Thursday, March 19, 2009

really ... i could've just died.

i have finally become THAT mom.

oh ... you all know the one ... that mom that is carrying her screaming and crying and hitting and kicking child out of a store.

oh yeah ... THAT one. (didn't take much to jog your memory huh?)

ohmy. and it wasn't even the toddler. things would have been so much better if it was just the toddler.

it was my big girl. practically minutes after commenting on someone's blog ... about how this closetofive age is completely and totally wonderful!

"it's like a switch was flipped! they listen! and they respond! all the time! they have a sense of humor! a real live sense of humor! not just making up things and laughing! they tell real jokes and make funnies! and they try really hard for you! and they write and draw by themselves in their rooms! giving mamas a bit of a break! and you can kinda trust them with things! and, did i mention they are wonderful?!"

apparently someone forgot to knock on wood.

or find a four-leaf clover.

or walk around the ladder.

i don't know ... maybe the black cat walked in my path that morning ... i have no idea.

but somethin' ... oh holy hell ... something took an absolute turn for the worst and placed me into the shoes of THAT mom.

it was a leisurely jaunt to the local homegoods store (god ... i love that store! i especially love when i find things with red stickers!!) ... looking for bedding or ideas ... stella wants a rock-flower-fairy-princess room for her birthday! complete with pink walls! (is anyone sick of the exclamation points yet?!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

we found absolutely nothing for the room.

but considering that this one is also coupled with a tjmaxx! (gotcha!!!) mama found an awesome skirt and two tops for spring ... and stella found a little skirt/shirt combo ... ALL WITH RED TAGS. (aka supah cheap).

we got ourselves into the little line.

oh yes ... the line that they have snaked between rows of shelving covered in candy and books and fun-shiny-alluring-gotta-have-it-stuff-for-kids ...

which is totally cool ... 'cause my kids are totally able to handle the need vs. want thing ... right?

cora starts complaining ... whining ... seriously two year molars can just suck ass ... i swear. she wants to be held ... she wants the nuk-nuk that is in the car ... she wants something to eat ... she is loudly exclaiming that she wants to nurse in the middle of the closing-in-on-us line.

then stella starts. fuck fuck fuckity fuck. i totally saw it coming. mama got major claustrophobia. there were 4 people behind us ... in this little aisle of a line ... ok, aisle is an exaggeration ... a snippet would more closely describe the amount of space we were provided with ...

thinking back ... that store has some smarts people! ... women with children and strollers and babies are totally not gonna turn around in that thing ... they are forced to make their purchases. at least that's what i'm gonna claim next time the husband sees a purchase to that store.

... back to the story ... there were 10 people in front of us ... and 4 ... oh no ... 6 people behind us ... and my kids are gradually increasing their wailing, the line is at a freaking standstill ... managers just were called over the intercom and i'm pretty sure that all hell is gonna break loose in ... 3 ...

so i kindly asked the people behind me if they would let me out of the line. i remember the voice of one woman ... with a teenage daughter ... it was so nice in a i've-totally-been-there kind of way ... everybody backed up ... beep beep beep ... allowing us out of the cattle line.

i started hanging my skirt (boo hoo ... i SO wanted that skirt) and my shirts up on the closest rack ... screw putting stuff back where it belonged at that point ...

... 2 ...

i grabbed stella's outfit ... and proceeded to hang. it. on. the. rack ...

and ... 1 ...

my (ever-so-close-to-fiveyearold-amazingly-wonderful) daughter proceeded to turn into a red-eyed-curly-horned demon.

and all i remember was a ton of loud screaming and crying and kicking and hitting and attempts to jump ship and escape back to the store to reclaim her purple skirt/flowery shirt combo ... because ...
I NEED IT!!! ... I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR FOR THE SUMMER!!! ... YOU ARE GONNA MAKE ME BE NAKED ALL SUMMER!!! ... I HATE YOU!!! (insert heart breaking) ...

and it took fucking everything i had to remain quiet and collected and outwardly composed to get her out to the car. it took fucking every ounce of strength to get her in and buckled and keep cora from losing it too ... because ... if my big sister is crying ... shouldn't i cry too?

i swear i had felt the heat of eyes staring at me ... which made me feel even more vulnerable. these people don't know me. they don't have any idea that this doesn't happen regularly. they don't have any idea that i am a mama that loves her littles in spite of anything ... ANYTHING. do they think that i could possibly say hateful things to my kids or do something like hurt them ... which would cause my daughter to act out like that?

i've come to realize ... that maybe(?) ... a few of them have been there done that ... and that heat that i felt was an overwhelming compassion for me ... THAT mom ...

we had a loooong talk at home ... and in the car ... about want vs. need.
we talked about why that situation and her reaction was unnecessary and wrong.
we talked about what she could have done differently.
i told her how much i love her.
and she told me that she really does love me too. and that she was sorry that she said that she hated me.

and i swear ... i don't ever want to be THAT mom again.

but ... if i ever see HER out there ... i promise to not judge. that heat she feels against her back will be compassion from a mama that has been in those shoes before.

