Thursday, March 3, 2011
As I walked across the parking lot, I fully acknowledged the spectacle we were. A sleeping 3 yr old slung over my shoulder, a baby seat hooked on the opposite elbow, and two 5 yr olds trotting on either side. But by the time those doors slid aside to let us in, I had already pumped myself up to feel like Super Mom. We could do this, not only that, we could do it well.
But, even the most optimistic thinking couldn't help this time. The oldest boy wouldn't stay in his appointment. The middle boy wanted to be in the appointment. The baby fussed. My fever broke sending tiny droplets of sweat down the side of my forehead which hopefully distracted you from noticing I needed a tissue. You watched as I dragged the screaming boy through the waiting area and outside. I bribed him with a lollipop and headed back in. He didn't stop. You glanced at your coworker and asked if we wanted to use the playroom. You sent more incredulous looks as 30 min later we retreated to our car, accompanied by more wales from the boy.
I sat in the driver's seat a failure. I wanted to run back in and explain and defend. We are sick! He is tired! I vowed to myself that next week we would perform better.
As I lay in bed last night, I laughed at myself. Performing for a receptionist?! I know it isn't just me. You can see it in the embarrassed looks at the grocery store check out line, the pursed lips and glaring looks at disobedient toddlers. In some ways our children are reflections of us - and we certainly don't hesitate to cash in on that idea in our proudest moments - a gleaming report from a teacher, a score on the field. But they are also children...children who have tantrums, who say rude things, or are tired, or overwhelmed, or shy or anxious. No matter how many books we read or rules we follow, they will always have those moments. And that is ok.
So, Ms. Receptionist Lady, Im not going to imagine you judging us or laughing at how I can't handle my children. Im going to imagine that you found some comfort in knowing that those moments can happen to any parent, as they will to you if they haven't already. And me, Ill hug my kids a little tighter, shrug off the not so great moments, and leave a few at Grandma's next time.
The crazy lady with too many kids