It’s a moment we all know is inevitable. We dread it, and when it happens we are overwhelmed and mortified, even though we tell ourselves how utterly human and normal it is for our toddler to lose control of his emotions and have a total meltdown.
Toddlers have big feelings and very few ways to express them. Sometimes, they just lose it. It often happens in public. Which is exactly what was happening to one anonymous mother who was about to board a plane at Los Angeles International Airport.
From the Facebook post that told the tale:
“A toddler who looked to be eighteen or so months old was having a total meltdown, running between the seats kicking and screaming, then lying on the ground, refusing to board the plane (which was no going to Portland). His young mom, who was clearly pregnant and traveling alone with her son, became completely overwhelmed…she couldn’t pick him up because he was so upset, he kept running away from her, then lying down on the ground, kicking and screaming again. The mother finally sat down on the floor and put her head in her hands, with her kid next to her still having a meltdown, and started crying.”
Now, here’s where people have a choice. You can roll your eyes, pretend it would never happen to you, silently judge her, or start replaying the scenario for your followers on social media, complete with smartass quips.
Or, you can do this, and inspire a room full of people.
“The women in the terminal, there must have been six or seven of us, not women who knew each other, approached and surrounded her and the little boy and we knelt down and formed a circle around them. I sang ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’ to the little boy. One woman had an orange that she peeled, one woman had a little toy in her bag that she let the toddler play with, another woman gave the mom a bottle of water. Someone else helped the mom get the kid’s sippy cup out of her bag and give it to him.”
The child calmed down, the two of them boarded the plane, and the strangers who had come together to help dispersed back to their seats without any discussion.
It’s a beautiful story that is inspiring people to be helpers instead of judging. Because, let’s be honest – no matter how good of a mother you are, the next time it could totally happen to you.
The woman who wrote the post summed up her own thoughts about the experience like this:
“It occurred to me that a circle of women, with a mission, can save the world. I will never forget that moment.”