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Anne Heche’s Blog: Yes, That Was My Child Screaming ‘I Hate This Toy!’

04/08/2013 at 08:00 PM ET

Anne Heche Blog I Hate This Toy
At work with mom – Courtesy Anne Heche

Thanks for welcoming our celebrity blogger, Anne Heche!

Best known for her roles on Men in Trees and Hung, the actress, 43, also starred in Return to Paradise, Six Days Seven Nights, Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog.

She appeared in That’s What She Said, and will star in NBC’s upcoming comedy Save Me, and recently launched Tickle Time, a line of mineral powder sunblock for kids.

Heche is “forever engaged” to James Tupper and is mom to two sons: Atlas, 4, and Homer, 11.

She can be found on Facebook as well as Twitter @AnneHeche.

In her latest blog, Heche tackles a public temper tantrum — and support from another mother gets her through.

I’m back. I had to go away to shoot 12 episodes of television for a new NBC comedy called Save Me and had a difficult time finding time to use the restroom, let alone write a blog. I wanted to! Believe me. I thought about it at least every other day and started many.

“Here I am on the Sony lot, it is my first day…” one began. “Producing, acting and mommying, wow! Not the easiest of all jobs!” Another, “Atlas and Homer came to the Sony rainbow today, Hurrah!…” yet another, but the sentences would blink on my laptop, beckoning me every time I walked into my trailer, until finally I realized I needed to wait until I had stopped shooting to be able to focus.

So today, here I am — I have stopped working on Save Me, at least for the moment.

Like any mother who works, my first priority when I stop is my kids. What can I do for them? Where can I take them? What can we play? Will they ever forgive me? Is therapy in their future? No! I swear, if the amount of time I take worrying was spent exercising, I’d have a much tighter you-know-what.

“Is Daddy picking me up today?” Atlas asked. “I am picking you up today!” I answered with great delight. “No, not you Mommy,” he replied, deadpan. I simply had to be kidding. I thought he may have even smirked at me and whispered in his teacher’s ear, “Mommy’s being silly today, she said she was going to pick me up!”

I wheeled out my bike hours before pick-up, putting email responsibilities, phone sheets, yearbook ads, showers and breakfast — even blog deadlines — on hold to be sure I was ready to pick Atlas up, Mommy-style. I have a totally cool Linus bike in white and Attie rides comfortably on the back.

I grabbed his sparkling yellow helmet, dangled it off the bars and centered the bike on our front walk so I could see it out the window of my office, reminding me of my very special moment at 3 p.m. when I would see my boy’s face light up. “Mommy’s here! She’s really here!”

I sat down to work with a very specific deadline — 2:45 on the road time to get air if I need it and manage long traffic lights without frustration (school is very close). I finished the last of the drop and drags on Homer’s yearbook ad, did a quick spellcheck and SEND! (I love when you can check something off the mental to-do list!) It was all going amazingly according to plan.

Missions accomplished, I set off on my ride, feelin’ groovy. The wind in my hair, air in my tires, a couple minutes to spare and SHAZAM! It worked: Attie was beaming — Mommy had made it. He was so excited to ride on the bike, he practically tackled me on the sidewalk: “Put on my helmet, Mommy!” We navigated the streets like pros.

Anne Heche Blog I Hate This Toy
And we’re off – Courtesy Anne Heche

“Are you hungry, Attie? Want to grab a hot dog?” I asked. He was so happy and I felt great, riding with my boy, humming a tune, on our way to our favorite deli on Larchmont Blvd. As we sat down to eat our perfectly cooked hot dogs, complete with ketchup and gooey white buns, we clinked our bubbly waters. “Cheers, Mom. I’m having a great day. You’re so pretty.”

Oh no! Not a cute little boy compliment! I’m a total sucker for those! “I have an idea, Mommy,” Atlas proclaimed, so cheerful and cute, so clearly knowing he’s won me over with one simple compliment. “Let’s go to the toy store after this! Can we Mommy?!” And that’s when it happened: THE MOMMY MISTAKE! “Yes!” I blurted, “Yes, honey that’s a perfect idea!”

And it was. All the way to the toy store, inside the toy store and six inches outside the toy store where Mommy unwrapped, detangled and carefully handed Attie the toy that he had picked out for himself.

Now, when Attie is upset, his face starts to get red before actual sounds come out. Gradually he manages to emit sputters, umphs and crazy-hot emotional spits which erupt as a precursor to his eventual verbal declaration.

