In this case, PDA stands for “Public Discipline Anxiety”.
Let’s just say, hypothetically of course, that you get a hankering for a cheeseburger. You call up a few friends for a spontaneous lunch at a favorite neighborhood burger joint and upon arrival the waitress seats you right smack dab in the middle of the dining room. You strategically position yourself on a corner end of the table so that both of your high-chaired babies are safely within reach. You hit up the waiter for a couple of straws per kid to serve as make shift drum sticks, and just as you begin settle in to peruse the lunch specials to satisfy your serious red meat craving, the inevitable happens. Here it comes. The meltdown of all meltdowns. Whether he lost his drumstick or his shoe fell off or you ordered cranberry juice when what he really wanted was milk…. whatever the infraction, your toddler begins to throw the epic fit of the century. Tear streaming, straw throwing, broken record demanding… you can tell this one is going to be a chart topper. You immediately feel the eyes of the other patrons beginning to bore a hole through you head who are not doubt thinking one thing: ” Can’t you shut that kid up?!” You quickly assess that your mommy instincts are somewhat lacking in the crisis of the moment. Do you:
a.) give into whatever he demands so to spare yourself and those around you from having a regrettable mealtime experience?
b.) ignore your child’s fit and therefore send the message to everyone within a 10 foot radius that they darn well better just deal with it?
c.) throw a fit yourself and mutter something about payback for all the times you gave other helpless parents that look in all your days of blissful pre-child ignorance?
d.) remove the fitting child from the scene, take him into the public bathroom or out to the parking lot and put the fear of God in him with that classic mommy line, “if you cry like that again, I’ll give you something to cry about”?
e.) stay home
Now I know this has never happened to you. But imagine with me that it did. Which option would you choose? Or better yet, what do you have in your mommy bag of tricks that you can pass along to the rest of us? Oh please…. do tell!