The time I wanted to crawl in a hole and disappear

In parenting there are good moments and bad.  There are amazing wonderful moments and ones you wish you could erase from your memory completely.  As I mentioned to my cousin {who is only weeks away from becoming a father for the first time} the other night, being a parent can best be described as a roller coaster.

Friday afternoon I experienced one of the low moments.  The girls and I had a birthday party to attend for the daughter of one of my friends.  It was going to be at a local children's museum we'd been to several times before.

I'm going to be honest with you though, I had been dreading the party for a few days prior.  I knew the place was super fun for kids, and the girls and I were both excited to see our friends, but as Skip was working that afternoon, it would be a solo mission.

Now before the eye rolling starts, I know how ridiculous it sounds that I was dreading taking the girls by myself.  They're older and there is only two of them.  Moms with 3, 4, 5+ kids take them out all by themselves without incident, so I sure as heck could do it with just two.  I only get nervous about certain events because my sweet Charlie bear is a runner.  She's a big fan of taking off without a second glance behind her.  She can also scream with a strength I didn't know was possible.  So sometimes things get a little stressful when I'm on my own.

But I refused to give into the fear, and committed myself to having a good time.  The first half an hour of the party went really well.  Yes, it was a little stressful trying to keep them both together with me as we went from activity to activity while fighting through the crowds of people.  But it really wasn't too much to handle. 

The problem started when we were called back into the party room.  This was the part I was most excited about.  Both girls contained in one room...and there would be pizza?!?  Sign me up! 

Sadly Charlie had other ideas.  As soon as we walked into the party room, Emmy took a seat, and Charlie started screaming....at the top of her lungs...uncontrollably.  She was flailing around, throwing herself on the floor.  With every last drop of strength I had, I held Charlie in the corner of the room while she screamed, trying to calm her down.  It was seriously the worst tantrum I have ever witnessed in all my years of parenting.  My ear hurt she was screaming into it so loudly, and I was barely strong enough to contain her freakishly strong little body.  Sweat was pouring down my face as I wanted to disappear from embarrassment in front of all the other parents.

But what made this moment so very hard, was that I really didn't know what I should be doing.  Girlfriend was not calming down or lessening the screaming.  So the only way I was going to get her to stop was to give in and take her back out to play, which was what she wanted.  But I am not one to give in to my kids when they are behaving like that.  I know it is only going to make things harder for me when they get older.  And they cannot think that they can get their way by screaming.  So any other time, I would have just let her go on screaming and ignore her.

But the thing was, we were at a party....with lots of other kids and parents watching.  And while I was completely willing to ignore my embarrassment for the sake of good parenting, I didn't want my kid ruining the party for everyone else.  It just wasn't fair to everyone else.

Now what the best thing for me to have done, would have just been to pack up the girls and leave.  I would have shown Charlie that we don't act that way in public, and there will be consequences for your actions. 

But I had Emmy with me.  I didn't think it would be fair for her to be punished just because Charlie couldn't behave.  So I finally made the decision to take Charlie out of the room to play in the museum while Emmy stayed behind with her friends.  Was I giving in to her?  Yes.  Could this come back to bite me later?  Probably.  But with everything going on, I felt like this was the best decision for what I had to work with.

Of course Charlie was calm and relaxed as soon as she was able to play at all the activities.  Emmy did great in the room with all the other kids, and my friend made me feel so much better about the whole thing.  I wiped the embarrassment tears from my eyes and refocused on us having a good time.  Thankfully we did manage to enjoy the rest of the party and get home in one piece.

This parenting gig can be hard sometimes.  They right answer isn't always clear and sometimes you're on your own.  But thankfully there are friends and family there to support you and bad days only last so long.

What's the worst tantrum your kid has ever had?  What would you have done differently in my situation?  Please let me know I'm not the only parent to two who struggles sometimes!

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