Better Days Ahead?

Friday, June 13, 2008

I don't know why, but there are times in parenthood where I freeze up and don't know what to do. This afternoon was one of those times.

I stopped off at New Seasons to get a few items, but as soon as we got out of the car, Sam started saying he wanted to ride in the bed of the shopping cart. I told him no, that he could ride in the shopping cart seat or walk. I was carrying Juniper in the ERGO. He started whining, and this quickly spiraled into a full-on tantrum. I was standing by the deli, and he was screaming so loud that customers couldn't talk over him, so I led him away to an aisle. At this point, I took away his toy because he didn't stop screaming by the count of three. Since he thought I put it into my pants pocket, he started pulling on my pants--luckily, I was wearing a belt, so they didn't go too far, but at this point, I was losing patience. When he realized I had put his toy in my purse, which was in the shopping cart, he started hanging from the shopping cart so I couldn't move it anymore. He was screaming so loud, and when I tried to pick him up (I was wearing Juniper on my back), he started kicking and trying to bite me. I panicked. I didn't know what to do, so I called Landon, but only got his voicemail. I decided I couldn't carry him out of the store with Juniper on my back--I'm just not that strong, so I stood in the aisle, not sure what to do. A few people had stopped to stare, which wasn't helping, and I could feel my face getting hot with embarrassment. I decided I had to do something, so I tried to get him into the shopping cart, so we could at least exit the store. Well, he was kicking so hard I couldn't get his feet through the slots. At this point, a woman approached me and asked if she could talk with him. I said sure, because I knew Sam would respond differently to a stranger than he was with me, and because I needed him to stop screaming, I agreed, thinking it was worth the try. She talked to him about what he was feeling. I tried not to roll my eyes. He finally calmed down and stopped screaming, and I left the store as soon as I could. As I looked around, a Mom caught my eye and put her hand to her chest, patting it a few times. Another Mom stopped and told me she'd been there, and understood. It was then that I realized that the people staring weren't staring because they were thinking, "Look at this Mom who can't handle her out-of-control kid," they were staring because they were trying to see if there was anything the could do to help, and as far as I could tell, these strangers were only there to support and sympathize.

I tried to take Samuel out to dinner that night, just the two of us, but that ended up disastrously as well. I had a hair in my sandwich, and when Sam heard me on the phone with Landon say "Willamette Park," where Landon and Juniper were spending some time together, he refused to eat and started crying because he wasn't at the park, too.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.



Claudia said...

Wow Karli!!! I'm so sorry but as you know, as a Mother, there is not a ONE of us who has not been through it more than once!!! Seriously!!! That is part of what Mothering is.....(I hope you know I am being supportive--not negative) and I am sure that a lot of the people watching were either remembering 'what that felt like' or wishing they could help you --especially with Juniper on your back. It is hard to always know just what to do at those times, and sometimes it needs discipline, sometimes love, sometimes is hard being a 'good' parent....BUT worth all of it!!
I love YOU Karli, very much!!!

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