13 comments:

Peggy said...

Laughed my way through this post...I have SO been there. I generally try to act like nothing's going on when I see it happening to someone else b/c I know how embarrassing it is. (And then I laugh at them secretly in the car on the way home!)

Connie Weiss said...

My daughter who has been two for THREE days just turned into a monster and we can't take her anywhere.

I feel for you!

3 Peas in a Pod said...

That is the worst. Especially when you think the heat is on you since YOU'RE feeling like THAT MOM. I try not to make a big deal about it either and definitely try never to look in the general direction of the Mom whose turn it is to take the heat. When people stop and stare it makes me feel that much worse. I've been in a couple of stores where you just cannot get out of line. It is definitely planned that way. I'm convinced.

My son is 6 and yes it is so much easier than 2 and 4, but he still has fits. Not too much in the store but it has happened on occasion. My now 4 yr old turns into an angel when he sees his older brother spinning out of control. This is something new since he just turned 4 on Feb 4. I LOVE THIS NEW STAGE. I'm sure I've never thought those words before and I hope I think them again...somehow I doubt it. :-)

You are an amazing mother and I'm sure you handled yourself perfectly. Kudos to you for making it through. Sorry you didn't get your skirt and shirts. (btw I love your new blog header.)


Much love from NJ,
Sue
xoxo

Casey said...

Oh yeah, we're in the beginning stages of it but I'm right there with you. I've left two places with a tantrumy toddler thus far but I hold my head high as I'm leaving because:
1. I'm not the mom that stays in the store and gives their kids whatever they want to shut them up.
2. I was able to follow through with discipline and my kid will learn a lesson from it.
3. F the other people, they don't know me or my situation.

You did a good (and terribly hard) thing by dragging them out of there screaming but kudos to you for carrying through on it.

Casey said...

PS, I forgot to say what a good mom you are. The phone rang and threw me off. :)

Keely said...

Good for you. I think all the mothers weren't thinking, oh, she's THAT mom, they were probably thinking: oh, that POOR mom. lol!

We all have those moments. *hugs*

Christy said...

Oh no! I remember judging other moms before I had children. "Why is her kid so aggressive?" or "OH MY GOD, that kid is eating chocolate!" or "She needs to discipline her children!" But now I am wiser. I am often THAT mom. And I have nothing but respect for other mothers - regardless of the tantrums.

CC said...

This was the best post I've read in a long, long time. I could feel my way through this whole agonizing ordeal. And, amazingly, you seemed to "escape" without totally exploding. You rock.

RC said...

The one thing that didn't make itself clear to me was exactly what may have turned a sweetiepie into an emergency call for Father Merrin from The Exorcist....?
Has she had similar episodes in the past?
Have you and she a history of having shared such moments?

What seems particularly strange is the suddenness of this--- as though everything was all right, and now it is DefCon5. It may be likely, if she isn't histrionically patterned, that she is reactive to chemicals in the clothing she was holding, or something in the store.
You might go back there and see if she has a similar meltdown with similar exposure.
I haven't read your blog before, Jen, so I am jumping the cart before the horse here maybe.... you may have written about such events with her before...if so, forgive my impertinence.
But my experience with children is that such chemical sensitivities-(or combined with something they ate hours ago) are both real and underestimated in how powerfully they alter the child's persona.

Good luck, mom. Nice blog.

jen said...

to all ... i really appreciate the comments. i try. i'm a good mama. i know that. i guess this was just a way of me getting my thoughts down on "paper". i wasn't looking for advice or praise ... just wanting to stop thinking about it. so thanks.

to RC ... say what? i'm totally in agreement with the chemical sensitivities thing that happens ... but ... sometimes ... it's just a kid being a kid ... and there isn't any other answer ... it's not my girl on any given day ... and having been there before without episode ... i'm not about to go out of my way figuring it out! sometimes ... it just is what it is ... thanks for stopping by.

A Buns Life said...

My six year old son is going through a bad spell right now and I have NO idea what the heck is going on....it is mortifying when he throws a fit in front of family etc....We just stick to our guns and then have a talk about how he could have handled the situation better etc. and then let him know what the consequences are for his actions. I thought we were done with this...at least with him.

You are a great mom, and you handled it superbly. I can't imagine that anyone was judging you....they were all probably thankful it wasn't them, or they were remembering a time when it was them!

anymommy said...

Kay, I totally giggled, but only because I'm that mom all the time without a hope of avoiding a recurrence unless we never leave the house! And overall, I think my kids are pretty good. But, maybe I'm just fooling myself.

Or chemicals are eating my brain.

Pamela said...

It made me groan because I have totally been there. It has only taken once with Olivia and twice with Jack... removing them from the store with nothing, and they don't act like that any more. (Haven't since, I should say.) You are even more brave than I ever was. I just left the full cart sitting there and hauled ass out. Good work.