Right now, I feel a little guilty about times when I may have given a sideward glance toward a mother dealing with a child in the middle of a tantrum. I'm going to admit it-before parenthood there were times I remember thinking, "Well if she'd just speak nicer", "Maybe the child just needs redirected". Oh, the bliss of ignorance that comes before having children! The greatest advice I ever received before having a child was "never say never". Anyway, let me tell you about this extreme tantrum day. All week I'd looked forward to attending a local Pow Wow. Usually, I really enjoy taking my daughter to events like these. Today, I had approximately 1 minute of peace before a little monster replaced my usual sweet child. In 2 years we have never had a day as bad as this one. First, I had to struggle to keep her out of the arena where the dancers were. She just could not understand why she could not go out there and dance with them. A sly one she is though! She decided to run under the bleachers to areas I could not run fast under or risk banging my head. Finally, I got ahold of her and she proceeded to scream, punch, and kick. I was SO embarrassed. I spent one hour trying to calm her down and enjoy myself. The second hour was merely spent trying to get out of the park! This little 2 year old suddenly had the strength of a grown man, lol. I haven't run as much in a day...I think since I was probably her age. If she were simply running and giggling that would be one thing...but she was screaming instead. I spent 2 hours of my heart beating as fast as it is possible of beating due to running so hard and much, sweat rolling down my face, and yes I resorted to begging a 2 year old to walk instead of run. Silly me, decided not to bring the stroller today. WRONG decision. I should probably mention my daughter is in the 95th percentile for both weight and height so she is not very easily held. Also I had surgery on my stomach less than 3 weeks ago and am not supposed to be carrying more than 15 pounds. Bad planning on my part. Anyway, as I was running up a hill near crying--I suddently experienced a pang of guilt for all the negative judgements I have had of parents in the past. You see, I have a child that LOVES stores, restaurants, and people so she usually isn't one to have public temper tantrums. Usually she is the giggling happy child you see in public. We have only had one other day similiar to this one, which occured during a company holiday brunch. I wonder-is it the large number of people that causes this meltdown for her? I should add that I am also a therapist and work with children. I was mortified to think a parent I've guided in discipline procedures would see this! Certainly we've had minor tantrums but never one that lasted 2+ hours straight!!Anyway, it was a great lesson on judging others. The next time I'm at the store and hear a screaming child and a mother who has lost her patience I'm going to be a lot less likely to think, "Wow, she needs to learn redirection". Some days a child is going to be...well...a child. Oh, and I would like to formally apologize to all the mother's who I thought simply were not consistently applying time-out and other methods for them to work. Geez, every day in parenting is a new learning experience.