Despite the fact it was really bedtime and we had already had a long day complete with library storytime and a quick trip to the pool...and no naps...we really wanted to go to the concert in the park to support our neighbor and our local park (they've never hosted a concert there before and we want them to do it again).
Get everyone dressed (somehow everyone was naked after dinner)...select proper transportation (stroller, bike, feet). Overall, things are going well. We didn't even think about bring anything to sit on...but that didn't matter since I only sat for minutes...the boys spent the time running the inflatable obstacle course...over and over.
And then it hit 8pm. Something happens to my kids at that hour. Whenever I let them stay up...watch a movie, out to dinner, concert, etc...all is great and then ding, dong...the spell is broken. The 2yo starts falling asleep. And the 4yo starts screaming (he wanted to go 1 more time, play at the park, ride in the stroller, ride his bike).
My basic strategy after an initial assessment, is to give them a reasonable choice...and then let them cry it out until they can realize that nothing is going to happen and they stop. There have been many time where I can be seen holding the hand of a screaming child as we walk through the zoo or grocery store. Or I will be standing patiently next to a child crying laid out on the floor of the mall or library. But, it works. They calm themselves down and then and talk to me about their desires (and I can explain why it didn't happen with that behavior).
Well, let me apologize to the entire park and our block...for he screamed the whole 2 blocks home...and until he literally dropped in his bed about 30mins later.
Its takes some deep breaths and extreme patience to endure the tantrum of a determined youngster...but I can do it.
(Hey, Katherine, I thought that might have been you and your little one at the concert...but my busy little ones kept me from saying hi...sorry)