Q of the Week : How do you handle public tantrums?

Yesterday we went to the circus.  We had a great time, and I’ll post more about it later today!  The part that was hard was leaving, of course.  Tired kids, hopped up on cotton candy and soda, aren’t the easiest to handle.

I should have seen it coming.  As Fynn got more tired, he started fixating on the cheap-o light sabers that some of the kids in the audience were waving around.  He kept asking for one, and I kept referring to the one I had just bought him the day before, at the flea market.  I paid 50 cents, and wasn’t about to shell out $10 for one that (experience talking) would break before we got it home.  I didn’t really have the money anyway. 

After navigating the post-show bathroom trip (and the obligatory pants-changing for my never-will-be-potty-trained-but-that’s-another-post son) we walked past the souvenir booth.  To be fair I could have escaped it entirely, but thought there would be some cheap souvenir kind of thing that they’d all latch onto.  Apparently foam clown noses just can’t compete with glowing blue lightsabers … and yes, I should have known better!  Douglas settled for a foam nose, G (his friend) decided nothing was that interesting, and Fynn went ballistic when I denied the light saber.  Reasoning was out of the question, and I just had to chase him down (several times) and carry him out kicking and screaming, in a mostly empty lobby full of security and stragglers.  I just love a good audience.

Lincoln Center has a great fountain show at night … He eventually calmed down outside, after losing some priviledges and breathing fresh air, and got to run around the very cool fountain for a bit before heading home, on my shoulders, via the subway.

How do you handle public (or private for that matter) tantrums?  Any special tricks?  I’d love to have a few more ideas for the next time it happens.  At least this time I managed to remain somewhat amused, and never lost my own cool, which happens more than I’d like to admit.  This mama is working on staying sane, and tantrums and whining aren’t helping!