Normally, when I get into an argument with someone, there is an obligatory cooling off period. Whether it be the silent treatment, or a dramatic exit, there is a clearly defined amount of time that I separate myself from the person who just got me so upset.
Until I calm down. Until they calm down. Until we like each other again.
That is not the case when the person you are arguing with is your 23 month old son. This afternoon, after Nathan screamed at me, took a swing at me, and then proceeded to throw himself on the floor screaming "No, Mama" over and over again, I didn't get to walk away and remove myself from the situation. Instead I had to pick up his thrashing body and physically remove him from the bedding aisle of Marshall's. I was "that mom" carrying "that child" out of a public place while dying a little inside of humiliation.
Once we got outside, Nathan seemed to forget about the whole thing - cheerfully pointing out dogs and airplanes through the window the whole drive home. I however was still "in a fight" and really didn't feel like chatting. But no matter how I was feeling, I didn't ignore him or give him an attitude. I cheerfully agreed with him, "Wow, that is a big doggy!" He was willing to move on quickly so I had no choice but to do the same. I guess that's a good life lesson; to move forward and not hold grudges.
(But secretly, inside, I may or may not have been thinking "I don't really care how big that dumb dog is.")