So this is another post about the trials and tribulations of raising a strong willed 3 year old. It looks like I might as well turn it into a series. I really don't mean to be a Debbie Downer but this is really what has been consuming my mommy life these days. This time around, it is about being judged. Almost every parent has been there. If not, hold onto your hats, because it'll happen, when your child acts out in public and people judge.
Rewind to Friday May 24, 2013...
Joe and I were incredibly tired, like completely utterly exhaustively spent. Our son was sick, he was demanding, difficult and cranky and he is no longer taking naps and is strangely only sleeping 7-8 hours a day!! On top of that, our normally happy sweet one year old was tired sick and cranky the whole week plus it was a busy week for both of us at work. So by Friday we had enough. Sufficed to say it was an Over The Line morning. Before 10am Joe and I were each responsible for 1 of the following: A hole in a door (from an object being thrown at it) and a once nice wooden scooter, smashed.
We composed ourselves, gave Joey a few pep talks, and then we went to pick up our friend who had come to visit from NJ. We put our tour guide hat on and did the whole driving around the island thing with the kids. We were still tired, but glad to see our friend and glad to be out of the house. We went to Dole Plantation because you know, you have to when your mainland friends visit so they can go back and say "I went to Dole Plantation". It was very crowded that day. We were able to grab a table in the middle of the courtyard. Our dear friend treated us to some Dole Whip. We placed the ice cream in front of Joey and everyone grabbed spoons to share. As soon as I took some of the ice cream, Joey who was already cranky, started to melt down and throw a tantrum. "NOOO MY ICE CREAM!! (CRY) DON'T EAT IT!! MY PINEAPPLE ICE CREAM" He starts yelling (making the ugly face) and Joe and I just looked at him, exhausted. I suddenly felt this strange vibe. I scan the area and sure enough people (mostly mainland tourists) were glaring, whispering, discontent that their dole whip victual was ruined by my son's hissy fit. I'm no stranger to the judgement scene and normally I could care less but that day I was not in the right state of mind. I did something I would never normally do. I heard the table behind us say "Look at them they're just sitting there." I jolted up, turned around and faced at the elderly couple whispering and looked at them square in the eye. With my stare I was saying, "YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME?!?!? WHAT!?!? YOU THINK YOU CAN DO BETTER!?!!? YOU DON'T KNOW ME!?!?" My stare was only a second. As soon as they saw me, they looked away. "YEA~ THATS WHAT I THOUGHT!!!" ... I thought and sat back down. Looking back if they had said something to me in that nano second, I swear I woulda fought. I think I might have thrown a chair and a Dole Whip, and maybe a pineapple or two.
We finally got home and I had about a half hour before I had to go to church that night. Joe asked if he could lie down for a bit before I had to leave. I agreed, put Kaitlyn in the walker, and while Joey was running around, I sat down and covered my face, so exhausted. Their stares, their whispers, kept running through my mind, that I'm a bad mom, even worse, that hes a bad kid. More than their judgement, I was upset because, maybe they are right. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Why is he so difficult? Why is everything a battle? When will it end? Suddenly Joey sees my face covered and disrupts my pity party. "Mommy!!! Wak up!!" He lunges toward me playfully and in doing so he hits his head on my lower lip and it started to bleed a little. OUCH! that was it, I started to cry... more like sob. It didn't hurt that much, it was everything else, feeling helpless, feeling there wasn't enough in me, feeling like I was not enough to be the mom he needed me to be. While I'm covering my face, tears streaming down, Joey removes my hands and sees that I'm crying. His playful face changes to alarm and concern (I don't think hes ever seen me cry before). He gently runs his fingers through my hair and says "Mommy don't cry. I'm sorry I just want you to wak up." This makes me cry even more. He then gives me a hug and he said what I say to him whenever he gets hurt. "Mommy its ok, your ok..." that's right, forget their stares, their glares, their judgement, I'm ok, your ok. I hugged him back and the tighter I held him, the more reassured I became. I can only hold on to what I know. We are ok because I love my son and he loves me.