Jackson squirmed and kicked and screamed as I buckled him into his carseat.
“Too tight! Fix it!” he protested.
I kept remembering an article I had recently read about tantrums. Stay calm. Let it pass. Stay with him. Be gentle, but firm. I continued buckling him in.
My seven-year-old daughter, Lily, thank goodness, was busy jotting in her notebook for the entire car ride to my brother and sister-in-law’s house. She hardly seemed to notice her brother’s fit.
Jackson screamed for the ENTIRE hour-long ride. He screamed about the buckles, about his boots, about snacks, about everything.
As we pulled into my brother’s driveway, I began to wonder how in the world this was going to go. Would I send Lily into the birthday party and stay out in the car with Jackson? Would he calm down if we walked around outside for a while? Should I just bring him inside?
So this is what happened:
My brother happened to be out in his driveway moving his car to make more room for parking, so Lily walked in with him while I wrangled Jackson out of the car. I carried Jackson into the house, kicking and screaming the entire way, hoping upon hope he would cheer up once we were inside.
Nope. When we walked into my niece’s birthday party, Jackson unleashed his loudest, most angry shrieks. He was unrelenting.
Within about two minutes I knew we couldn’t stay. After apologizing to everybody, and staying just long enough for my niece to open her present from us, Jackson and I got back into the car. My parents would drive Lily home later after the party.
And Jackson cried the whole way home.