More Vegas Traveling Toddler Fun: Meltdowns

The chance of a meltdown makes being out and about with your small children that much more unpredictable. We’ve all been there: things are going swimmingly, until something, for some reason, triggers a meltdown, tantrum, or whatever you call it. Because of the sheer volcanic rage involved, I prefer meltdown.

After the jump, I’ll break down just what makes a Vegas meltdown that much worse.

There’s never a good time for a meltdown, but some bad times are worse than others. In our family the day we took Prima to see Nick Jr’s Storytime Live has the current record, with five major meltdowns in the course of the day. There was one as we entered the theater and, naturally, one when the show was over. Mercifully, from the first sight of the Wonder Pets, she was entranced enough to stop screaming during the actual show.

Still, having a meltdown at a child-oriented event, while bad, at least has the benefit of taking place in a setting where you’re surrounded by sympathetic parents. Odds are, they’re so jazzed it’s not their kid who’s freaking out, you might have made their day.

Having a meltdown in a Las Vegas casino? That’s a whole other story. You’ve got:

  • Gawkers, who find your child’s outburst intensely amusing
  • Sanctimonious critics, who are convinced you are the Worst Parent Ever simply for bringing your child to a casino.
  • Passing drunks, who might try to intervene. This will never make things better.
  • And, as I have personally witnessed, timeshare hawkers, who will still approach you and try to pitch you on the joys of fractional ownership, even while you’re attempt to calm a kicking and screaming ball of toddler fury.

Yes, once while I was dealing with a meltdown at a casino (a trip for lunch had gone horribly wrong) a guy hawking timeshares approached me and tried to strike up a conversation. I don’t usually make a habit of scolding other adults, but I was already in the mode so it just came naturally. I actually didn’t say, “You’ve got a timeout” to him, but I did tell him to leave me alone and go back to his booth.

This just gives you a glimpse into the reality that however bad your child’s meltdowns are at home, they will probably be much worse in Vegas.

The key, naturally, is to try to avoid them, and hopefully the tips I’ll be sharing can help you keep your young ones well-fed, reasonably well-rested, and entertained, which can minimize—though it will never eliminate—the odds of a meltdown.

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