January 18, 2012

Toddler Antics

Today started out like any ol day around la casa.

Cries through the monitor. Shutting said monitor off. Cries and whines out of my mouth. Cranky toddler demanding milk. Making three separate breakfasts for three separate people. Whyyy?? Sweet husband making my coffee, but, umm, I'd like some coffee with my creamer dear. Then balancing the line between getting myself ready, tidying the kitchen, changing poopy diapers, getting and keeping my child clean, playing, encouraging independent play.. like how I worded that?

Oh, wait. It's not even 8:30 in the friggin morning!!

Make my own, stronger, coffee tasting coffee. Throw in Cars with a tad bit of guilt so I can actually get myself ready this time, and excitedly head out the door with enough good behavior enticing bribes in my purse.

We are making our way to Michael's to use some of those gift cards! Cricut cartridges and scrapbook paper here I come!

Then it happened.

Andrew wanted to walk into the store himself, he caveman like told me with grunts and pointing. He's allowed in unbusy parking lots as long as he holds my hand. He knows the drill.
We get into the store and much to his dismay, I put him in a cart. Enter in the slight fussing. It's cool though. I can handle this. I have a cup of water, Goldfish, Kix, cars, Cars stickers, a book with animals in it, pencil and paper. I have a half hour easy with all of this, right?! We do it all the time.

Wrong. Absolutely wrong.

As I'm finally deciding on the cartridge I just have to have, the meltdown starts. Each above mentioned object is making it worse and before I know it, my sweet, loving, charmer of a son is screaming at the top of his lungs, crying real crocodile tears, and arching himself back while kicking his legs everywhere like he is preparing to combust.

I was in shock. At this point I foolishly thought I'd be able to let him settle down, distract him on the sticker isle and still be able to browse the 40% off pads of scrapbook paper. HA!

I got the stares. Y'all know what I'm talking about. The, "how is she going to handle this" and "Hmmm.. someone can't control their kids" stares.

It was intensifying. I didn't know what on God's green (or brown if you live out in our neck of the woods) earth to do, so I just snatched him out of that cart, left it there with my beloved cartridge card, fought back tears, and left. Drove away. All of that for nothing.

What am I getting into here?? I was so angry with him and let him know it. He may not have been able to understand my flow of  "You do not act that way in stores while mommy's trying to get her creativeness on" and sounded much more like "blah blah blahblahblah" to him.. but he heard that tone alright.

He cried the majority of the 15 minute ride home, but when he stopped and I looked back at that sad little, snot covered face, my heart just melted. I felt terrible. I didn't apologize, but I sure wanted to.

I'm in uncharted territory here! All of a sudden, I'm regretting every time I've rolled my eyes at some kid who was screaming in a store.

I have no clue how I'm going to handle these things in public.. at home when these tantrums sprout up, we just ignore it. For now though, I think the simple solutions would be for someone to make a Go To For Everything You Need store, where parents with kids 3 and under can shop. If you go here, it's understood that you'll be shopping amongst screaming children and it just has to be cool. No one is going to cut their trip short. We're going to get what we need, screams or no screams.

This blog post is brought to you by a 3-hour, and still going strong nap. We both needed this today.


Just Ask Beth said...

You positively did the right thing.. It is so hard, I have left a cart of groceries that took me an hour to acquire and then bam!! Attack of the 3 year old! I never look at people like that I feel sorry for the mom or dad. Trust me he got your message loud and clear. I guess at home would be a time out chair? I never used time out..hence the third child acting like Lucifer!

Mel said...

Oh honey...I don't know (like, know because I'm not yet a parent, know) how you feel - but I can imagine. I've been the person giving evil stares wondering why that mother can't control her kid. But I'm also aware that there is simply NOTHING you can do sometimes. I think you did the right thing, as unfortunate as it is.

I think he got the message and unless you were unnecessarily mean, you don't owe an apology. There will be times you need to be firm, and make it clear when he misbehaves. That's OK. In fact, it makes you a great mom! :)

Consider yourself (and that little pain-in-the-ass lovebug) and big hug from me!!

Sue said...

You did fine. I too have left carts of groceries, etc., and carried a screaming kid to the car....all the time telling them how disappointed I was with them...whether they understood it or not. When they got older, I was a hand squeezer. Very productive and no one can see you do it. Wait...did I say that??? But you know Zach and Ashley so I think it worked...well...most of the time!! You're doing great, Jess!!!

Jen said...

You most definitely did the right thing!!! :) You are a great Mom.

Jenn said...

Wait, 3 hour nap??? Whaaa?? How do you make these things happen?

I hate those tantrum situations... feel your pain. It happened to me at the commissary once. In the self-checkout line. And I could definitely feel the stares. All of the disapproving looks. The cashier kept reassuring me I was fine, but eventually she ended up neglecting all of the other self-checks and checked my groceries out for me. I. FELT. AWFUL. But the lady behind me? She told me that this happens to everyone and to not let it get me down and that other parents understand and those that aren't parents yet, well, they have it coming to them one day if they ever do become parents. (I totally thought she was going to chew me out at first.) Anyways, all of that to say that I think other parents are usually the ones giving you the sympathetic "I've-so-been-there" look and thanking God that it's not their kid. Hugs to you! You're doing great!!!

Expat Girl said...

The only people that are staring are those that have not raised a toddler, all the other women in the store? Well they are looking at you and hoping your husband brings home chocolate wine for you tonight!

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

Ha. Oh lawdy. I get it. I am so sorry for ever judging anyone. Sigh.

MrsMcDancer said...

For a minute I thought you were writing about my trip to the store the other day ;-) I think it makes it even harder, because immediately I think, what must everyone else be thinking! Who knew I'd meet my match in a toddler lol. Good luck with your little man. May you have more smooth days than melt down ones!