Apparently a skate-boarding-parachute-guy was NOT the toy that Atlas had hoped for. The fit began with not wanting the skateboard part to be attached to the guy part (it was, of course, soldered to his legs) and then the fury traveled its way up the body of skateboard guy to the parachute part, that was apparently NOT supposed to be connected to the guy AT ALL — shoulders, head or otherwise. Attie set off immediately to disconnect ALL parts.

Now mind you, Atlas most likely has never heard of a parachute, he hasn’t any idea what a parachute can do, let alone be able to conceive the benefit to having one tied to a toy, but he was not about to give me the time of day to explain it. The second “Attie, wait — the parachute — that’s the fun –” came out of my mouth, he was already in hysterics, pulling and tugging the poor plastic man in an absolute fit, screaming, “I hate this toy!”

Yes, all of Larchmont was listening. “I don’t want this toy, I want another toy!” he cried.

Okay, so … Mommy conundrum: Do I escape this tantrum easily and without much embarrassment by allowing my newly-turned 4-year-old to bully and manipulate me into getting him another toy (knowing full well it would not secure happiness)? Or do I do the appropriate thing and try to calmly pry him off the sidewalk, where he is now balled up, yelling that he wants the toy store to be his “new home” and attempt to parent him with discipline?

This is a tough one. I don’t like strangers to be staring at me, especially not while I anticipate my own internal decisions of motherhood with a snotty-nosed fit-fest happening in a corner on the sidewalk.

Anne Heche Blog I Hate This Toy
My boys – Courtesy Anne Heche

Atlas is now adamantly refusing to go home with me, he has chucked his helmet into the street and has his arms folded on his chest like a grandpa who just lost his savings at the Kentucky Derby.

I chose discipline. Self, that is. “Don’t cave, Anne,” I told myself over and over as I witnessed a groovy 20-something, clearly childless couple, wonder out loud, “Is that kid … lost?” And then catch themselves when I shook my head, “No, not lost, just with me…” and then wanted to scream, “Mommy attempting to parent correctly!” But I didn’t. It was written all over me. I was trying to be strong, but felt like a total and complete loser.

The devil really comes into play in these moments, for me anyway. “Just get him another damn toy, woman! What’s your GD problem?! Your kid is crouching in the corner on a dirty sidewalk refusing to go home with you, he obviously hates you!” I think. But I couldn’t do it.

I managed to muster enough self-worth and will to know that a spoiled child is not what I wanted for Atlas’ life even more than I didn’t want it for mine. I remembered the wise words of a kind grandmother who once told me, “If you don’t control them at an early age, they will come to control you.”

I leapt to attention. “You’re getting on this bike Atlas Tupper, with your help or with my muscle. I’m stronger than you and I WILL make it happen,” I said. He fought me the whole time, legs and elbows, creating much more of a scene than I would like to admit or repeat. EVER.

And then a miracle happened: A beautiful woman who had avoided us on the sidewalk by taking the street, caught my eye just as Atlas was getting buckled in — and she winked at me. Who was she? ANOTHER MOTHER! That’s who. “She gets it,” I thought. She gave me a thumbs-up and a smile and was on her way. SHE APPROVES!

Atlas fell asleep within 30 seconds of the ride home. Of course. But this day, I had a renewed hope. A support system I never realized I have: Mommies are always out there, surrounding us and encouraging us, giving us strength and a wink when we need it most. We can trust it.

Look around — we are always there, witnessing and thanking you for being strong, parenting against all odds. You fighting the good fight for our children and their future as good, caring, loving citizens, and that’s what counts.

When Atlas lifted his head from my back, he noticed the parachute. “Look, Mommy, the parachute caught the wind, he’s flying!” As he ran to the front door he was beaming, shouting, “Daddy, daddy! I got a new toy today!”

– Anne Heche

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Showing 64 comments

Audra on

I was at Target one day in the check out when my son, 2 at the time, started touching the belt and scanner at the register. I bent down and said to him “Is that yours? Do you own that?” He blinked and said “No mama.” I said “Ok, we don’t touch.” With a smile.

The older lady at the register in front of us smiled and said under her breath “what a good mom.” I said “I’m sorry?” just b/c I was seriously shocked and confused! LOL! She said to me “You’re a really good mom. Keep it up.”

It still makes me tear up thinking of this stranger’s pat on the back and support!

