If you saw a screaming toddler in a playground, clearly in battle with an adult, would you flinch? Would you even notice?
Yesterday, we took our boys on a waterfront bicycle ride which ended with a stop at a playground. Our four-year-old needed to tinkle, but he didn’t want to stop playing. He wanted to go right there — in the playground area! Naturally, we removed him from the play structure section and found a little bush. For some reason (toddler tantrums can rarely be predicted) he went into a mini rage and refused to go near the bush. He went into full on melt down mode.
I waited near the bush for 5 minutes while he continued his meltdown.
Finally, I figured it would be best if we went home. I picked him up, as he kicked and yelled in anger, and carried him right through the other families in the park. No one even blinked an eye or looked by way.
Don’t get me wrong. Part of me is relieved because, obviously, dealing with a major meltdown can be slightly embarrassing.
But, then it left me thinking — what if someone was taking a child? Would parents know the difference between a tantrum and a child not wanting to go with an adult?
Should there be some sort of protocol or code words used between parents so we all know when someone is dealing with a legit tantrum versus “stranger danger.”
How would you react in this situation (as a spectator parent/adult)? Would you say anything?
I’m totally on the fence about it all. Would I have appreciated if a fellow adult asked if everything was ok? I think so.