The Snow Globe

by Ginger on November 8, 2013

in Mom Thoughts

Today was a rough parenting day. I didn’t get a lot of sleep, Jackson is still getting up early (stupid time change, you can just bite me), N.C. was gone for art biz stuff, and Jackson…well, Jackson was Jackson. We had some small skirmishes throughout the morning, all escalating as he got more tired (dude, if you’d stop getting up at 6 am…I’m just sayin’). Then we were in Target, and we had picked up a snow globe, a wintery one. I thought it would be something nice to start slowly transitioning to some holiday decor, and Jackson was totally entranced with it. So I let him hold it.

In hindsight, perhaps not the best idea.

He was sitting in the big part of the cart, and he was holding the snow globe in his lap, and HONESTLY, he was doing great with it. He was being gentle with it and I (stupidly) thought it would be ok. But then, for some reason, he wanted to see what the sticker on the bottom said. And somehow in looking at it globe side down, he ended up smacking the globe into the bottom of the cart.

You can see where this ended up, no?

All of a sudden, he was covered in glass, water, and whatever it is that makes that fake snow. Now, I don’t know about other parents, but my reaction in these instances is always split: there is part of me that is FREAKING OUT because my kid is covered in glass, there is part of me that is TOTALLY PISSED OFF because I *told* you it was really fragile why can’t you just listen for the love of God, part of me feels bad because I know he feels terrible and is freaking out (I SO remember the terror of breaking a glass or something. I get it), part of me feels totally embarrassed that we’re now THAT family in the middle of the store, and part of me is guilty that my kid broke something. And in this particular case, I felt terribly because somehow the amount of water that was in that snow globe soaked about 1/2 of the aisle. Seriously, I couldn’t figure out how they fit that much water in there.

So all of that spins in my head at the exact same moment. Luckily, my instinct kicks into gear, because I have him out of the cart (somehow, no glass stuck to him) within seconds of it happening, and he’s freaked out so he’s not moving, for once. And I say some parental things to calm him down, and let him know he’s ok, but also that this is why we have to be careful…I’m still not sure exactly what all I said. But by his reaction, I remember having the thought: “Well, I hate that this happened, but now he’ll calm down.” And I went back over to the cart to start pulling our few items out.

I know, am I new or something?

It was not more than a minute later that I look over, and he has one of the items I had put in the cart(I still don’t know when he ended up with it), and he is slowly shredding the price tag. And THAT? That was apparently my breaking point. After 5 hours of slowly mounting frustrations, it wasn’t the broken snow globe that made me yell and lose my cool. No, it was him shredding the price tag for a $1.38 clearance purchase. So I yelled. And he cried. And I hugged him and said I was sorry for yelling, but we were leaving now and no he wasn’t going to get his treat, and yes he was going to lose a marble for not listening, and then we had the full body kicking and screaming tantrum complete with people stopping to stare and give us dirty looks.*

The whole thing was just an exercise in “Whoa you are a terrible parent” feelings (and looks).

It’s now 9 hours later, and I’m still beat from the morning. He was still testy this evening, and we had several moments, but this morning is what did me in. And I hate that. I hate when I feel like all of my parenting boils down to U R DOING IT WRONG because of a series of events that fall like dominoes.

Tomorrow is another day. Another day to try and do better, and hope I’m the parent I want and need to be instead of the one I was today.

*Look, I used to be of the “Pick him up and physically remove him” camp, but he is frankly too big and too strong for me to do that. If I try to do that, the tantrums are seriously 3-5 times longer. So now, when he has a tantrum like that, we stay where we are. And ignore him for the 2-3 minutes that it takes for him to calm down (he HATES being ignored). And try desperately to ignore the looks. Trust me people, your looks aren’t telling me anything I’m not already thinking about myself as a parent, but they also aren’t helping the situation. Just move along.

Robbie November 8, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Hope tomorrow is a better day. Ignore the busy bodies–you know what works for your child.

April November 9, 2013 at 4:03 am

Ugh. Thankfully every day is a new day. I probably would have handled it pretty much exactly the same – hugs!

Sonya November 9, 2013 at 8:44 am

I got chills reading this, as Sophie has acted similarly with me out in public and it is so hard to ignore the stares of judgmental people while you try to calm down and control your kid. And I’m in the same boat with you…I used to just throw Sophie over my shoulder and carry her out of places crying, but she is too strong and too heavy for me to lift now. One day we had a standoff in the grocery store where she refused to leave the costume aisle with me (because I refused to buy her something) and I had a full basket of groceries. When I realized I couldn’t physically get her to go with me, I called my husband and we waited for him to show up and take her home! And she lost electronics for the rest of the day for not listening to Mommy. Another time, she was freaking out because she didn’t want to leave somewhere and she was hitting, crying, and biting me all the way to the car, much to the horror of those around us (I just kept walking to try and make it be over sooner. Ugh.). Talk about a birth control ad.

Anyway, I hope today is a much better day and don’t beat yourself up by any means-we’ve all been there!

Alexis November 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

You are sooooo not alone in this one. I have a 46 pound 4 year old and we do the Mexican Standoff every. single. day. People stare and give me the eye, it is horrible. But you know what…screw it. People will be glad you did this now when he is not pitching a fit as a 16 year old. Right? Sadly this is a time when being a good parents sucks so much. Why does doing the right thing for the long term make the short term basically unlivable?

On the bad days I just consider myself the poster child for condoms. I often want to call all the teenagers in the area to attention, point, and say “wrap it up kids or this will be you.” I don’t, but it would be awesome.

Try again today, that is all we can do. You are only a bad parent if this stuff doesn’t bother you. <3

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