People tell you, “oh wait til they hit 3, it’s really bad” …and you think…eh…I’m sure it’s “bad”, but like…manageable. You managed two newborns who slept pretty poorly and survived that…you can handle a simple 3 year old temper tantrum.
You hear the stories from friends. A token favorite(and by favorite I mean…it’s awful, but it’s a good example of the level toddlers will go to) is one time a friend told me her daughter shouted at her husband “YOU’RE NOT MY DADDY” in the middle of a grocery store…I think it was over cookies…or it was over nothing…probably nothing…truth is toddlers are jerks.
But they don’t know how to be anything else.
Yesterday, I found myself in typically bad, the worst I’ve had to date, jerky toddler moment. I’ve given myself 24 hours to process it before writing it all down because yesterday I just woulda written, KILL HIM, a thousand times.
It’s been a relatively low-key week. Not much on the calendar and I noticed Luke was starting to get antsy as he woke up on Wednesday and asked “What are we doing today?!”…guess you need entertainment…fine.
We opted for the open gym at our community center. I just thought he’d run around in circles for an hour, I’d take him home, shove him full of peanut butter and he’d sleep for 4 hours until dinner time. Great plan.
Well…it was going fine. And then he started to get tired…and grumpy because this one crawling tube wasn’t cooperating perfectly…he’d move it…it would wiggle, he’d get grumpy. Or the one older child who I remember from last year and I deemed “the bully kid” kept beating him in their race around the gym and he was getting t’o’d by it. And he’d say he needed “more energy” to beat him and he’d still lose and he’d run over to me while Emma played in the doughnut aka baby cage and shout “ITS NOT WORKING”…
In my head, I want to say…”well maybe if you ate dinner…or lunch…or more than muffins…you’d have more energy”…but in the moment…I just patted his head and sent him back to play.
And then he got mad one more time at the tube and pushed Emma over and that was it, we had to leave. And so it started…
He screamed so loud, “NOOOOOOOOOOO” when I said it was time to go, I thought my eyes were bleeding. BLEEDING.
I didn’t even look at the other moms…with their quietly playing 18m old girls…Emma better be one of those girls…and not take after the banshee brother modeling this super obedient behavior.
I calmly just kept repeating “we’re leaving, let’s go” as he kicked and screamed and wailed and cried and ran around the gym. The leader of the open gym came over to me as if she’d never seen an tantrum before in her life…”IS EVERYTHING OK?! Is he hurt?”…nope, not hurt, just on jerk level 8,000. “Ok, maybe see you again soon?”
YES THATS EXACTLY WHAT IM THINKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW.
The best part of this, was attempting to wrangle a flailing toddler, hold Emma on one hip, avoid my big bag from falling in Luke’s face (this happened a bunch anyways, sorry boo), while making sure he doesn’t get outta my grip and run into the parking lot. As he screams “MY ARM HURTS” (Ok, I wasn’t holding on that tight…I swear) to the strangers we pass…which were a lot. And they all just couldn’t help but notice the poor lady with a banshee toddler and a baby…it was a good show for a Wednesday morning.
Basically kinda like this…(I’m the chickens)…
Yesterday, I thought I was a big fat failure, that my inability to parent was the reason he responded this way to a simple action of leaving 5 minutes early because he pushed his sister. And then the day went on and it was fine. Adorable almost at times and we hugged it out when we got home and went on with our lives.
But today, I know I’m not a failure. Because I tackled this one toddler jerky moment and didn’t just leave him there…like I wanted to do…like…really wanted to. Or as it was later suggested to me that I say if he does this again and someone confronts me…”Yea, I know, his mother really warned me that sometimes he acts this way…”…genius eh?
But if anyone has any ya know…public tantrums in public tips…just go ahead and leave them right here…I’m taking all of the advice ya got…
Look how sweet and loving he looks…what a lil devil…big kiss.