thirty minutes later when he made a dash for the wine glass display (!!) outside Stevens, fell over and dropped his bread, lay there for a little while loudly contemplating the ongoing awfulness of his horrible life, and then deigned to allow me to wrestle him into his stroller with only faint resistance.
This may have been Early's first but ahah, little did he know, this was not mine.
I started out all wrong. I tried to placate him, thinking he was just hangry, impatient for the lunch that was coming. He'd eaten all his snacks sometime earlier, a miscalculation on my part.
He paraded his grievances with his awful mother to all the other tables around us, visiting each in turn and giving them a smile before refusing any overtures from me and moving on to the next lovely stranger. One of the lovely strangers was more delightful than the others, possessing a plate with hot chips on it. Early loves hot chips. I swear his eyes grew even larger.
The lovely stranger was not immune to Early's charms or his garbled message and a chip was offered, accepted and consumed. I craftily picked a long chip, knowing it would take him longer to eat so I might be able to capture him and return him to our table. Hangriness addressed, I thought. My normally happy chappy will return now, phew.
Early was not finished. Once the chip was gone there was the grieving process to go through, thus:
1. Denial - That cannot be the last chip! I see other chips! Take me to the chips!!
2. Anger - No more chips? This Shall Not Pass! (This bit took rather a long time, including rolling around on the floor; trying to hide from mummy under someone else's table then being unable to find the way out so I had to go and try to get him from one side so that he would escape out the other; pleas to many lovely strangers for rescue, assistance, chips; general grumbly crying noises; actual hot angry tears and a little snot; doing that breakdancing move that involves running around in a circle on your side on the ground; a sort of half downwards dog arrangement.)
3. Bargaining - Ok, I will consider your poor offer of bread that you ordered especially for me because I love bread, but there better be more. Not that bit though. And this bit was ok but now it is Not Ok in fact it is Awful, are you trying to poison me woman?! Oh that other bit will do I suppose, but actually no it won't.
4. Depression - Wailing, lots of wailing. I just want to lie here on the ground face down wailing, I'm going to drown in my own tears and it will be All Your Fault, and also don't even think about trying to get me in the stroller, I shall never ever move again.
5. Acceptance - Well alright then, why haven't you taken me home already?
And the irony was that we would have got home and the bottle would have been made and imbibed, the snuggly cot entered and embraced, much much earlier without the tantrum.
I'm hoping he hasn't started as he means to go on.
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