I messed up. Messed up something fierce. I thought I was being a good mom but nope. The whole day was just one mommy faux pas after another. In retrospect, it was like watching one of those bad action flicks where the hero just keeps screwing up. Really, by now I should know better.
Here’s how it went down:
11:30 Trip to a new park. I figured that was a good outing before lunch and it would give me a chance to scope out the local moms/nannies for the best toddler hang-outs in the new hood. Chance was slow to warm to the other kids but there was construction near by with a mini steam roller. (That’s the equivalent of truck heaven in his book.) Things were cool.
12:15 “OK, kiddo, we’re going to leave in a few minutes for lunch.” Chance utterly ignores me as he is now “playing” with other kids. (“Playing” meaning he finds the only older children in the toddler playground and has to be in their vicinity! Such a groupie for five-year-olds, that one.)
12:30 “All right, Chance it’s time to leave.” Utter. Meltdown. Complete with lunging, shrieking, and back arching as I tried to get him into the car seat. Speeches of “I’m sorry you’re mad, but we’ll come back another time,” fall on deaf ears. Usually the acknowledgement of his fury will slow down the tantrum. This time, no dice. The other moms/nannies look at me with pity.
12:35 Almost… got… the seat…. latched! “Hey! Let’s pick up something new for lunch! Want to go for a ride?” More screams and laser eyes of death.
12:40 Still tears and protests! This is beyond unusual. At this point it’s starting to sink into my brain that he must be really ready for lunch. Duh. Offerings of juice are only met with sobs between slurps. He finally quiets down as I arrive at the lunch place, get him out of the car, and walk into the shopfront. (Yes, the place required that we walk in. Yes, I know I’m stupid.) I briefly consider sitting down for lunch at the place for faster food. Abandon idea.
12:45 Order and wait for food. Try to entertain Chance by looking at the pretty (but breakable) items in the shopfront. All admonishments of “look, don’t touch!” are met with willful and determined disobedience. Seriously, he was being a little hellion. Give silent thanks I decided not to eat at the restaurant. Take Chance outside shop for remainder of time.
12:55 - 1:00 Back in car and driving home. I feel pleased (stupid mommy) because I’ve timed it perfectly to have lunch and get Chance down for a nap sometime between 1:30 and 2:00, his usual time. I look back to see Chance’s head nodding in the car seat. Crap! Not so good timing. “Oh, no… Chance! Don’t fall asleep, honey. You haven’t had lunch!”
The idea of my child going to bed hungry fills me with guilt. Accelerate driving. “Wake up wake up wake up…”
1:05 I park, rush into the house and toss him onto the couch, all the while talking like a cheerleader on speed about the great lunch waiting for him. Take off his shoes. Chance stares at me blurrily then promptly starts to curl up on the couch for his nap. (He never does this.) “No No No No!” I grab him again, run into the kitchen and prop my sleeping child up in his booster seat at the kitchen table. I arrange his “new” (brilliant fucking me) food as quickly as possible onto a plate and slap it in front of him.
At the sight of grub he finally perks up enough to eat.
1:20 Lunch time is done. I transfer Chance immediately to his bedroom where, after the usual token protest cry, I figure he will collapse in sleep.
1:30 – 2:30 Chance plays in his crib. And plays. And plays. He never falls asleep! (At least he wasn’t screaming.) Normally he takes a 2-3 hour nap at this time so we all get a break. I get him up but he was obviously tired and a bit of a brat the rest of the day. I, and my crappy timing, effectively screwed up his (and my) whole schedule.
Bad mommy. Baaaaaad!
Lesson learned: LET THEM SLEEP!
(Really, I should have had my parenting license revoked for violating this one. And it wasn’t even early morning - my usual WPT (worst parenting time).)
- the weirdgirl
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