Actually it's more like . . . when you scream, I want to scream, and the only person whose getting ice cream is me . . . after you go to bed.
For those who have read some of my past blogs you may remember that I have screamers. My oldest is finally starting to out grow this phase. Don't get me wrong though, she can easily be provoked by her sister at the drop of a hat. The good thing is, she actually gets the "mean mom look". You know, the look that you may give when your child is not listening. If you've mastered it perfectly, it can cause a state of panic which may cause your child to stop whatever it is they're doing wrong. (I clearly haven't mastered it yet, but I'm getting there.) When I give this so called look, my oldest is quick to stop. My youngest however, has taken the screeching to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the mean mom look only encourages her to do it more.
These ear piercing, dinosaur like screeches are usually brought on by excitement. A trip to the park is a prime example. She's excited to be out and about and enjoys time with other kids. The pro: we are outside, so the screams aren't that big of a deal. The con: before you know it every other kid in the park starts mimicking this behavior and you have a whole tribe of mini screechers. Not to mention angry moms. This scene is pretty horrific. What's even more horrific is when this behavior happens indoors, like at restaurants.
The past three times we have gone out to eat this has happened. The first was when we were at a kid friendly place for dinner. The waitress brought over crayons, which lead to screeching. Then she brought over grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries. While my youngest spent majority of the time screaming at her french fries, my oldest stuck her fries into her sandwich and sang happy birthday . . . loud. This was all before she removed the straw from her plastic cup and starting banging on it and yelling to everyone that she was a drummer. In this case the mean mom look backfired which caused her to drop her drumstick, I mean straw, on the floor under the table. When I would not let her pick it up off the floor, this lead to more screams. Not happy ones. I asked the waitress for another straw to keep her occupied and happy for five minutes so my husband and I could choke down our food and get out of there ASAP.
The second time was at a busy place that their grandfather took us to. Of course I had pre warned him about the screeching, and could only hope for the best. The tables were close together, and we were seated next to some grandparents that had taken their grand kids out for dinner too. We were more than halfway through the meal when it started. I'm pretty sure it was over an onion ring that my dad had given my youngest. I never knew that onion rings could bring such joy, and either did the family next to us. They shot up out of their seats and were clearly frightened by the screeches. Both my husband and I apologized for the scare, while my father was sitting there stunned that something so loud could come out of someone so small. These are the times that, if you were someone who does not have kids, you'd think to yourself . . . oh my god, control your kid. These are also the times that as a parent you would like nothing more than to be able to do just that. Luckily for us the people next to us laughed, and said "We've been there too." That is always reassuring.
The third time happened this past Sunday when we went out to breakfast before grocery shopping. I'm pretty sure the high pitched squeals of excitement were brought on by some jelly packets and creamers for our coffee. These were by far the loudest screeches I have heard yet. The entire restaurant stopped eating and turned to our table. I was mortified. I quickly stood up and apologized to the entire restaurant, while my husband tried to encourage my youngest to stop. Everyone laughed, some people actually started clapping. It was not really the reaction that I was expecting, but I'll take it. I will say the screeching came in handy when we split up to do groceries and I couldn't find him. He had Charlotte with him, and I was able to track him down from all the way across the other side of the store.
I think it's safe to say we'll be passing on dining out anytime soon. With the exception of a Mother's Day brunch that we'll be going to on Sunday. Wish me luck. In the mean time, I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . be kind to everyone you meet. You never know if they have a toddler at home . . . or a screecher.