I mentioned Silicon Vally Moms Blog is coming to the close, which means I have to transfer all my posts somewhere, most likely here. I started nearly 4 years ago blogging over there, and in fact my first post was on July 10th. I thought I'd publish that first week of posts, whcn I wrote much more often, over here this week. The first published post was not the one I wrote first, as I would never have chosen this embarrasing one as my debut. Having now been a mom for 7 1/2 years I can handle reprinting this public humiliation.
Without further ado, I present - "Double Trouble Leads to Public Humiliation"
Well, so much for my mommy of the year award – I’ve experienced my first public double tantrum. Well, not my first - my boys’ first. Sometimes I let my optimism get the best of me and I decided to take them to the grocery. I'll use my husband's nicknames, Pulga (who's 3 1/2) and Hombre Fuerte (who's a big strapping boy of 2 1/2). P said there was no potty there, which I took to mean he had to go (he actually didn’t), so I parked near Longs to take him, and HF sauntered into the beauty store. Well, I thought, I need gel anyway so what heck. They played with the cute toys in there - at one point HF was writhing on the ground as I tried to get him to join his brother so I could keep them in view while I paid, and one woman sympathized with me - she said she was a grandmother of 5 and it happens all the time. He's easily distracted though and that was over quickly.
P decided he wanted these race car pens. I often buy the kids stuff (working mom’s guilt), but really try to not give in to every whim and decide ahead of time what kind of treat or toy they can get. So I calmly said we could not get those today. Well, he would not let it go, and I would not give in, so 20 minutes later I'd managed to drag them out of the store. At one point I told P to go ahead and buy it, and of course he said he had no money (“this is why you have to give me money!”). Reasoning usually (eventually!) works with P, and I absolutely could not believe I couldn’t get them in the car. I’m used to HF causing a commotion, but he’s easy to distract and cannot open a door or unbuckle a car seat yet. I told them it’s too bad we could not go to the grocery, as they had no yogurt or fruit snacks – hmm… can you say pitiful, desperate, incompetent mommy.
Ugh, I forced HF in, while P ran back into the store and came out with the pen. I had lost all reasoning ability at this point and dragged him in, returned the pen, and was forcing him in the carseat when this mom walked by and said “you need to listen to your mommy” in this really stern voice – is it just me or do moms want sympathy not “help” at this point? Well, he promptly unbuckled his carseat and jumped up. Now, he’s a scared little guy when he can’t see his mommy, and I was so frustrated I first sat in the car and seethed, then got out and sat on the curb to calm down. He got out, I got in, he panicked “where are you going, Mommy? You can’t leave me.” “I’m going in the car”. I put him in the carset again and drove off, and he promptly got out of the carseat. He’s a safety nut so while he would not get back in his car seat he freaked while I drove with him out of it. I parked, sulked, seethed, ranted and raved (excellent parenting here). Then buckled him in and drove off again, only to pass right by a cop with my kid (who’d gotten out again) standing between the two front seats.
So, oh wise parents, I made what I think of now as the ultimate in parenting mistakes. I went back and got them the pens. My twisted reasoning was – it’s only to get them home safely, then I’ll take them away and buy a carseat he can’t unbuckle. This became, I can’t handle another tantrum (hubby was going to be home late) so I’ll take the pens away after they go to bed and return them in the morning. I was so distraught that night, thinking I’ve completely ruined my kid, who by the way was on ultimate best behavior that evening for like an hour before reverting to more typical 3 year old self. This lovely evening was followed by the night from hell with P waking his brother up then screaming for several hours, then HF being up for an hour, then the dogs barking for the next hour. It was unbelievable! It’s not like every night is bliss in our house, but this has never happened. And I know it’s karma – I gave in to the tantrums and am being severely punished. Well, the next morning he asked for the pen again, and I explained I made a mistake in buying them and would need to return them. He finally knew enough not to argue too much, and we settled on letting him look at the pens, and I would not return them but he could not have them.
And to top it all off, I ran into someone today who actually saw me in front of Starbucks while this was happening. He said he was glad he only had broken spaghetti sauce jars to worry about.