A Florida mother admitted to losing control while grocery shopping with her kids at Trader Joe’s as her toddler son went into a full-blown meltdown. To her surprise, the staff intervened — and it was all caught on camera.
Alexandra Seba, a 29-year-old mother-of-two, was shopping with her son and daughter at her local Trader Joe’s in Winter Park, Florida when she faced every parent’s grocery store nightmare. In front of everyone, her 18-month-old son Julian Sol Collet reached his breaking point and launched into a full-blown meltdown. As the toddler wailed in protest, all eyes were on the mom, and she knew it as she was faced with figuring out how best to handle the difficult situation.
The toddler’s tantrum was prompted by Julian’s desire to push his own cart after seeing his 3-year-old sister with her “big girl” cart. Initially, Julian wasn’t interested. He was content to be buckled in his mom’s cart, where he happily munched on some snacks. But, when the refreshments ran out, so did Julian’s patience with the grocery store trip. That’s when he wanted out, and he wanted to push his own cart around the store, just like his big sister.
With his mom reaching the checkout line and Julian not getting his way, he decided to let everyone know how displeased he was with the situation. “When we got to the checkout line, he was just fed up, he wanted to get out and push the cart, but I wasn’t letting him, so he threw a tantrum, he freaked out,” Alexandria recalled, according to Inside Edition. The mom had lost control, and she knew it.
“It’s actually quite terrifying, and you just hope people around you can giggle about it because we’re really not in control of our kids as much as we want to be,” Alexandria admitted, reflecting on what it’s like to be the parent with the child who decides to throw a tantrum in public. Other parents can relate, knowing how it feels to worry about what others are thinking as their kid is the one acting out. Luckily, the staff at Trader Joe’s seemed to understand this too.
To Alexandria’s utter surprise, multiple employees decided to step in after witnessing Julian’s breakdown. And, as quickly as Julian’s tantrum had begun, it was being effectively ended. “One of the employees there actually knows his name, Julian, so she started singing, ‘We love you, Ju!’ Then a couple of others joined in. It looked like choreography,” Alexandria said. “It was a super cool moment.”
And, it worked! With the staff jumping and singing around him, Julian’s tantrum was stopped in its tracks, leaving his mother breathing a sigh of relief. But, even better yet, it was all caught on camera, providing others a perfect example of how to respond to an unruly child and a mom who’s struggling to regain control.
Thanks to the staff at Trader Joe’s, Alexandra Seba’s weekly grocery store trip ended on a high note. “Sometimes, as moms, we are alone with our children, and we have to not get into their energy if they’re screaming or they’re throwing a tantrum. It can be really easy to get into that energy and just feel defeated,” she explained. “But if we can just know it’s okay, they’re just screaming, this isn’t about me, I’m totally okay and just laugh about it, I think that helps.”
Indeed, a public tantrum is something most parents have had the displeasure of experiencing at least once, and we never forget it. Luckily, Julian’s meltdown will stick with Alexandra for a different reason. She and her son were treated with compassion rather than greeted by judgmental glares. Kudos to the staff at Trader Joe’s for giving this mama a much needed helping hand. We should all remember them the next time we hear a kid wailing in public and have the urge to shoot them a sideways glance. The parent is feeling defeated enough without our “help.”