IT happened the other day. The Supermarket Tantrum.

The aisles had never before posed a significant ROP (Risk Of Paddy) – Ben always seemed quite happy not to pull things off the shelves or demand everything he could get his hands on that looked chocolate based.

So it came as something of a shock when he suddenly ‘lost it’ in the cereal section over a box of Weetos. He’s never even tried one, but by golly he was hanging onto that packet as if his life depended on it.

Despite my insistences that the cereal was not going into the basket his face continued to crumple and his wails gained volume.

Not even when I threatened to return to the shelf a cut-price DVD that had been picked up earlier in recognition of his continued potty success, did he back down.

This left me very little to bargain with other than to repeat the fact that the Weetos would not be coming home. Then it happened. Full on thrashing about on the floor, a wailing, snotty mess of a child materialised before me. I don’t know who was more red-faced – him or me. I could feel the eyes of the other shoppers looking at me with equal measures of pity and scorn. Even the lovely staff tried intervening with words of encouragement to try to prise him off the floor, when all they probably wanted to do was drop-kick him out through the automatic doors.

I remember seeing experts give out advice on how to deal with a situation like this, by telling mums to copy their tantrum in a bid to shock them out of their behaviour. I recall seeing a mum drop to her knees kicking and screaming as her bemused child looked on.

Never in a million years was I about to join him on the semi-sticky floor and risk being carted off by the men in white coats. So I opted for a low-impact approach, keeping my voice calm and steady while outlining the merits of getting up off his bum and doing as he was blinking well told. It seemed like forever but probably within minutes he realised he was getting no where, the Weetos were returned to the shelf and we ran for the exit. It was when I got him into the confines of the car that I unleashed hell.