How to end a tantrum circa 1981

Tania made me think of this when she told us about Mignon’s tantrum. Just read it now as I had a funny tummy yesterday.

We were living in Jhb and I was 5 and my sis was a few months. Dad used to get paid every fortnight and us gals would go blow his money at the OK in/near Carlton Centre and after shopping we’d go up to the look-out point with a treat.

Anyhoo, Mom had a basket in her one hand, sis in papoose and me holding onto other hand. I saw biscuits I wanted and because it was not a payday week, Mom said no I had to wait until the next week.

WELL – I threw myself down and did a pretty spectacularly frenzied synchronised swim sans water, flat on my back. Mom was having none of it. Walked to the front of the store, left her basket with security and told security that the screaming brat is hers. Please to help her keep an eye on said brat and she went to hide behind something at the entrance. I eventually realised that I was without my desired audience (very important if you’re tantrumming – other people are no fun, it has to be your parents/caregivers) and started looking for her. Went up and down the aisle and realised she was GONE. I did as I was taught and went to security and asked them to call my Mommy over the intercom because I lost her. Security lady was in on it and told me my Mommy left because I was being naughty and she said my Daddy will fetch me after work. I must wait with the lady. OMW – I cried that day like I had never cried before. I was inconsolable. Mom came out after about a minute of my crying but it felt like a lifetime. I was very grateful to see her and my sister and apparently was the sweetest sweet for months after that.


1) I was a master tantrum thrower and Mom had just had it by then and she was pretty good with nipping things in the bud early on. Also I was being extremely ugly to my baby sister (another post for another day) and I think Mom just felt she needed to ‘reset’ me.

2) It was the early, safe-ish’80s and I was never out of Mom’s sight – she was watching me all along (she was way too paranoid about safety not to).


25 thoughts on “How to end a tantrum circa 1981

  1. crey

    Hehe! My mom once left me and my brother beside a dirt road and took off. We were fighting in the car. She just went up the road a few meters and then came back. We never fought in the car again. It was on the way to our farm and it also was in the safinch era, she told us later on that she kept an eye on us in the review mirror and we hugged each other and sobbed….

  2. shazdart

    My Mum got so fed up with the three of us one day, that she told us we could have the house, put on her coat and walked out. Weeelllll, my Mum infact only went to the wall between us and the neighbours, but we really thought that she had left us.I must just add that my Dad was working in Aden (Saudi Arabia) at the time, for 6 months with no visits home and Mum was left with 3 children 5 and under!!! She is still my hero till today.

  3. rochelle.barrish

    Tee hee! Throwing a tantrum in a tent takes doing – it’s always so cramped! My sweet Bubbaloo throwing a tantrum? Never – you’re fibbing!

  4. ebonyandivory

    Wow, your mom sure was creative and efficient. I will keep this plan of her in my ‘closet’ might just one day, adjust it a bit and use it. You never know. I think you NEVER tantrummed after that. Please tell us about you being ugly to your sis.

  5. danile

    hehehe, that was clever of your mom! Poor you!Hey at least I can still comment on blogs, even though I can’t post:-(

  6. rochelle.barrish

    Yes, I didn’t want to admit it but my tantrums were VERY subdued after that and always with one eye open to keep an eye on Mom! Will write about sister tonight.

  7. rochelle.barrish

    When I think of it now it was absolute genius. Will def keep it and modify it for Big Tom who seems to have inherited my stubborn streak. Oh no – why can’t you post?

  8. ludditelass

    Good for your mum! A friend of mine did something similar when her daughter threw a tantrum of note in Woolies that included taking off her clothes and writhing on the floor screaming. My friend went and stood out of her daughter’s eyeshot beside a spectator and said to her “Shame, some mothers!” Pretending it’s not your child having the meltdown takes some chutzpah!

  9. rochelle.barrish

    Wow – taking off clothes and writhing on the floor definitely wins the tantrum prize! LOL at your friend being a spectator. Must remember that too. What is it about our screaming children that terrifies us so much? The little terrors def know which buttons to push.

  10. rochelle.barrish

    Oh gee – does your PnP have a bloody red bus too? The bane of my life. We’ve got this strategy that works only if both of us are shopping. I push the stroller with child and DH pushes the trolley right next to us but a bit ahead so said child can’t see the bus. But you need a partner in crime for that… Hey, speaking of which… how’s FNM???

  11. tania.roux

    Your Mom rocks! You definitely get the parenting gene from her!My sister was the master tantrum thrower and my parents just sucked it up. She’s 30 and still living with them..

  12. rebeccav

    LOL πŸ™‚ If it were a bit safer in the mall/pnp, I’d walk away from my two! I’m so paranoid to let them out my sight for one second – and I think they know it and use it to their advantage! Little shits.

  13. rochelle.barrish

    Hahahaha – yup I tried it with T – he wouldn’t get out of the red bus at PnP and I went to a spot where I could see him but he couldn’t see me. Did he miss me? Nope!

  14. rochelle.barrish

    Too late for that, I’m afraid. Our Mom’s are probably blog friends in the afterlife and bragging about their respective grandchildren…


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