I think we all need that support from one another! It’s so amazing when it’s recieved!!

lisa on

LOVED this. i have a 3 yr old boy so i’ve been there too! whoever that lady was that winked at you, what an angel! i nearly teared up reading that part. and good for you anne! stick to your guns and rock on momma!

HC on

This is so true! My son has had a few good ones in public and it’s always insanely embarrassing, but the last one he had was at a mall and I was ushering him out the door before he could really kick it all the way up and just as I was leaving another woman was coming in. She didn’t have any children with her, but she just gave me this knowing little smile and I wanted to hug and kiss her. It made me feel SO much better.

I hate it when people stare at you like you’re a horrible person because your kid is being a kid. Tantrums usually happen when parents are being good parents and the kid is not happy about it.

ecl on

I agree that moms should support one another, but I always get a little offended when people watch me do something and then tell me that I’m a good mom. I always think, so if I did something you disagreed with, you’d be sitting there thinking I’m a BAD mom?! Maybe I can parent differently than you expect and still be a good mom, ever thought of that?

Heather on

This is one of the best and most relatable blog posts I have read from the celebrity parents! I so understand that inner turmoil of how to deal with discipline in the public eye. I have had many good hearted moms give me a calming nod or smile and I try to do the same, who else has our back better than a fellow mom?

reagan on

Until I had my kids (my middle is unbelievably strong-willed) I was one of those pucker-lipped women standing in line at Tarjay wondering why the kid in front of me was screaming his head off and why his parent wasn’t ‘parenting.’

Yeah. Over that. Way, way over that.

It happens to all of us and even ‘stars’ worry that they’re parenting correctly. I’ve been giving ‘thumbs up’ to moms (and dads) ever since my very own kids started having Tarjay Tantrums.

julie on

I think the only time I have stared at another parent was when these little boys who had racing around the store and making havoc collided with an older lady . she had to be about 84 and had a cane. Mom said nothing no apology or are you OK to the lady. I realize she may have been too embarrassed to speak but that has been the only time I’ve stared.

dawndee on

I love your blog! I’m so glad you’re back with us :-)

Great topic, and as a parent to a soon-to-be 5 year old girl, I completely understand. Kids at this age to push back & test limits. I had to laugh when you told Atlas he had a choice, easy way or the hard way to get on the bike LOL!!!! I do that all the time. I wrestle with the choice also, the same as you do/did. There are more of us disciplinarian mom’s out there than you think, and it’s always nice to see one! Good job raising great kids.

bekah on

Just wanted to say , as someone who works with kids for a living, a big thank you to all the moms and dads to out there doing their job at home. Handling the tantrums, giving limits and boundaries and sticking to them, and teaching manners. I only have your kids maybe 8 hours a day,but my time with them is made much easier by what you teach at home.

Lisa on

Awesome job not caving into the temper tantrum! I love it when a mom does the right thing by standing her ground and ultimately raising the munchkin right.

STEPHANIE on

I have a 4 year old son and he nearly threw a tantrum at the checkout line at Target, because he wanted a small Lego’s toy that was hanging at the front register.

I told him that the toy was for kids 5 & older, so I asked him how old he was and he said 4, to which I replied exactly that means this toy is not for you and surprisingly that was the end of that. The lady behind me said, “What a good mom you are, most parents don’t even look at the age recommendations for their kids toys.” I thanked her because it made me feel good about my parenting skills.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but definitely the most rewarding!!!

maggiemai on

Loved this….these kinds of things don’t just happen to small kids….I was shopping with my teenager (she’s 25 now) when she became very disrespectful and said something rude to me in a horrible voice…I rebuffed her right there for all to hear, but was mortified that the whole store heard it, when a woman came up to me and said “Good for you”!!! I felt good for a week after!

It was a lesson for me and for my teenager who really caught hell in the car!

Kristi on

I related to this article on many levels. First the excitement on your part of having a fun afternoon with your son, only to have it end in a less than desirable way! We Moms (and Dads) want to have fun too you know. Believe it or not, we don’t always want to be disciplining.

When my son decides to put on a public show, it’s like I need to put on blinders and focus on my reaction instead of wondering what strangers around me are thinking. And that is SO hard to do. I always find myself thinking about it later and the things I would’ve changed about my reaction. Sometimes it’s a “I’m proud of me for doing that” or sometimes a “well, I maybe shouldn’t have done or said that…” But we’re only human, right?!

