children, mommyhood, tantrums

Make It or Break It

We decide to go out to eat. My Dad is in town visiting and he requested a meal of fish. We had an overall successful family outing to Tae Kwon Do so Mad Dog and I felt confident the boys could handle a longer drive to go to a slightly (very slightly) upscale fish market for lunch.

We arrive and everything is going somewhat smoothly. We are seated waiting to order and Full Speed is playing with some hot-wheels cars while little T.Puzzle is coloring.  The boys are full of motion but are being quiet and entertaining themselves. I am taking this moment to attempt to read the menu. My Dad says, “Is he supposed to be coloring on that?”

I look up and see that little T.Puzzle is coloring all over the white linen tablecloth.

“You color on the paper, NOT on the tablecloth!” I say emphasizing my point by dramatically gesturing where and where not he can color.

He looks me squarely in the eye and without dropping a beat, colors on the tablecloth. Now, the waitress is at our table waiting for our order. She sees me lean in and threaten T.Puzzle with edgy vehemence. I realize that I must come across as a scary, intimidating Mom but I power forward. The waitress doesn’t know of T.Puzzle’s recent, defiant behavior and I can’t let the judgment of the world stop my discipline.

Once the order is complete, T.Puzzle again starts in with the tablecloth coloring. I hastily grab his crayons, toss them on the table and yank the kid out of the booth. I tell him he is heading to time-out. As I walk toward the front I grab his legs and heave him up in a disobedient ball. He is yelling and kicking and all the other fine diners are looking at us like he is a complete psychopath. I get him to the front and realize in my haste I left his coat and hat at the table. Normally, in Florida you can bypass the coat and hat but we are in a cold snap. It’s thirty degrees and overcast. He’s been sick so much I realize I’m stuck inside for the duration for what I am certain is going to be a doozy of a tantrum (it reached a level 8). People from the bar were peering at his ruckus, the hostess was politely trying not to make direct eye contact with me and I wanted to throw a tantrum of my own (I was thinking only a level 3 or 4).

Is it just me or am I the only Mom in the throes of a massive power struggle with her child? Full Speed started in on me when he was a year and a half.  T.Puzzle has since picked up the slack when Full Speed finally began to fight me a little bit less. I know my time is coming that every day and every situation won’t be a knock-down, drag-out battle of the wills.

I don’t think I will make it.

2 thoughts on “Make It or Break It”

  1. oh Diana…sounds like a eyr trying lunch…you will make it…sorry that the boys are still feeling sick…I still can’t believe that cold front went all te way doen by you guys in Florida. Hopefully the weather gets back to normal soon.

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