Fifteen Years

p9073210T.Puzzle and I have a play date today. We know these friends well enough that even if he gets out of control it’s no big deal. We will remain friends regardless. That’s a relief for me. Having play dates in general can be quite anxiety producing. It matters not how much you hit it off with the other Mom, if your kids don’t click the play date’s over usually before it begins. Luckily, T.Puzzle loves my friend’s three year old daughter. She’s pretty rough and tumble, too. That helps.

We are moving into the time of year in Florida where you can count on consistently beautiful weather (I know, you northerners can hate me right now, try to remember that my summer was searing, miserably hot). Therefore, my friend and I have been attempting to meet for a weekly walk.

During this week’s walk we headed to the amenity center in our neighborhood so she could drop off some stuffed animals. The amenity center is gearing up for their holiday food and toy drive so the stuffed animals were a welcome sight. As we entered the foyer, there was a women seated at the desk already being helped by the amenity center staffer. We had to wait a couple minutes and any Mom with an active almost three year old boy knows a couple minutes can quickly spiral out of control.

My friend is soon helped and the staffer begins to engage her in a lengthy chit-chat about the cuteness of her two daughters (deservedly so) and on and on and on. By now T.Puzzle is out of his stroller running about. He had managed to finagle a ball from my friend’s house and soon this is being tossed this way and that. I try to contain him and encourage him to simply ‘roll the ball on the floor’. Well, he’s having none of that. He’s starts chucking the ball, and let me tell you, this kid’s got quite an arm. I have to get tough and he loses possession of the ball and this causes him to nearly lose all control of his emotions (at least it wasn’t his bowels). He is on the verge of a full-blown level seven tantrum. I manage to coax him down by threatening that he will lose the privilege of going to the park right outside. He caves for he loves the park and he climbs back in his stroller defiantly apologetic. This means he’s sorry but he’s downright angry about having to be sorry at all.

When will I be able to walk in somewhere and not have it be a monumental power struggle topped with hyper-kinetic energy and a good dose of insanity thrown in? Soon? Ever? Help me!

As we are set to exit the staffer looks at us and says rather pointedly, “You are brave to bring your kids out, especially on an errand.” Or something like that. Huh? I think I was just insulted but am too frazzled to realize it. Is she telling us that we should have stayed home? Am I supposed to hide myself indoors until my child is calm and well-mannered? I have struggled with this in the past. I’ve reached my decision.

So long, dear world! See you in fifteen years.

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