I was the center of attention and the topic of conversation at the park today. And it wasn’t in a good way. In fact, I was living one of my parenting nightmares.
You know all those things that you say you’ll never, ever do as a parent? Those behaviors that your future children will never exhibit? Maybe you even sat around judging all the other parents as they struggled with their own children, whispering behind your hands and glancing at them over your sunglasses. You didn’t pity them. You knew that you would never be them.
If you don’t have kids, let me tell you that you should never think those thoughts. All of those moments will come back to haunt you. Some call it fate; others call it karma; I call it reality.
Your kids will embarrass you to death more often than you’d like to think.
Today was just one of those moments that is a rite of passage for parents.
I endured a toddler tantrum times a thousand. My adorable little blonde person is a wonderful age – 2 and A HALF. Now, the “half” part is what you need to make note of. I’ve noticed that my children are perfect angels until they hit the halfway point. Something about 2 1/2 and even 3 1/2 makes them go completely crazy.
My darling 2 1/2 year old had a complete and total melt down at the park in front of about 20 other mothers who were happily playing with their perfectly behaved children.
This tantrum lasted for at least 30 minutes and nothing I did could calm the rage of my little person.
Here is a little snippet:
Punkin is shrieking in the middle of the play ground. I calmly walk over and bend down to ask her what is wrong.
She screams louder, grunts at me, and then throws her hands in the air.
I ask her if she wants up, and if so, I remind her to use words to tell me what she wants.
She just screams louder and stomps her feet.
I was determined not to help her until she told me what she needed. Each time I asked she pointed in a different direction.
I started in with questions, “Slide?” “Stairs?” “Swings?” “Splash Pad?” (Apparently I was on a roll with the alliterations….)
I was greeted with more grunts and all out screaming.
I kept patiently waiting for her to talk to me because I had no idea how to help her. Meanwhile, every one is starting to look my way and start their whispers.
5 minutes later she shrieks, “Up Please.”
I pick her up and carry her to a bench where I sit down to hold her until she calms down.
For the next 15 minutes she screams, “MOM!” to which I answer, “Yes Punkin” in a calm voice through gritted teeth as I try to ignore all the eyes on us.
She doesn’t answer me but instead screams my name louder each time as if I was completely ignoring her.
I kept explaining to her that I was in fact answering her and trying to listen and would she please talk to me in a “normal talking voice” and all of those nice little explanations that you give to kids when you are starting to lose your mind and your patience.
Soon she switched to screaming, “UP!” to which I always answered that she was in fact, “up” as I was holding her still.
It didn’t matter, she just kept insisting that I hold her in the loudest and angriest shriek. And I just kept patiently, quietly, and sweetly insisting that I WAS holding her.
And this lovely dialogue continued for an eternity. Eventually she calmed down, climbed out of my lap, and went down the slide and then played happily for 30 minutes until we left.
What on earth is wrong with this child?
So, just know, that even though this child is my 5th toddler, I have NO IDEA what I’m doing and I’m pretty sure that I’m still doing it all wrong.
Isn’t parenting fun?!
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