Is there anything worse than seeing a toddler at Walmart at 2:00 in the morning, sleepy and screaming? I donâ€™t think so. It’s the stuff horror movies are made of.
While I realize that, under extenuating circumstances, it can be necessary to snatch your child out of bed and rush to a 24 hour store for some unusual reason, it is really frustrating to see children wailing in helpless exhaustion while their parents fill the cart with beer, bologna, and canned vegetables.
So much of the time the child gets yelled at or worse, when all that really needs to happen is that the parents need to take junior home and put him to bed.
I will sound old here Iâ€™m sure, but when my children were small, parents generally had some sort of schedule and shopping was done prior to bedtime. If it was necessary to shop after bedtime then you arranged for someone to watch the baby while you headed off on your midnight quest. It wasnâ€™t always convenient but naptimes or bedtimes were usually the priorities.
A child who is having a tantrum in a store in the middle of the night does not need discipline â€“ she needs her bed. Not only is it distracting, irritating, and frustrating to other customers, it is unfair to the child and adds unnecessary stress to the parents.
Tired, stressed parents combined with a tired, cranky baby? Well, thatâ€™s just a Child Protective Services moment waiting to happen.
If you must take your child out to the store late at night, then be prepared to have unending patience. Realize that babies do not handle exhaustion in a reasonable manner and that tears, screams, and temper tantrums are normal, and even expected, behaviors in this situation and donâ€™t yell or smack your child â€“ he is merely responding to the situations in the best way he knows how.
Have you ever had to make a run to the store with an exhausted baby? What are your tips for getting through it?
photo credit: Jan Tik