On Fridays, we go to the J on the late side. On Fridays, Teacher Debbie comes to Kid Kare at 11:15AM for a half hour. She has stories, songs and games for the kids. All of the kids at the J love her. So, in order to follow Kid Kare’s 2 hour rule, we try to arrive right at 9:45AM. Recently, Kid Kare stopped allowing snacks due to allergy and kosher issues. We used to bring a snack, especially on Friday, since by almost noon, my kids are starving. So, when I picked them up at 11:45AM, both Nick and Sally were super hungry.
We left Kid Kare, made our way upstairs to the lobby, and sat on a bench separated from the Subway by a low wall. I brought raisins for the kids. I’ve been putting them in a little plastic bowl with a lid. Nick was almost done when he turned around to look into the Subway restaurant to check out the happenings. Then he dropped a raisin.
It’s not out of the ordinary to drop a raisin. We take care to pick them up and throw them in the trash. This was different. He dropped the raisin from his hand onto the Subway side, just like a kid dropping a raisin into a neighboring booth at a restaurant.
Nick wanted to find and throw away the raisin. I told him not to worry about it, but he persisted. The table where the raisin dropped was occupied by a gentleman working on his computer. Nick wanted me to come with him. We walked around to the opening for Subway, and told the man that we were looking for a raisin that Nick dropped because he wanted to throw it away. The guy was super nice and moved his computer bag from the floor to a chair so Nick could look around. We couldn’t find it and Nick started to cry. Then it went beyond crying into the start of a full-blown tantrum, all over a lost raisin.
With some help from the computer guy, I convinced Nick to leave for the car. He kept crying and was really, really upset. He screamed and carried on. At one point, Teacher Debbie passed us and could not believe that sweet, happy Nick was so upset. I told her about the dropped raisin, and that Nick wanted to throw it in the trash but couldn’t find it. She said that melted her heart.
For a minute, Nick was happy and calmed down, but as soon as he thought again about the raisin, he started bawling again. I remembered that I had a raisin in my coat pocket. I’m sure it’s from when one of the kids dropped a raisin the other day. Sometimes, I pick them up on our way out, and they don’t make it into the trash can right away.
I hid the raisin in my hand and reached down to Nick’s shoe. I put it carefully on his shoe near the Velcro as if it was stuck.
“Nick, look, there’s the raisin. It must have fallen out of your hand onto your shoe!”
He liked that at first, and then said, “But Mommy, my raisin couldn’t have fallen on my shoe because it fell out of my hand onto the other side of the wall.”
I said, “Well, maybe the raisin fell from the man’s computer bag when he moved it and landed on your shoe.”
“Yeah, Mommy, that’s what happened. I’m happy now.”
And so was I.
Note: I’m not advocating being untruthful to your kids, but sometimes, it’s worth a story or two to calm a tantrum.