Your blog made me laugh at every paragraph. Thanks for sharing!

And so typical of him to actually end up thinking the toy was cool in the end! Even after the tantrums, we love them more than anything in the world!

Anonymous on

My oldest was a breeze in the store. He never had a tantrum ever and my friends were so jealous. I think they channeled their jealously into my oldest who was the queen of tantrums for a while. It happens even to the strongest parents. It’s all in how you handle it. My youngest was removed immediately from a situation and if I picked her up she knew exactly why we were leaving. No spankings, just “the look.” It almost always calmed her down and if that didn’t work, I would find the nearest shoe aisle and she was in heaven. ha

Nicole on

Thank you Anne for this blog. One of the most beautiful things about “mommyhood” is the support of fellow mommies. I could not do it without their wisdom, strength and help.

Keep up the great work!

Colleen on

LOVE when I hear/see/read about parents doing their job! Parents are not friends; it is their job to set boundaries, give consequences, and say “No.” at times. As a nanny, I often have parents tell me that their kids behave so much better for other people. This is not “just because.” It is because other people follow through and create boundaries which all too often parents don’t do because of guilt.

robinepowell on

I have a cousin, who could benefit from this advice, assuming she would actually listen, lol! She has a 3 1/2 daughter and a 2 1/2 year old son and she caves and so does her mother at times, just to avoid the screaming and crying that’s a constant in their house.

bec215 on

As a non-parent raised in just this manner,i say thank you to all parents who don’t take the easy way out. I always wonder what happens to children raised on appeasement when they get a job or are in college and they can’t throw that tantrum and get what they want.

What makes ME stare is a parent who idly tells a misbehaving child “don’t do that” repeatedly while never looking away from their phone or the rack of shirts they’re browsing… Thumbs up to all of you who sally forth through the tantrums!

Karen on

Been there, done that. Still doing it now and then. But it’s amazing what a little nod or smile or word of encouragement can do for your spirit when those challenges occur.

I remember once my son had a total freakout at a grocery store. Had never done it before, has never been SO obnoxious since. I was doing my best to handle it as the experts would advise, I had to leave – giving my full cart to a bag boy. As I was leaving with my screaming ball of boy, a woman smiled at me and said, “And we thought we were supposed to love every minute of parenting! Hah!”

I just had to laugh. But those few seconds of compassion and empathy REALLY mattered!

Dawn on

Holy sh*t, Anne. Been there, done that re: the snotty-nosed fit-fest . I salute your strength. *clink*

Alissa on

Thanks Anne! This is a great article and I appreciate your honesty. Motherhood is no easy road and doing the right thing for your child can be even more difficult.

Courtney on

I love this and totally agree. I remember one day when I got down to eye level with my then three year old to explain to her why what she was doing was wrong in the grocery store. I was embarrassed by her behavior and sure that everyone was staring at us.

An elderly lady walked over to me and said “I just noticed the way you got down to eye level with her to talk to her. I never thought of doing that when I was raising my kids. Watching you do that the way she responded was so wonderful. You’re doing a good job.” I was SO grateful for the words of encouragement during a trying moment from a stranger.

Um on

Ecl, you get offended when ppl give you an obviously well meaning compliment?

Another mother on

I was bawling at the end of this… pregnancy hormones.

Marcia on

Any parent who says their kid hasn’t thrown a tantrum is either lying or has amnesia.

Jennifer on

Been there more times then my medication will permit to revisit.

Cami on

After reading a lot of these post, I’m starting to think that target is the problem! All of our kids throw tantrums in target!!! Lol, just kidding!

On a serious note, I also struggle with kids/tantrums. How is the right way to handle, etc…

We can only do our best, and support each other! I always try to show sympathy to others when I see it happen, because the next time it could, and probably will be me!

Anonymous on

Way to go, Anne!!!!!!!!!! That’s by far the hardest thing to do…not to give in to end the tantrum :)

Natalie on

Great story! And the picture of you and Atlas on the bike is too cute — just want to make sure that you also wear your bike helmet. With two boys aged 10 & 12, I no longer can ‘opt out’ of a helmet or they want to “opt out” too. There goes the hair! :)

Frances on

Great blog: very entertaining and informative. But, Ms. Heche, in addition to keeping your sons safe with their bike helmets, please keep yourself safe for them by wearing one, too!

Ana on

“Kids being kids”? “Trying to be good parents”? That’s funny how kids are being raised nowadays!

