I cried on two separate occasions this weekend, neither of which I am particularly proud of.
I’ll get to the second ’bout of tears in a moment, but first allow me to describe the inaugural tear-fest, which was out of sheer parenting frustration- like I have never experienced before.
The hubbs was gone all weekend (by Sunday night I was literally counting down the hours until he got home, and the honey-do list was growing by the minute), so it was just me and the little guy flying solo. Ben was sick last week, and has just kind of been “off” since: though he no longer has a fever and his nose isn’t running like a faucet anymore, he has just been a Crankenstein and a bit needier than normal. Friday night he took a long time to fall asleep (as in, up until 10:00 p.m.- which for the record, is past my bedtime), and then of course, he was up earlier than usual on Saturday morning. Someone please explain this phenomenon to me.
On Saturday, after his nap I attempted to take my little Crankenstein to run a couple of errands with me. Perhaps this was my fault- maybe we should have just had a lazy Saturday, since I was sensing he wasn’t being himself. But after being marooned at home with him during the week, this mama needed to get some stuff done (and get out of the house)!! From the get-go things did not go well: he would not hold my hand in the parking lot, he wanted to run all over the store, he was being “boisterous”, and he would not let me put him in the shopping cart. (Please, take a moment to picture this exhausted 6-month prego pushing an empty cart [one-handed!] around Staples, while carrying a wriggling toddler in my arms. #areyoustaringatsomething) After our 3-minute long shopping attempt, I declared the mission useless and we headed back to the car.
I went to put the little bugger back in his car seat and that’s when I got the arched back, kicking, and crying. Okay, let’s try this again. So, I calmly explained to Ben how we had to head home and see what Vader was up to. This has about a 50% success rate. Once again, I was met with crying, wriggling, kicking and arching of the back. Hmmm….New tactic. I then proceeded to explain to Ben that I needed to put him in his car seat so that I could check my purse and see what treats I had for him. (I have never claimed to be a perfect parent; Remember when I did this? And I have been known to employ Brooke’s tactic on occasion. Desperate times call for desperate measures.) Again, arched back, red and (now) screaming face, kicking and wriggling. Slow, deep breaths.
I tried to ask myself WWVD? (What would Vickii do?) I remembered her saying something about ignoring the “cheap drama”. So, I calmly explained to Ben that we would just sit in the parking lot until he let me strap him in. I came around to the driver door, hopped in the car and proceeded to check my e-mail, check FB, i.e. pretend the situation was not making my blood start to boil. After a few minutes, I climbed out and decided to give the car seat another shot. DENIED. Crying, screaming, kicking, etc. A mother waiting to get into her car next to me gave me a sympathetic look and said “Won’t let you strap him in? I’ve been there.” I was so flustered, I should have asked her what she eventually did that worked- but all I could think of is how at this point I was frustrated and embarrassed (not to mention tired). Okay, maybe he needs a few more minutes. Back into the driver’s seat I went, where I pretended to be enjoying a few minutes of “rest”.
Mind you, this entire time I was cursing my husband. I am not exactly sure why- but this whole incident can somehow be blamed on him. Finally, after this entire scene had lasted over 20 minutes, I decided to try again….and again, I was denied. Just writing this I am getting worked up. I closed myself in the car and screamed at the poor little guy. “Why are you being so bad??? Mommy’s is very frustrated!!” I mean, there-is-a-crack-in-my-passanger-window-to-prove-it screamed. I didn’t even realize my voice was capable of producing that much sound. I hysterically yelled a bit more, but I can’t remember what else exactly I said- I think I am already trying to block the memory out. Ben just stared at me and his little lower lip started to quiver. I will probably have this image in my head for the rest of my life.
Again, I climbed out of the car and wrestled with him to strap him into the car seat. He was still crying, kicking, and trying to twist out of my grip, but he seemed to have lost a bit of his fight. When I finally got him secured and hopped in to start the car I was exhausted- both physically and emotionally. Where did that come from?? (Both Ben’s tantrum and my screaming?? I am NOT a yeller.)
As I waited at the light to exit the parking lot, tears started to stream down my face. Ben was still crying from the back seat. We both had a good cry on the way home.
Has anyone else ever experienced the car seat boycott? How do you handle it? Ben has given a bit of resistance on a couple of occasions (usually after we are running a lot of errands and he has had enough of it for the day), but nothing like this.
I felt horrible the entire rest of the night. I totally lost my cool and I feel like I let my little buddy down. I also had a sore throat from screaming so loudly. Thankfully, Ben woke up on Sunday a “bit more himself” and seems to have forgiven me for the episode. (Though I was re-hashing this story to my sister on Sunday afternoon and I noticed that he got very quiet, as though he was listening intently to what I was saying. I wonder if he does remember/if I have permanently scarred him??)
As for my second cry this weekend, that would be my weeping with delight Sunday night when he went right down to bed at 7:00 p.m. without a peep, I sat down to some reality t.v. and tasted a bite of this:
So flippin’ delicious. That’s right, I put it in a heart-shaped dish because that is how much I luuuvvvved it. In fact, there was almost a third ’bout of tears that ensued at this point, when I realized how perfect a glass of wine would be accompanying this heavenly little spread. I’ll be sure to share how to make at it some point later this week.
For now, rehashing Saturday’s car seat incident has left me a little drained. Feel free to share your frustrating parenting moment and help this mama feel a little less nustso!
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