Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tantrums: The bane of my existence

Two weekends ago I was able to spend three blessed days to myself in St. George. I went to the spa, went shopping, and read books outside by the fountain. I slept in, went to an amazing concert, and ate at restaurants. It was an absolute dream.

 Peace and serenity. No car seats. No diapers. No whining. No fighting. No children's programming.



 One afternoon I went with my Dad to Costco to get a few things. When we went to check out there was a woman ahead of us in line. She had one child in the basket of her cart, one in the seat of the cart sporting a hot pink cast on her leg, and one rolling around on the ground screaming. I said to my Dad, "Oh, that is me. That is SO me." I was torn between my feelings of sympathy and camaraderie for this woman, and my complete elation that it wasn't me with the three little blessings.

 Exactly two days later I found myself entering the Costco by my house. I just needed chicken. I could be in and out in 5 minutes. McKenna got into the basket of the cart, and when I went to put Wesley in the seat he started crying. Ok, maybe he wants to ride in the basket too. Nope. Well, I guess I'll let him walk. I think we can all agree that letting a one year old walk in the Costco is pretty much a recipe for disaster. But I JUST needed chicken. We can do it this one time. No, he doesn't want that either. He completely loses it.

 Just take it in with me now: Wesley is face-down and spread-eagle on the floor of the entrance at Costco. He is screaming. (Not crying, screaming!) He is banging his head on the floor. There are several people behind us waiting to come in.

 Exasperated, I grab him with one arm and start steering the cart out of the way with the other. Wesley puts his little hands on the handle next to mine. He is instantly happy. Oh, he wants to push the cart! Well, maybe I can put him on the ground and let him push from the bottom. No, he HAS to hold the cart's handle. He is about three feet too short, and five years too young for that. Ok, I'll just hold him with one arm and push the cart with the other. That only lasts for about ten awkward steps.

 It is time for me to make an executive decision. Despite his protests (kicking, scratching, hitting, biting, etc. ) I fling him into the seat and strap him in. Oh the screaming! I take off like a mad woman on Supermarket Sweep, and run for the chicken.

The trick is not to make eye contact with anyone. When you have a child in this state there are only two responses you will get from people. They are either sympathetic, or judgmental. At this point, both will make me cry.

All the lines are long. Curses. Wesley has now gone completely limp and is slumped forward, appendages dangling from the cart. There is a slimy string of snot/drool hanging from his face to about 3 inches above the floor. Still screaming bloody murder. Now that I have time to wait, I begin to wax philosophical. Maybe the universe is punishing me for putting myself first the weekend before. Maybe I tempted fate by previously proclaiming McKenna to be my 'hard one'. Maybe this is Jesus' way of telling me that I should stop having children. Or Maybe (and this one seems most likely) my womb is actually a portal from Hell.

 I cried when I got to my car. Three days later he had another meltdown at Walmart. A lady, probably in her late forties, stopped me and told me that I was a good mom and that she knew exactly what I was going through. I cried again and gave her a hug. Not everyone has kids who can throw a tantrum like this. It is not what you imagine when you bring a sweet little baby home from the hospital.

Wesley is my little boy and I love him. But man, I could use more weekends in St. George.