Caleb, my three year old, is running into the street with three cars coming screaming at the top of his lungs. I yell, "Caleb, COME HERE!"
I leave stroller with my 7 month old with my 6 year old on the curb and run after him. I pull him up, he is kicking and screaming and punching me in the face.
I am afraid that the neighbors are going to call social services because he was making such a commotion.
I call dad- in the middle of a meeting at work to try get him to talk to him, but all I get is more screaming and now he is out of my arms and running around the neighborhood into other people's yards.
I must be the worst parent of the year.
How did all of this escalate? Well, it all started with just taking a walk.
We had just completed over 2 hours of chores, getting ready to host Thanksgiving at my house. I wanted to reward the kids with some TV time for getting their rooms cleaned.
After 30 mins or so, I was ready to get out of the house. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful 60 degrees. The baby needed to be rocked to sleep. A walk sounded wonderful. Just a peaceful walk to the park down the street would be a great bonding time with me and kids. OH SO I THOUGHT.
Yeah. Big Mistake.
It all started with one complaint, "I don't want to walk to the park," says Alyvia, my 6 year old.
Then Caleb, hops into the stroller to ride with the baby, who was trying to go to sleep. I tell them both to run and chase eachother and have a race. I wanted to get their little bodies some exercise.
Another complaint, "I hate walking outside."
Caleb won't hop out of the stroller. I ask him to walk. "NO."
I tell him, "Let's walk or we are going home."
He gets out but then gets back in. I turn around to go home. He hops out, knowing that I'm serious.
Then he get's back in the stroller. I turn around to go home and then NIAGARA falls starts. He is now in full meltdown mode, screaming, "WALK, WALK!!!"
What do I do now, just let him walk and stop the tears, or do good on my word as a parent, but risk being seen trying to control the biggest meltdown in history by a three year old.
He starts running down the street. I see cars coming. I am walking with a stroller and can't just leave that on the side of the road! I tell my 6 year old, who is doing a defiant stance on the curb with her hands on her chest, to watch the baby. I run after my son. I pick him up. He starts punching me and kicking me.
I obviously can't push a stroller with my now screaming 7 month old who is at the tired melt-down phase now.
So I walk the 1/10 of a mile walk to my house, holding a kicking and screaming three year old, while trying to guide a stroller of a screaming baby and help push it with my body as my 6 year old is still having motivation issues.
Of course my neighborhood is one townhouse after another and of course, being the beautiful day that it was, everyone's windows are open. Great. Just great.
I don't get paid enough for this.
We finally get back to the house and I make everyone go upstairs. I hear slamming doors and my son screaming himself to a tired sleep.
I sit down and write when the house is quiet, wondering how I got to the point where I am that annoying parent with the terrible child.
After all the hours of reading, spending time, training, coaching, reading the right parenting books, listening to the right parenting conferences.
I am stuck.
I hear little feet coming down the stairs. My daughter apologizes to starting the whole thing. But I still pretty upset and need some time to think.
"Can I play down here?"
"You embarrassed me in front of the ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD! I need a break."
I really want them to stay upstairs until their father can come home.
I remember that when I was a kid and my father came home and had to spake me, LORD HELP ME. I was scared!
Now, what do I do? Let the day slip past, the beautiful, sun-shiny day with them mad in their rooms? Or do I try again and go outside and do the walk-of-shame in front of my entire neighborhood again with the kids, trying to take another walk?
I wish I had some nice ending to tie this up in a pretty Christian bow, but I really don't have one. Sometimes parenting is the WORST. And that's that.
But hopefully, tomorrow will be different.
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