bad day, mommyhood, tantrums, terrible threes

Oh Smack!

I had this crazy idea that I would take the boys for haircuts. They have been rocking the mohawk look and it’s amazing how quickly it grew out. My plan was to pick Full Speed up from school and take both boys directly to the children’s salon. It is a pretty fantastic set-up. There’s a foosball table, an indoor climbing structure with a slide and an endless array of cool vehicles to sit in and watch Nickelodeon while getting your hair trimmed. They had a splendid time. I played foosball with Full Speed who insisted he was winning no matter how many times I scored. “That one didn’t count, Mom, only mine did,” (of course). Little T.Puzzle took to the slide like a fish to water (more fish similies later; I know you can’t wait but don’t get your gills in a tangle). They both did great for their trim and I was feeling really glad to have it done. Haircuts usually eat into our precious, weekend family time and I had just saved us the hassle. Win, win for sure.

Until,… it was time to leave. Little T.Puzzle absolutely refuses to leave and makes a scramble for the back of the slide structure. He is just about out of reach when I manage to grab his leg. He immediately starts screaming. Full Speed tries to help and yanks on the other leg. Full Speed accidentally tugs off little T.Puzzle’s croc in this muddled process. I see that this is a hot-button for T.Puzzle because he is really starting to lose it. As I manage to wrestle him into my arms (and by now, a crowd of sorts has gathered to watch the show), little T.Puzzle throws his arm back and smacks me squarely on the face.

I take him outside and all hell breaks loose. He’s screaming so loud I can’t think straight. I try to maneuver him to a time-out spot and quickly realize that he is violently flopping about like a dying fish so I can’t. I scoop him up and head to the truck. I grab his other croc from his foot and say he can’t have them back because he slapped me.

He is inconsolable. He cries and yells the whole way home. He is so upset he almost makes himself vomit. I get him home, send him to his room and try to regroup.

This is all stuff I’ve seen before. This isn’t the first time I’ve been smacked by one of my sons (hopefully it’s the last) and this isn’t the first outrageous tantrum I’ve endured.

But seriously, isn’t it enough already?

bad day, children

Duck and Cover

As mother to T.Puzzle and Full Speed, I know what it takes to get through a day. I have to be strong, set lots of stern boundaries and not give them an inch. If I can’t do these things then I have to be prepared to duck and cover.

We were down to our last pull-up and I had to take little T.Puzzle with me to Target. If I am in the right frame of mind and he is too, it is a reasonable task. If I am tired, crabby and not feeling up to being a drill-sergeant mommy, then we are in big, big trouble.

I just was not in the mood to fight him at every turn. He kept tossing everything I had in the cart onto the floor. Normally, I would stop no matter if we are in the food isle or near ladies’ lingerie, and reprimand him. He would be placed in time-out and would wail to the high heavens but most likely would get his act together. I just couldn’t do it today. I wordlessly kept placing everything he tossed on the floor back in the cart. I chose to ignore his behavoir and that was the first of my mistakes.

By the time we had reached the cashier little T.Puzzle was ‘helping’ me push the cart. It was my weak attempt at distracting him from his naughty behavior. It didn’t work (another mistake). He decides now is the time to run away from Mommy and giggle. I grab him and place him in the cart’s seat and he starts screaming ‘no!’ at the top of his lungs. To complicate matters he keeps getting up in the seat dangerously teetering over the side. He looks ready to jump. I try my best to unload the cart and to make light of his insanity to the cashier. She looks wholly empathetic and mortified at the same time. As I lean down to grab something off the base of the cart, little T.Puzzle makes his move. He grabs a heavy box from the counter in front of him and proceeds to chuck it at my head. The cashier lunges forward to save me and in the process her knee hits the counter with a sickening thud. It’s her bad knee she tells me. Well, of course it is. Why would it be her good knee? That would make this story less upsetting and as you can tell, I wasn’t catching any breaks today.

I effusively apologize for the misdeeds of my child and the unfortunate injury he caused. Of course, he hasn’t let up screaming ‘no!’ yet either. I take my cart, my wobbly self-esteem and my overtly aggressive child and exit. I manage to strap him in his car seat, get my things unloaded and put the cart back. As soon as I reach the car I dial Mad Dog. I cry and he listens and when my crying gets really desperate sounding, little T.Puzzle switches his ‘nos!’ to ‘sorrys’.

It didn’t help because I was very sorry, too.

children, mommyhood

The Cheesed Omelet

I had this brilliant idea. Full Speed didn’t have his regular VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) curriculum this week so I thought I would take him and T.Puzzle out for breakfast. We met my friend and her two, adorable daughters at IHOP. Sounds simple and uneventful, right?

First the chaos started when the boys played wild variation after wild variation of hotwheels games. But you know what? That’s normal. That’s just part of the process of taking my boys out for a dining experience. It’s a guarantee they increase a dining establishment’s energy level by about 100% and they will bring hotwheels. What got rough was the fact that it took close to FORTY minutes to get our food. Apparently they had to drive to the chicken farm that was miles away to get the eggs to make our pancakes. So as our wait time stretched on, everyone’s patience wore thin.

When we finally get our food (finally!!), I revel in the few moments of peace this will give me. Both boys were decidedly consumed with their breakfasts and therefore steadfastly quiet. That part of breakfast was lovely (it didn’t last).

Soon, Full Speed ate his breakfast quickly and asked for more eggs. The moms at the table quickly problem-solved his request by giving him some cheesy omelet from little Miss Cutie’s plate.

Well, you would have thought I was trying to torture him. He couldn’t believe cheese was touching his eggs and refused to eat it. Then, he proceeds for the next several moments to give me the stink-eye because he is so furious with me for giving him cheesy covered eggs. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I do have to admit, the stink-eye was pretty funny.

When it was time to depart, Full Speed was still very mad and not behaving well as we attempted our exit. He tried to tackle his brother who instantly became his partner in crime and we started to get ‘the looks’ from the surrounding IHOP patrons. ‘The looks’ consist of not-so-subtle stares that show wonder that I would take my animal-like children in public and relief that they are not me. The situation only worsened as I paid for our breakfast. I had to place Full Speed in a chair to keep him from attacking little T.Puzzle. He then whines dramatically over and over that he is ‘sorry!’ While these theatrics are in full swing, T.Puzzle manages to grab a plastic container of toothpicks, breaks it open and litters the cash register and floor with them. And guess what? More of ‘the looks’ from a new sub-set of IHOP patrons seated close to the register. I gathered up the toothpicks and what little dignity I had left, took my boys and got the heck out of there.

The next time I voluntarily decide to take both my children to breakfast, someone please stop me.