My kid who is four years old threw his first and last tantrum one day at the mall. A little spanking on his bottom solved the problem, not only immediately, but once for all. Now, the look is enough to make him stop. That was the only time I had to do it.

I strongly believe that today’s kids lack discipline and a little spanking from time to time. That’s why we have kids being really obnoxious and rude to adults. They do not respect anyone and fear no one. You have to discipline them when they are very young or it will be too late. Parents do not spank their kids when they should and for that their kids will beat them up one day.

Hera on

Great blog Anne. I’m an avid bicyclist and was happy you make your son wear a helmet, but you need to wear one too and set an example for your children.

Michelle on

Your child was having a hard time not giving you one.

I’ve been there with my kids and myself. Buyers remorse when you open the package. I take things back for myself and for them as well.

“I’m so sorry you were disappointed son. ….I know how upsetting disappointment can be…..Lets see if there is something in the store you would like to keep” We know from experience how much junk is available in the toy department. We talk about what the toys do and he asks if I think it was made well…he learned the hard way so much of it is not.

Empathy goes so far with tiny feelings that bring them to irrational behavior. They are relatively new to being earth side and have a lot left to figure out. Me too after 31 years.

Michelle on

Stephanie – Get your boy some Legos. Fast! My 2 year old builds with the 8 and up Legos and does a fantastic job. He also plays a
very close version of mancala (marble game) uses a knife and fork at dinner. Handles a hammer and nails (but prefers ice) like a pro. The list goes on. All under adult supervision. Which is what the box should suggest.

Michelle on

Ana

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear if punishment. -Gandhi

Claire on

Love love love Anne and her blogs! She seems like a great mom and I’m glad she didn’t cave in to avoid the tantrum.

One nugget to think about though: I would not only not have bought another toy, I would’ve tossed or returned the first one and gone home with nothing. We all know not to give in to tantrums but to allow him to keep the toy after he was so ungracious and rude?! No way!

I’m sure many people think this is too harsh but you only have to do those sorts of things once or twice. They learn quickly what behavior is allowed and not allowed.

Cj on

Totally agree Um, it’s a compliment and move on don’t think it to death!

American Mom on

When I was pregnant with my first child and just twenty years old, my husband and I were on a short road trip and stopped at a restaurant with a play area for children.

There sat a very forlorn mother who was dealing with two out of control kids-not just wild but disrespectful to her, too. They made a huge mess, refused to come when called, made her chase them down while she repeatedly made idle threats of punishment that never materialized. She was friendly when she noticed my pregnant belly & said to me, “This will be you soon!” I was too polite to say this but thought, “No, it most certainly won’t!”- and it hasn’t!

I discipline my children! At home or in public, it’s the same. We are very loving, and that is the very basis of discipline. My three children respect and obey me absolutely. I knew at that moment (and before, really) what kind of parent I wanted to be and have never wavered from that. The lack of respect and discipline in children today is the root of a host of social ills. If you love your kids, you will raise them right- and that most certainly includes discipline.

Good for you, Anne!

Kathy on

Love the post Anne! …been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!

There’s a stage that my daughter went through where no matter what time outs/discipline she had, she didnt care. a good friend recommended taking away her toys/books/art supplies etc. since the time outs weren’t as effective anymore. It seemed cruel, but then I realized that when she’s older, I may be taking away the car/cell phone etc., so it’s good to start now.

It took a while for her to ‘get it’ and for it to be successful, but now that it does work, I’m very grateful. It’s so hard to parent because what works and is appropriate one minute, may not work the next. It’s a constant game of flux.

One particularly memorable day when my daughter had a temper tantrum at the (beginning of the) store, I continued to walk around with her getting my groceries, because I needed them and I figured that any parent there would understand, and quite frankly, I didn’t care about the thoughts or reactions from other people on that day. I needed to get groceries, and that was that.

She yelled, screamed and cried throughout the ENTIRE store, but at least she was still moving and following me (small victories, right?), I physically moved her when she was in people’s way, and we stayed within the same aisle the whole time so although we might have been a few meters apart, we were always with eye contact.

This experience wore me to the bone, until I finally got to the frozen food (last) aisle, and a sweet older woman mentioned what a good job I was doing as a mom, at taking care of her and staying calm during a very stressful situation. It’s so incredible to have someone be that kind. It can keep you going for days!

lbgage on

What a great blog. I’ve been thru the temper tantrums with my children and now with my grandchildren. I think we all fear embarrassment at these times because of course our children are howling and throwing themselves around in front of perfect strangers. I think the trick is to mentally blank out everyone that is around you except the little one who is having the tantrum/hysterics.

