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On Their Best Behavior: Coping With the Kids in Public

public-meltdown-585You always hear about moms getting kicked out of coffee shops or stores for breastfeeding in public. But I recently read an article about a mom getting kicked out of the library because her baby made a noise. And not even a cry-noise. A coo. The mother in question was escorted out of the library by police and then arrested for obstruction because of what she said to the responding officer.

While smarting off to a cop in that situation is probably not the best move, I would probably have been pretty angry in that situation, too. Assuming that the library personnel requested that she leave because of a minor babble from the child and not a larger issue, I must say: That must be the quietest library in all of the land.

As a parent, it’s sometimes a little nerve-wracking to leave the house with your child. In the early days, my husband and I would get stressed going out to dinner with our daughter because we never knew when the little wild card would decide to have a poop explosion or decide it’s dinner time—and these incidents are almost always timed when it’s most inconvenient, just to keep you on your toes.

But because fear couldn’t keep us locked in our house forever, we venture out into the wide world. We’ve been lucky to avoid major meltdowns for the most part. And when we suspect that grumpitude (a grumpy attitude) is afoot, we act fast. As in, feed, hold or otherwise distract the grump. Worst case scenario? We pack up and leave the premises—stat. As I’ve said before, as long as the parents of a child are paying attention and trying to quiet a baby (or keep an older kiddo from tearing the establishment apart), I think people are pretty forgiving.

What do you do when your child has a meltdown in public? How do you cope when your baby cries in a quiet zone? —Erin



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