No one knows better how to defend against meltdown rage than a parent. All parents have at one time been holding a child when said child decides to lose it/meltdown/spiral and attack. Your choices become either take the hair- pulling/scratching/biting/punching or, drop the baby/child on its ass. As a public service announcement, I have developed a list of self-defence moves that may help in these situations.
You are holding your little one (Child A) in line at the grocery store. You may or may not have another child(ren) sitting in the cart. Child A wants to get down and run into the parking lot. You hold tightly to your child to protect said child from running into the parking lot. For those who have yet to be in this situation; you cannot hold your child and protect your face/head/eyes from an attack of hitting/scratching/pinching/biting/poking at the same time. Child A proceeds to pull your hair by fistfuls and scream bloody murder. Child(ren) B and C announce that they have to go to the bathroom.
1. Drop Child A on his/her ass and protect yourself from the massive headache that will set in from the hair pulling. This headache will make it impossible to cook dinner and/or enjoy Homeland/Walking Dead/True Blood/SOA (whatever you're into, because you know you've been looking forward to it all day.) If possible drop child on top of other children to both soften his/her fall and quiet the other ones from demanding the bathroom at the most inconvenient of times. Some will stare in disapproval but if you listen hard enough you'll hear a solitary clap coming from the diaper aisle and that yoga-pant wearing, pony-tailed mom will nod in solidarity.
2. Growl at Child A like a wild animal. Really commit too, because you need to really freak them out. This may shock your child into stopping the attack long enough for you to place them in the cart under something heavy enough to hold them down (a watermelon, a big bag of potatoes, a box of wine etc). Keep in mind that this strategy only works once so save it for a big one. (Airport security line, wedding, church etc).
You are holding Child A in your arms and holding Child B by the hand while shopping for size 4 splash pants which you cannot find anywhere and you have to pee so bad you're nauseated, when Child A decides to bite you.
1. Drop Child A. Not your best bet since the floor is hard and there are likely many witnesses who are already looking at you because Child A has already been making it very obvious he/she wants to go home by screaming "You're Not My Mama," or some version of this.
2. Head butt Child A gently as a reminder not to bite. Relax, I said gently.
3. Cry out loudly and try and produce real tears as Child A breaks through the skin on your shoulder (through your winter coat). Hopefully, Child A will release at this point. If not, see choice one.
The hands-free bite/hit/scratch attack. If you find yourself in the rare situation of having access to your hands during an attack you can try one of these three easy to remember manuevers.
1. Poke Child A in the forehead. This can be tricky as it is hard to see with tears in your eyes so be very careful to avoid Child A's eyes. This usually stuns the child long enough for you to remove your arm/hand/cheek from their bite. If child lunges again throw a couch pillow at them and pretend to cry.
2. Plug Child A's nose. They will have to open their mouth to breathe and release their bite. The problem with this one is that they can usually hold out for long enough to really do some damage. If you are feeling confident you can combine strategies one and two.
3. Run. If their jaws are strong enough they may hold on for a metre or two but if you strategically run by a large piece of furniture you can usually lose them pretty quickly.
Happy Mail to:
27 Wellington Row
Saint John, NB
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)