It was a beautiful day today. Leaving school, William begged to go to the playground across the street. "Please, PLLLLEEEEEAAAASE Gramma, just for a liddy bit." Yeah. Okay. So we went to the playground, just like you all knew that we would. I said to him firmly, "When it is time to go, it's time to go. I don't want any tantrums. Deal?" "Okay, Gramma," the little critter lied, running off to examine the climbing wall.
William ran, and screamed and climbed and swung, and slid and bounced. We listened to the church bells. After 45 minutes, I told him that we would have to go, and that we'd go to the playground again tomorrow. He had a meltdown. Just like you all knew that he would.
In a very no-nonsense way, I said, "That's enough now," and I buckled him into his car seat. He stopped screaming, but he was still whining when we got to the store. I unbuckled him, and took him back out. He resumed his fit. I told him to stop. He did. Temporarily. Once we were actually inside the store, it all started again.
I got down on one knee and looked him square in the eye. "William," I said. "We went to the playground. We had fun. Now it is time for groceries. You are going to stop this tantrum this very minute, or I will have to give you a pop on the butt. Do you understand me?" He stared into my eyes intently for a few seconds and then said, "Okay, gramma." I said, "Nicely done, sir. Now do you want macaroni and cheese for supper?" And he said, "Macaroni and cheese!!! Yay!!!"
When we got home, he was delighted to find that his wobot had returned from outer space. Today he figured out how to argue with it. He talks about "my school" The wobot says "My school" and he says, "No it MY school, etc. etc. etc. He was beside himself with joy. They argued all night long. Blessedly, although things got pretty heated, there was no screaming.
Life is good.