The two little ones and I were at a cafe this morning. They, the 2 year old and the four year old, were eating muffins and sharing a croissant with me. There were only two other people in the cafe, two middle aged women eating croissant with egg and reading the paper.
The little people sat there contentedly eating for, a long time, by child standards. Just as I went to get another cup of coffee Chaz (the two year old) was, obvious to me, starting to lose his contentedness.
I commented that, getting another cup of coffee, was not a good idea since I could tell that the kids would soon get restless.
One of the women said that they sure were good kids, and that they sure were patient. Whenever anyone says that my kids are good I always agree with them, but, generally I find that what they see as good and what I see as good are different.
After our brief conversation it was clear to me what she meant by good. He was not running around screaming in the cafe. Of course, I knew what she meant, if your toddler is running around screaming that is not "good" cafe behavior, you might as well take your stuff and leave. You won't enjoy being there and neither will the other customers.
It is a given that there is good behavior and bad behavior, for certain situations. If Chaz is having a tantrum it is much easier for me to handle if I am not in a nice restaurant; if I am at home or even at a grocery store I am less embarrassed. It all comes down to how I feel, and how I think me and my child are being perceived by other people.
I have accepted that a two year old throwing a tantrum is neither bad nor good. Every two year old has tantrums, at least all three of mine have. As they grow and their communication skills become more sophisticated tantrums become less frequent.
So, my comment to the other cafe customer was; he is being pleasant now, but an hour ago he was screaming.