In addition to reversing the car, supermarkets were always a no go area with LB. He would turn into some character from a horror film with blood-curdling screams that penetrated every aisle. My strategy, if I couldn’t avoid the trip, was to grab, squash, snap and sweep*. (Grab (LB), squash (him into the trolley seat), snap (the straps shut) and supermarket sweep).
One time, we’d reached the milk and cheese section and, as usual, I could see people peering round the end of the aisle, or hurrying their children away. The tuts seemed low level but that could have been because LB was on full volume. Anyway, this teeny tiny, elderly lady came over to the trolley and admonished LB for the noise he was making. My hackles were raised at first, but she said very gently “Now, stop all that noise.. you are making it very difficult for your mother”. LB didn’t draw a breath and carried on like a banshee being forced to snog Dale Winton.
We carried on thundering up and down the aisles speed shopping but Nanny McPhee appeared a couple more times and said the same sort of thing to LB. Her interventions made no impact whatsoever on LB’s distress but I warmed to her very quickly. For two reasons. First, she was actually engaging with us which generally nobody did when the tantrums were in town. And second, she was thinking about what it was like for me, rather than labelling me a shit mum, like most other people seemed to.
Anyway, in record time, we’d paid, packed and left the supermarket. At the entrance stood Nanny McPhee, smiling at us. I smiled a big thank you to her as we hurtled past to the car park and peace.
As I put LB in the back of the car, I could hear him muttering away to himself. “Evil old woman. Evil. She’s got the devil in her”. “Well I quite liked her”, I said, slamming the door.
*Also known as the GSSS Technique.