Wednesday, June 3, 2009
We have all been there......
So yesterday, as I was leaving work, I hear a three year old losing it. I don't mean the normal whining tired little one. This child was being carried under her mother's arm and screaming, "I wanna stay, I'll be good, no, no, no". The decibel level was reaching the corner of my eye. Obviously, she had not behaved at the little play area in the mall and her mom was removing her from the situation. I did what any mom who had been there before should do. As the mom started to pass me, I gently touched her arm and said, "We have all been exactly where you are at". She smiled and thanked me.
You see, when you are carrying your child under your arm in a public place, and said child is screaming at the top of their voice, it is not what you envisioned parenthood to be. Maybe, in our childless state before our kids arrived we even muttered those words. You know the ones, we probably all did it. Let's all say it together and laugh now. "When I have kids they will never act like that". I seriously do not think that anyone with children would ever mutter those words. If they do, they are like nine hundred years old and don't remember the wonderful world of three year olds.
All children have melt downs. If you are smugly sitting there saying "not my child" you obviously have a newborn and I would caution you from uttering the dreaded words. It is unfortunate for us as moms that they will usually lose it in a very public place. I will say, that by the time my third and fourth child arrived, I could see it coming on, and tried to leave about a half an hour before the melt down. It only took me six years of parenting to figure it out.
We would be at a birthday party and stay until the bitter end. By that time, everyone is hopped up on sugar, overstimulated and ready for a brawl. There I sat, dragging my child out of the party, freaking out, and sure Child protective services would be paying me a call in the coming week. So, after many a break down, I finally wised up. About a half an hour before I think they will freak, I make my excuses and leave. Right on schedule, at home, where I can yell without worrying about what my neighbors think of me, the kids break down. There is crying, baths, and bed. At least it's out of the public eye. I remember when the kids were little, actually being relieved that they were in tears in the bathtub, because at least I was at home and nearer to bed and relief of their tired littleness.
I know how hard it is to leave a fun party, but be firm. Trust me on this, leave early and save yourself the chaos. Or at least have the tantrum at home. No one at the party wants to watch your kids freak out. Let their kids freak out and you are already at home, so you don't have to watch it.
Don't judge those moms dragging their kids, kicking and screaming, away from some public place, they are just doing their best. We have all been there, so smile and reassure these poor souls. Remember, "there but for the Grace of God, Go I". That's another one of my mom's quotes.
God bless you and yours, and you are not alone.