We’ve all had to deal with this behavior. I teach high school and I can tell you that so very many of my students have been ruined by parents not setting boundaries and then sticking to these boundaries and expectations. Thanks for sharing.

Daddy on

Too many times I have wondered, am I doing the right thing by not giving in? Every time I tell myself, yes, yes I am. Too many kids are given everything they want and all they end up being is bitter, selfish adults who can’t understand why the rest of the world won’t bow down to them the way mommy and daddy did.

Good job Anne. Keep it up.

Jenn on

I soooooo needed to read this…dealing with a 4-year old boy myself. Sometimes I get so discouraged because he’s trying to bully us/friends/teachers into getting his way (gets his stubbornness from me). Most of the time I remain firm, strong, but I too sometimes give in because it’s easier. Consistency is key, and I needed this reminder. Thank you!

mary on

Unless im at a really nice restaurant and there is a screaming kid, seeing kids having tantrums do not faze me anymore. Been there, done that.

Us moms do have to stick together. You just know when moms or dads understand. They don’t flinch when going by you. They don’t stare or say something that makes you want to punch that person LOL.

Good for her for sticking to her guns and wrestling with the kid than giving in. What a great mom she seems to be.

BBB on

As a person who doesn’t have kids here’s what I think when I see and hear a kid having a tantrum: If the parent is just letting them whine and cry and be a menace WITHOUT any form of parenting then it’s definitely annoying (i.e. oh he’ll just tire himself out in 10 minutes so I’ll let him cry bloody murder until then and just do nothing). What Anne did was tell him what was going to happen and make it happen despite his whining–that is totally fine and I don’t judge any parents for their child’s behavior during that time.

That said, I hate to see parents who snap at their children, use mean tones, or physically yank their kids. Most of the time it’s completely unwarranted. Honestly, I think some of these parents are bitter and angry about something else and then the kid does something and they use them as a scapegoat to unleash the anger. It makes me cringe. Talk to your kids with some respect and like they’re human beings, not like they’re subhuman.

Anonymous on

The older my kids get (now 9 & 11) the more I see parents of younger kids doing the things I did, especially running out of somewhere with a slightly crying baby… I always did that and now I think, its no big deal, babies cry and if they’re not yours you barely notice. Full on cry its nice to take them out though!

ERICA2 on

Nothing a good old-fashion A$$ whooping wouldn’t have cured…Ana I’m glad someone finally mentioned this “Spare the rod spoil the child!”…I tried my mother one time and it didn’t happen again when my butt became acquainted with the belt and to this day we are the best of friends…Michelle please with the Ghandi mumbo jumbo…Claire totally agree Atlas was beyond rude and would have left the store empty-handed that day with a sore butt…Parents need to grow some balls and refuse to reward BAD behavior or keep their brats at home and quit ruining the ambiance for the rest of us!

Nicole on

Loved this. I am a young mother of two soon to be three children. They melt down in the WORST places imaginable! I too have had the judgmental looks from people who must never had a child and the reassuring looks from the other mothers who just ‘get it’. We as mothers and parents need to remember that sometimes a parent needs the reassurance that they are doing it right in a society where people are most likely to judge.

ceecee on

Good job. No kids, just nieces and nephews. When one niece was 4 she kept hitting her brother and I gave her a warning. One more time and you’re going to bed. Of course she hit him again and now I’m in the hot seat. Follow through (which her mother would have done) or never babysit again. She had a fit but I got her kicking and screaming into bed. Soon after she was sleep and she woke up in a much better mood. I get that you have to endure the hard part and trust me, most sane people get that too, parents or not. Way to work through your insecurities.

Lauren on

It’s always so helpful to hear that other parents are going through the same struggles as you. I have three children 5, 3 and 7 months and Lord knows I have been there with the tantrums. I stopped judging when I finally became a parent and learned the hard way about how kids can behave. the people that give you bad looks are almost always the ones that don’t have kids so theres no point taking offense to it.

Whenever I am in a store and I hear another child throwing a fit I always say a prayer in my head to help the parent be strong and make it through. Parenting is tough work – we all need a little help sometimes!

