“Stop shouting!” I shouted.
Anyway, then I said “Nobody is to speak to me ever again until I have had three deep breaths and I can’t see what you want me to look at because I AM CLOSING MY EYES.”
So I took three deep breaths with my eyes closed and held my fingers up to show the girls the count.
Then I was able to handle interacting with the on a reasonably normal level.
The tricky bit is that this was all in a public place – a department store where we had been trapped for NINE MILLION YEARS failing to achieve proper errands because people were hungry and needed a wee and had a sore throat and kept tripping up over the scooter we were dragging everywhere with us and… But I didn’t lose my temper properly, I flipped out and caught myself and took my deep breaths and sorted the errands and got us the hell out of there and FED US FOOD and gave the in-pain child painkillers.
Somewhere along the line I started to lose my fear of looking like a numpty and gained an ability to prioritise being a decent parent even if I looked silly in public.
Maybe there’s hope for us yet.