Well it’s been five days and I am still on the No Yell Wagon. There have been a couple close calls but somehow I have managed to hold on by my fingernails. Pressing my buttons the most these days is my youngest. The tantrums are pushing me over the edge. Most frequently, melt downs happen when someone does something irreversible like flushes a toilet, throws something away, someone goes through the door first- you get the idea. When something can’t be undone, we have a situation. The situation usually includes screaming, repetitive sobs of “No, mama. No, mama. No, mama.” Or, “Me do first. Me do first. Me do first.” This can last anywhere from 10 minutes (never less) to 40 minutes (sometimes longer). The situation also may or may not include rolling, kicking, throwing, hitting or pushing. Or pulling clothes. Which for some reason enrages me. Why? I have no idea. When a child pulls on my clothing as I try to walk away or move, I just about lose my shit. These situations occur 4-5 times per day lately.
I was in Old Navy a few days ago when a situation came about (He wanted to pull clothes off the shelves and I wasn’t really cool with this so he was strapped into the stroller.) The screaming lasted the entire time I was in the store. I needed to finish the errand and couldn’t take time to cool down in the car, outside etc. As I walked through the store, looking for the last fucking pair of size 7 slims they had in inventory, the screaming became so loud that a salesman approached us an produced a golf ball. He asked if it would make him happy if he held it. Yeah, sure dude. I hope you have dental insurance because I am guessing you’ll need it after he hucks that ball at your chops. Seriously? My child doesn’t need a fucking ball. He needs an exorcism. And a tranquilizer. Um, I mean, no thank you. The sobbing continues. “Mama, out. Mama, out. Mama, out.” In the check out, we waited for the cashier-in-training to reload the register paper. Would you like to sign up for an Old Navy card, ma’am? Really? You read my mind! That’s exactly what I want to do right now! Just like I want to chew through my own arm and beat you with it. Um, I mean no thank you. We left the store and I swear I heard applause as the door shut behind us.
Getting into the car, I was forced to use the hold-child-secure-with-elbow-technique while buckling the five-point harness that should have come with a muzzle. “Mama, peas. Mama, peas. Mama, peas.” I kissed his sweaty, snotty cheek and shut the door. And stood in the parking lot next to the car. Wanting to cry because that was really hard. Because I didn’t think I could make it. Because that was embarrassing and terrible and stressful and awful. But also proud that I didn’t freak out. That I made it. That I didn’t lose my cool. Breathe.
I put the stroller in the trunk and got in the car. The crazed animal looked at me from the back seat, quiet now. He had stopped crying but looked like he could relapse at any minute. I sat there, looking at him in the mirror. Hi, he said. Hi. And we smiled. That moment. The smile. The relief. I can do this. Breathe. Want to grab a bagel? Yes. Hungry. Let’s go, little buddy.
So I think we are getting there. Slowly. Slowly. It’s not easy. And it’s not even getting easier. But I feel a little better each time I don’t yell. Maybe one of these days it will be easier. Or maybe we will get sued because someone eats a golf ball. Ya never know what tomorrow brings. Peace, Mamas.