Claire on

Thank you, Anne! Mothering is so hard sometimes because all I want to do is the right thing for my son and it’s so nice to know other mothers go through the same battles and that we are there for each other. Support is key to getting through the tough times of raising a good, happy, loving, considerate, respectful, etc person.

Laura on

My 2.5 year old had a nice public meltdown this morning at the mall. I wish someone had been there to give me a wink and a thumbs up. Reading this though reminds me that I am not on my own and my kid is not the only one to through a meltdown in public. It is not always easy to stick to our guns as parents, but I think that it makes a big difference down the line.

Izzy on

I can so totally relate! Good for her for doing what she did. It’s hard enough to be judged when you’re just a “regular” mom but when you’re a celebrity mom, I’m sure it’s worse! Kudos to all moms out there!

Anonymous on

All I can say is…good job!

launchingpad on

if she would like to remain the mother of those two boys, she might want to wear a helmet when she’s biking.

Mary on

Most of us who have toddlers, or who have had toddlers in the past, understand this is what they do sometimes. She handled it well, not caving in.

Andrea on

I totally can relate..I have a 4 and 2 year old..and how cool..no nanny raising her kids!!

m on

You explain to them, screaming and all, that he can’t get his way by throwing a fit. You then march him right out of the toy store and home. If he want march, you pick him up, kicking or not and go home.

I had this issue with my daughter when she turned 4. I would tell her that she was going to get a time out if she didn’t stop and I would leave the grocery store (with my cart full) with her under my arm, if necessary and put her in her car seat for a time out. She would kick and scream in the car seat for 2 or 3 minutes but she would stop. I only had to do that a couple of times and then she got over and started listening because she knew that I meant business. You have to show your kids who’s in charge or they’ll be in charge and then they don’t grow up to be kind people.

I see moms and dads all the time who just let their kids scream and cry in the grocery store. Why? Why punish the rest of us? Take your kid outside for a time out.

Maria on

I realize I’m a wee bit late on this post, but I just wanted to say that I truly enjoyed reading this blog entry. I have three kids, and my two older children, while very stubborn, were never ones to cause scenes or act out in public.

However, my youngest (who also happens to be a 4 year old boy) does not hesitate to cause a scene. I can relate to this post 110% because it is *exactly* what my youngest son would do, even running inside and exclaiming to Daddy about the new toy he got!! I discipline him just as much as I disciplined my older two children, but with him it’s like he just doesn’t pay any attention to it sometimes.

Kudos to you Ms. Heche for not giving in and buying your son another new toy. I’m sure it was very difficult for you (having been in your shoes myself), but in my humble opinion, I think you did the right thing for both of you. I love what your grandmother told you; those are very wise words, thank you for sharing.

As one mother to another, I hope you and your family have a great Friday full of fun and laughter, and not temper tantrums and screaming ;-). Your sons are lucky to have such a loving and caring Mom. Take care!

marion on

so if they tip over on the bike, boy will be OK but Mom will have traumatic brain injury (but good hair) so boy will get to watch her loaded into ambulance…so glad she is biking but jeez, no helmet? What the?

her children are very attractive and I like their names. Her son is thinking (whether she knows it or not) “When I’m a grownup I won’t have to wear a helmet, yay!”

molly on

what a perfect post! We should all remember to encourage other Momma’s in that predicament! Thanks for sharing!!

Lynne Childress on

This is wonderful. When my son was about 2 1/2 weeks old, we were in an airport bathroom, headed to see my dad who was very sick so he could meet his first grandson. The baby had just woken up after we got off of the plane, and was not excited about having his diaper changed on the changing mat. I was already emotional and tired myself, and trying to stay calm as he yelled and yelled. A lady came into use the restroom and asked how old he was, and on her way out, as the baby was still yelling, she walked to him and said, “Give your mom a break. She’s new at this to.” That is exactly the grace my heart needed.

Diana on

I loved this. Could so totally relate!

irtiam on

She should have bought him a replacement toy and avoided this meltdown. The child was frustrated about a lot more than a disappointing toy. Mommy had been absent for weeks. I understand the difficulty of balancing work and motherhood, but cut this baby a break. Let’s stop accusing toddlers of evil motives. They communicate with us the only ways they know how to.

Sarah on

Well, it’s not just a stranger getting approval … people know who Anne is. I will never feel I relate to a celebrity mom … she never gets burnt out because she just calls over her nanny that we all know she has 24/7 and then she gets a massage or goes to sip a martini peacefully out by the pool.

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