Had one of these today. It's been a while. I am proud to say... I won!
We were in the shoe store, in a hurry, we're late meeting friends, we need shoes for Trev, he has ony one pair and they're wet and muddy. Found some sandals... seemed appropriate, it was like 54 degrees today, or something.
Get in line, turns out we're third. The first person is returning like 10 pairs of shoes. (???) She has to fish for yet another receipt, it's taking a while. Trev is in his socks, and there is a space of 15feet by 10 feet or so of blank tile, nothing around, except wide open slippery tile.
Trev starts "Woh, I'm slipping, wo-o-oh", having fun. I laughed a bit at his antics, asking him if he's having fun. He's slipping, and sliding deliberately, NOT hollering, but using a very decent appropriate-level volume of voice. Another two minutes of waiting and sliding goes by. Keep in mind that we're on our way to play in the park on this gorgeous seems-like-spring day. The people in front of us are an elderly lady (not ancient, but grandma-ish) and another, I presume her daughter, another grandma. I glance at them from time to time to gauge their feelings about the goings on. Neither is apparently taking any delight in a little five-year-old boy enjoying himself and being silly in the shoe store. The younger of the two gets on her phone, I ask Trev to come to me, and say something about "I can see that you're having a great time, will you lower your voice just a bit, this lady is on the phone?" I didn't want them to think us rude. Again, he was absolutely not shouting, but I was asking now that he whisper.
The lady gets off the phone, and the older one is like "Ahem. Should we just come back? Your father is going to be mad", and the other one is saying "No, we're here, let's just get them," and Trev continutes on his merry way.
All of a sudden the older lady just bursted forth with "Will You Stop Running Around!?! You're Driving Me Crazy!" Shouts it, actually.
Trev complains (in full hearing, of course, we're all right there), "That old lady won't let me play! She's driving Me crazy."
"Yup." said I. "Sounds to me like you're driving Each Other crazy."
He didn't stop, but he did slow down, it's a more standing in place slidey-thing now.
He continued to complain about her a couple more times, I continued to let him be free to express himself, and to let her be free to choose to disapprove, and to form a "Oh! You wouldn't Believe what happened in the store!"... there was this horrible lady, she had this awful child, what is this world coming to? story in her head.
At first I was thinking of all the times I'm thoroughly annoyed in the grocery or whatever store, at the obnoxious guy shouting into his cell phone, or at the checker that Screams over the intercom "Child Apparell, Line One!" or whatever. Do I shout at them? Nope. Do I want to? Oh, yes. I may grumble how my nerves are being rubbed raw, or say "I gotta get out of here!" but I'd not attack the person. It's my problem, not theirs!
And then I almost felt bad, just because I thought "Well, this lady is going to be spreading venom around all day, and that's not making the world a better place." Then reality kicked in, and I refused to take responsibility for her feelings and judgments, especially since I have the wisdom to know that you cannot please all the people all the time, and being responsible for others emotions is definitely something I'm moving away from.
It was now her turn (it had been maybe 5 minutes?), and she apologized to the clerk for shouting in her store (showing her good manners, I suppose!) and said that she had a grumpy husband at home and "It's not Your fault." to the clerk.
We then paid for our shoes, the clerk says "Sorry it took so long, and about everything", and I smiled (still cheerful) and said "No problem."
We skipped out of the store, and went to Michael's to get our Art & Craft Circle box, and headed to our friends' home.
The rest of the afternoon was very nice, aside from a moment of dissention between Trev and Eden over the ship's helm. Trev also had a moment of dragging down sharks that did not want to be sharks, but we straightened that out quick enough. ("Everyone has the right to be safe, happy, and free.")
Worn out on the way home, but I believe harmony has been restored, and all is well on this frontier.
How did I win my high noon (er... 11am) showdown you ask? Well, I didn't cave, cower, blanche, or flinch. I did not condemn my son, I did not condemn the woman (to him), I totally let everyone handle themselves as they needed, and let happen what may. (I'd not have allowed her to abuse him, or him her, for that matter.) But the thing is.... I didn't even get upset or nervous over it. I left knowing I handled the situation perfectly, and that each was free to make their own peace -or not- with it.
(grin) I think I handled it so well that Trev may not even have a very lasting memory of it! It just didn't register as a big deal.
So I win!