Oh how I remember Sunday Funday. It was a fabulous day of relaxation, libations and musical vibrations before going back to work on Monday. Urban Dictionary defines Sunday Funday as: a celebration extending the weekend festivities just a little longer before hanging up your party pants.
Fast forward to the mom version of Sunday Funday and it resembles nothing of the sort. As to be expected but this Sunday could possibly have been the Anti-Sunday Funday. Those who know me well know that my son was a difficult newborn. He wasn’t a good sleeper. He had intestinal problems when he was first-born. He yelled and cried all the time. And he could never just be still. Sweetest kid ever but not the least bit interested in anything calm. Once he started crawling then walking, there was never a pause to his day.
Well fortunately as he has gotten older he has gotten better and out grown a lot of bad habits. He had some terrible two days but we have now entered into a whole new stage. The era of what I am calling the treacherous threes! Tantrums, throwing, kicking, not yelling but screaming at the top of his lungs – you name it he is doing it. Until yesterday it had only happened at home.
I’d like to share what happened during my anti-Sunday Funday. In addition, I’m going to share some things I learned as a result of my adventure.
The morning started off great. Sunday’s we do, or rather I do, grocery shopping and usually take one of the kids with me. The plan was to take my daughter but my son made it abundantly clear that he wanted to go with mommy. So that was that. It was going to be a mommy and son outing. Things were shaping up great.
We stopped by Michael’s before the grocery store (they are right next door to each other) to get a cookie press. Well Michael’s has all their holiday décor on sale so there was a little browsing. My son began yelling to test his echo, and then proceeded to put multiple things in the basket. When telling him to stop the loudest most indignant no’s you can imagine came back at me. Then turned my back for one minute and turned back around to find him wedged in a half empty rack that was about to fall down. Things like this persisted but then I asked that he pull the basket and he loved it. He was a bit slow but it gave him a job, kept him out of the racks and it was good. As we were approaching the line a woman in a hurry and on her cell phone almost stepped on him when we collided in the entrance of the line. I motioned for her to go first. She insisted that I go. At the front my son decided to drop the basket handle and go to the drink cabinet and start pulling out waters. In the midst of that a cashier opened up. When I turned back around the woman in a hurry behind me politely rolled her eyes (sarcasm at its finest) and said, “Umm 5 is ready.” Now I’m not going to lie. At that moment I wanted to channel all of the frustration and energy I was trying not to project onto my son, into that woman. Thanks for not understanding the struggle of having a stubborn toddler who is testing boundaries. Thanks for no empathy for a mom doing her best. But instead, I graciously said thank you and went about my purchase.
Pause for a quick timeout in the car to reset and we move on to the grocery store. All was good in the store until there was a woman sampling chocolate who set things into a tail spin. Now I purposefully tried to stay away from this woman. But it was as if I had a beacon on me saying, “Me, me over here with the crazy toddler. I need more crazy!” From across the freezer bin she pipes up and says, “You guys want to try some chocolate?” That was it. That was all my little human needed to hear. The demanding of chocolate began. And when I said no, so did the screams and the kicking of the cart. Get that to die down and then five minutes later, in the cheese aisle the “I want some chocolate” begins again. I held his face in my hands trying first to break the cycle and to get him to breathe and pause. That did nothing. He continued screaming, getting louder and louder, kicking the cart to make even more noise. Next came the firm, no’s and stop this now. Nothing. At that moment a woman from the bakery walked up and tapped him on the shoulder and asked him his name. She told him his eyes were to pretty of a blue to cry like that. He had stopped crying. Lord he had stopped. I mouthed thank you to her and was oh so grateful. For at that moment, I felt helpless and embarrassed. I was THAT mom. With THAT kid. With all those people, all staring at her thinking, “Wow, she needs to get control of her kid” or the people who think, “That will never be me. I will never have a kid who acts like that.” I know they were thinking it. Because before kids, I must admit, I thought it too. I walked past some of them and said, “late for naptime” which he wasn’t. I was just too embarrassed by their looks not to make an excuse.
While he was calm I grabbed my last item and started checking out. I had to get an item scanned that he was holding. Holy crap Batman! It started again. In line with all items almost scanned. I couldn’t abandon now. As he screamed and kicked and pushed off of me, the cashier tried saying, “Careful Santa won’t come.” That only made it worse. Then she says “Careful or he won’t give you any presents.” Now really, that is not appropriate to say to someone’s kid who you don’t know, aren’t related to, and who shops at your store.
In the car on the way home as he cried and sobbed, I wanted to cry and sob. But I fought back the tears, got him home and into bed. And as he yelled in the other room my husband came up stairs walked in and with a loud firm “Be quiet” he stopped. Meanwhile I’m balling my eyes out in the other room. Wondering where I went wrong. This can’t be normal. My daughter never did this. It must be something that I did.
Things I learned from this anti-Sunday Funday:
- Don’t feel guilty about wanting to punch the rude woman in the face. The fact that I didn’t punch her and that I was actually kind, means I do have grown-up skills. But next time insist to the insistent person that they go ahead. If they were in a hurry before, they still will be in five minutes.
- Nonchalant attempts to avoid samplers do not work. As Yoda says, “do or do not, there is no try.” Complete avoidance will be the tactic next time I’m faced with this dilemma.
- We need more people like the bakery woman. I will be sure to pay forward her empathy.
- Screw the people staring at you. And don’t feel like you need to make excuses. Life isn’t perfect pictures like you see on Pintrest or Instagram. It’s real. It’s messy. It’s loud and it’s sometimes embarrassing. And you do the best you can.
- It’s not me. Every child is different. Don’t second guess yourself. Just have faith that you and your little one will get through it.
- And the next time I have a bad day at work I can compare it to this one and see if it really chalks up or if it’s all in my head.
- Lastly, if I ever get a chance to have a real Sunday Funday again, I will cherish it till the last drop of sun sinks into the ocean.