Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mortifying Mother Moment

First public meltdown in almost 5 years...not bad, I guess!

After we went to the pancake breakfast at my school, I took Audrey and Abigail to the mall for a birthday party. My MIL kept Annie for me (thank goodness!) Originally I was going to take all 3...WTF was I thinking?

We got to the food court and right away Miss Abigail decides she wants to run around. Fine, I get it- she's two and loves to explore. So I decided to walk around with her (instead of forcing her to sit still) while we waited for the festivities to begin. She was fine as she ate her cupcake, but again- she just couldn't wait around while the rest of the party just kind of hung out. I totally understood (I was frustrated, but I understood!) She just wanted to dance around the VERY busy mall and when I'd try to wrangle her back she'd fall on the floor. Ugh. If I'd had to feed or hold Annie, there's just no way I would've been able to handle the situation.

So, we get to Build a Bear and for the most part she's fine. I stay with her while Audrey participates in the party. She wanders around, plays on the computers, dances around to the sound machine thing. The party ends and of course she wants to go on the rides that are located RIGHT in front of the store (who decided to put those there?? Bastards!) But hey, I am completely cool with letting her and Audrey hang out on the rides for a few minutes, even though I was DYYYYING to get out of there.

This is where it gets bad...Abigail had a total meltdown when it was time to leave. I have never seen her act that way before! Throwing herself on the ground, screaming, crying, refusing to be picked up. Oh my goodness! I was actually more angry than I was embarrassed. Because really, what's a trip to the mall in December without a screaming toddler somewhere? Too bad it was MY screaming toddler. I almost had to laugh, especially when I see Audrey walking behind us, looking totally exasperated. Actually, now that I think about it- this is HER fault! If she'd gone through the Terrible Twos, I would've been expecting this. But nooo, she was a freaking angel child! Damn it, she spoiled us :(

So we're walking through the mall, stopping frequently to put her down because she's so damn heavy when she's throwing a fit. I'm trying to get her to calm down by telling her to breathe and just TALK to me. But it starts all over again when we decide to keep walking. We get to the exit (what seems like 3 months later) and of course it's freezing rain outside. Perfect. Luckily she decided to take some kind of pity on me and walked. Once we got into the van I laid into her. I was very specific with her..."You do NOT lay on the floor! You COME WITH ME when it's time to go!" I was very careful not to say she was a bad girl. So I'll say it here...she was a bad, bad girl! BADBADBADBAD!!!! I had her say she was sorry and we just hugged as we both calmed down. I don't know if I handled the situation correctly...when we're at home and she gets upset, we do the breathe/talk thing but if that doesn't work I let her work out her mood on her own. She gets no further attention and we don't offer her a thousand options to keep her happy. But I just could not let her work it out in the crowded mall. I couldn't get us out of there fast enough.

Again, I was so grateful that my MIL kept Annie. I didn't bring the double stroller, so there's no way I could've gotten Abby out of there. I should've left Abby with Grandma instead! But I don't like to leave her out of fun things :( Lesson learned- I cannot do it all by myself. Trying to do too much will backfire. All was fine by the time we picked up Annie and got home. I look at her sweet face, hear her adorable little voice and all is good again. she 5 yet?!

I'd love to hear other public meltdown stories and how you handled them. I need to feel better about this!


Jessica said...

A couple weeks ago, it was my screaming toddler at the mall. In basically the exact same situation - those rides near the exit! Basically it came down to me saying, "If you want to sit here on the floor and cry, you can do that. But I'm leaving right now." He got right up and stopped the tears.

Lindsey said...

I think you handled that situation in the best possible way. You didn't lose your cool (even if you wanted to!) You got your girls out of the mall as quickly as you could, and Abigail learned from it... that it's not acceptable to behave that way. You did great, even if you feel flustered about it!

I had a similar situation recently. I have a 2 1/2 year old boy that is usually a breeze to take places. He's pretty quiet and easy going most of the time. A few weeks ago I took him to Barnes and Noble to play with the train table in the kid's section. All was fine, we were having fun, until we heard other kids coming towards us. My son froze and started saying "No... no..." (Apparently he was not in a sharing mood.) I started gathering our things and suggested that we go read a few books, and he seemed to go along with that. However, on the way to the books for his age group we had to pass by some Lego sets that caught his eye. A pirate Lego set in particular. "Pirates, Mommy... pirates, Mommy... pretty please, pirates, Mommy..." The thing was $50, so I definitely wasn't going to just buy it for him, and when I said "No, not today, but we can play with your Legos when we get home," he dropped to the floor and started screaming "Pirate Ship! Pirate Ship!" I was baffled and mortified. He was turning red, crying, and continued screaming about the damn pirate ship. I seriously had him in a football hold trying to get the hell out of the store (and I'm 6 months pregnant, so it had to be quite the sight!) Once we got to the car he took deep breaths all on his own, and said "Sorry Mommy." I totally melted at that. But to be honest that entire situation has given me so much anxiety about having baby #2 and trying to take both of them places by myself. Whew... I know we'll adjust, but I've been saying lots of prayers lately!

SB said...

Jessica- I should've tried walking away! In fact, I did that when we first got to the mall and we'd stopped to talk to some friends. She laid down and when I walked away she got right back up! IDK why I didn't try it again :(

Lindsey- thank you for sharing! I think adjusting to two will be a lot easier than you think! Good luck :)

Laura said...

I honestly have too many similar stories to share just one. My almost 5 year old boy has always been a bit of a challenge, and the 2 year old boy is far, far easier, but still 2 right now. The key thing is to not give into their demands and just get them out. Which can be hard because they are hard to carry when throwing a fit!! I have had a couple situations where I've continued with what I'm doing despite a fit because I NEEDED to get that errand done then, but I will just leave somewhere as well. I agree you handled it well by staying calm and saving the talk/lecture for the car. When they are in the middle of a tantrum at that age, there really is now way to reason with them in the middle of it. It's best to just remove them from the situation. And I'm not overly embarrassed when it happens to me. I would personally rather see a mom staying calm and saying no to a kid throwing a fit than giving into their demands and not being firm!

Lulu said...

Holy cow, I am currently going through the terrible twos with my second daughter and I despise it! My first also went through them so you would think I was prepared, but nothing can prepare you for this stage. It is horrible. I wish I had some advice but honestly you handled it better than I would have. Kudos to you!

L.S. said...

I think you handled it well--getting out of there would have been priority #1 for me. I've been in that situation many times with Andrew, but while also desperately trying to hang on to a baby. And Andrew's three now. Sigh.