Well Happy Wednesday. What was supposed to be a little trip to the city with the kids, to make some returns and search for some house things, ended up turning into, well; just keep reading.
We started the day with our usual breakfast at home. I packed a bag while the kids ate. Then we loaded up and headed out! Carter and I talked the first 30 minutes about the semi trucks we drove past, and the food delivery truck that followed us most of the way. Then he dozed off and I had some peace and quiet the rest of the way.
We stopped at a home store first, I’ve been looking for some curtains for the kids rooms! Everything went pretty well, the kids had a snack, I got what I needed, everything was good. We headed to TJ Maxx next (always find some goodies there) just for fun! This wasn’t planned but I figured while we were down there, might as well!
We got over to the kids section, and Carter was browsing at the toys. Now before we even went into the store, we had a quick chat that we wouldn’t be getting any toys. Carter asked “can we just look please?” So I agreed and that was the plan. Well then he laid eyes on this huge green garbage truck that made sounds, and the lights flashed. In his mind, he was not leaving that store without it. We do NOT need any more toys… and so I made the comment maybe we could ask Santa for one of those for Christmas. That went over well.. NOT. Carter started sobbing. I reminded him that I said we could come look but we wouldn’t be buying anything. More tears. I leaned down, gave him a hug and said, “Carter I understand you’re upset, and I’m sorry. But we aren’t going to get that big garbage truck today. We don’t get a toy every time we come to a store that has them.”
That’s when the loud, sobbing, crocodile tears started. So I put him in the big part of the cart, and headed up to pay. The line was a little long but I assumed I could calm Carter down while we waited. Well little man was on a WHOLE OTHER LEVEL today. And might I add, Payton was being a little angel just chatting it up and all smiles!
Carter cried the whole way to the front of the store. And not just crying, SOBBING like it was the end of the world. I questioned whether I should even hop in line but I just assumed we’d calm down up there. Well you know what happens when you assume… Carter was screaming “I WANT THAT TOY!!!” I was still calm at this point and just kept acknowledging that he was upset, but that we wouldn’t be getting anything. I’m already sweating because I can feel everyone staring, and plus wearing a mask makes you feel even more warm when you’re worked up.
Then he stands up in the cart, and stomps his feet still yelling! That’s when Miss Nice Mommy was long gone. I quietly but sternly said, “Carter sit your butt down, and stop acting like this, etc.” but he certainly wasn’t done. “LET ME GET IT!! NO! I WANT IT!!” The line hadn’t even moved. So I pulled him out of the cart, got Payton out of the front seat, pushed my cart to the side, and worked my way out of line. I basically had to drag Carter because he didn’t want to leave.
I couldn’t even fathom the way he was behaving. He has NEVER acted this terrible before. Like yes he has thrown a small fit here or there when he’s upset or doesn’t get what he wants. But nothing has ever even came close to what I witnessed today!! HOLY CRAP.
We get to the car; I still haven’t said anything, and I get Payton buckled back in. I walk Carter to his side (he’s still crying), then I shut the door and go to my side to start the car so it’d cool off. I had no words. I wanted to yell, I wanted to scream, I wanted to go apologize to everyone again in the store for his behavior. But I felt way too many emotions. Embarrassed, like I was incapable of parenting, questioning what happened that led for this behavior. I started crying. It was just a lot. I felt so confused. Then I started re-thinking everything, and what I could have done differently. I had no idea, maybe this was just a bad moment.
I turned around and hopped in the back seat, and Carter and I honestly cried together. He was still sad about his toy, and I was sad about my own feelings. In a five minute span, the day went from great to why did we even come. I tried to wrap my head around why he would behave that way, and tried talking with him. He was so set on that garbage truck he didn’t care about anything else. Once we got calmed down, I unbuckled him and just held him. I could feel his tears soaking into my shoulder. I felt terrible. But also like semi-proud if myself that I stood my ground? UGH. Parenting is weird, and hard.
We had already drove all that way, so we still made our other two stops before heading home. They went fine, got the things we needed. But the whole way home I just kept replaying that TJ Maxx disaster. It’s in the past now, but still wondering what I could have done differently, other than buying the toy of course!
So yes, I was that mom today, with the screaming child in the store, while everyone stared, just trying to keep my cool. And to the lady who made a comment while we were in line “Well someone’s not having a good day!” MIND YA BUSINESS. As if I wasn’t already upset enough or felt like everyone was looking at us…
It is what it is, and each moment with kids is a learning experience. Not every single day can be a good one, but there is some good in each day. (Like the cute curtains I got for Payton’s room LOL) And knowing that every mom has been through something hopefully similar too!
Lots of love and God Bless,