Any parent will agree that dealing with a toddler’s tantrums is no easy task—especially if it occurs in a public place. One mom hilariously recounted her toddler’s meltdown at Olive Garden through TikTok, and she’s now going viral.
Kayla Sullivan, 29, is a former TV reporter based in Oklahoma. In the now-gone-viral video, Sullivan is dressed as she would be for an on-camera appearance. However she’s standing in the hallway of her house and using a toy in place of a microphone. “Hi, Kayla Sullivan reporting live from outside my son’s bedroom where he’s currently being detained until nap time is over,” she says in her on-camera voice. “Now this story does involve a minor so I can’t release specifics but what I can confirm is my son is a 2-year-old terrorist who held me hostage at the Olive Garden.”
She continues to explain she was meeting friends who don’t currently have kids and “likely never will” after what they witnessed. “Authorities believe the proper precautions were taken,” she says. “I brought my son’s favorite snacks and even risked judgment from other moms by bringing an iPad. But not even ‘Cocomelon’ could have stopped this meltdown.”
Sullivan explains that a waitress quickly responded to her son’s cries for ketchup, continuing, “Unfortunately, her good deed was later punished after he threw a ketchup-covered fork at her. Not all heroes wear capes, but this one should have worn an apron.”
The video, which was posted on January 1, already has over 20 million views, with several parents saying it’s highly relatable. Sullivan says her videos started off as a TikTok challenge, but she began to make more as a way to cope with parenting—and some of the judgment that comes with it. “My son has thrown tantrums in public and it’s really embarrassing…I was channeling a bunch of different incidents that have happened to me in public and trying to relate to other parents,” Sullivan told TODAY Parents in an interview. “Are you going to be perfect on the [parenting] advice every time? No, because we’re still human. It’s such a hard place to be in because you’re judged no matter what you do and that’s the message that I want to send—I could be the perfect parent and there’s still someone who judges me for being even the perfect parent.”
Sullivan also clarified to the outlet that she doesn’t refer to her son a terrorist. “Everybody’s been joking, ‘You never negotiate with a terrorist.’ But when you’re embarrassed, you’re going to give them ‘Cocomelon.’ You want them to stop and so that was the relatable feeling. But in no way, shape or form is my son a terrorist,” she explained. “I love my kid. I only use endearing terms for him. He’s actually a very well behaved kid. But he’s a toddler and all toddlers throw tantrums.”