The Day All Parents Dread

Posted on Friday 27 February 2009

It finally happened. I’ve been sort of dreading it, and it might actually have been worse than I imagined.

That’s right, the dreaded TEMPER TANTRUM. Here’s the thing – I am generally pretty careful about maintaining a schedule for my kids. We’re home for nap pretty much every day (unless they’re at school), they go to bed at the same time, and so on. I always carry snacks and I don’t tackle known tantrum spots when I have both kids in tow. The one massive tantrum Bug had in the past (yes, just one) was pretty traumatic (for me), but it was just the two of us. I dragged, threatened and wheeled (in a shopping cart) my flailing, screeching 3 year old through a parking lot and wrestled him into his car seat. It was ugly, but I handled it.

This time, I wasn’t quite so lucky. When I went to pick up Bug from from his preschool class, I already had LadyBug in tow. I took one look at my little guy and knew something was off. It was confirmed when his teacher told me that Bug had skipped his nap that day. *Queue foreshadowing horror music here*

Every time I pick up the kids, I brace myself for the, “I don’t want to go home” argument. So far, I have always managed to head it off with promises of snacks in the car, special games at home, and hours of Wonderpets. Today my bribes were met with Bug’s casual, “Uhm.. no, thank you. I’m going to stay here and play.” The calm, polite demeanor didn’t fool me. I knew a storm was brewing. I have him a time warning and heard again, “No, thank you.”

The negotiating went on for 5 or so minutes, while LadyBug roamed around the room making herself at home with the older kids. I finally scooped him up and carried him over to the cubbies. And that’s when the dam broke. First he hit me and then he started screaming at the top of his lungs. I literally had to restrain him while putting on his jacket, convincing LadyBug to come over, putting on her jacket and gathering all of their gear.

A number of parents walked in and tried to ignore the scene in the hall. Of course, they had to step over my lunatic child to get into the classroom. I smiled apologetically and said, “We haven’t had a tantrum like this in awhile.”

Now here’s something I probably haven’t had a reason to mention on here. Bug weighs over 40 lbs. Although he’s only 3, he’s wearing 5T clothes and is very tall for his age. I honestly try to avoid carrying him as much as possible because he’s so ridiculously heavy. But he was screaming and causing a scene in his classroom and I was feeling like I was about to be referred for a SuperNanny episode. So I picked up my screaming, struggling son, two lunch bags and the kids snow gear and I was left without a hand for little LadyBug. This caused her to descend into tears, and rightly so. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to manage getting a 20-month old across the street without holding her hand.

I managed to get both kids out of the building and into the fenced-in playground and then I was stuck. I put Bug down, where he sat on the cold, sandy ground. LadyBug and I pretended we were going to leave him. I threatened, I begged, I considered calling my husband to come home early. A number of smirking parents walked by with their happy, smiling kids. I’m sure they were counting their blessings that it wasn’t their child acting out. I just couldn’t figure out how to get my kids to the car without leaving one behind.

Finally, when I was about ready to start crying myself, one of Bug’s teachers came out and took his hand. He still refused to walk and I finally picked him back up, but he had, at least temporarily, stopped yelling. She walked over to LadyBug, picked up our bags and grabbed Lady by the hand. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but this woman saved me today. She walked us to the car, made sure I was ok and headed home. Were I not still wrestling Bug, I would have given her a hug.

Anyway, I forced Bug into his carseat and closed the door to his screams. LadyBug was strapped in and given the customary snack (Bug later accused me of “forgetting” to give him a snack). We drove home to Bugs’ sobbing and wailing. Now that I was no longer worried about crossing the street, I just ignored him. When he shouts in the car, I generally turn up the radio and start singing. It makes me feel better and it drives him crazy.

When I got home and saw my husband standing in the doorway, I parked the car and burst into tears. Hours later, I’m still upset by the whole thing. So, other parents… what would you have done to avoid the tantrum, get the kids to the car and get safely home?

Christy @ 12:24 am
Filed under: Bug (aka Little Guy) andLadyBug andMe
Hello, People. I Work.

Posted on Thursday 26 February 2009

My kids now go to daycare two days a work, which leaves me with a blissfully quiet house and some time to get things done. Some of the time goes into coordinating the lives of my family… Bug and LadyBug have a seemingly neverending supply of appointments and paperwork and so on. And there are plenty of things that need to be fixed, maintained, etc. But really, the time at daycare is when I’m “at work.”

In case you’re new here, I’m a writer. My primary gig is over at About.com where I write about Family Computing. I also write for a few other websites and am in the process of launching a new blog called Quirky Fusion. Big Guy and I are planning on launching another website in a few weeks and, in my spare time, I sell Barefoot Books. Now, imagine doing all of that while taking care of a preschooler and a toddler. Suffice to say that I was incredibly busy, incredibly stressed, and incredibly behind in my work.

Enter daycare, my saving grace. Not only does it give me more time to work, but it’s good for the kids, it decreases the cleaning requirements in the house (if they aren’t here, they can’t make a mess), and it allows me to enjoy them more when they are around. One thing it does NOT allow me to do (in part because I’m still trying to figure out how to pay for the aforementioned daycare) is lounge around playing video games and watching TV. Ok, I lie. Since my job does involve some video game reviews I do occasionally play a game, but only if it’s WORK RELATED.

Dear Family and Friends, yes, I am happy that the kids are in daycare two days a week and feel very fortunate that we are able (at least temporarily) to pull this off. But, no, I am not “enjoying my free time.” I am, however, enjoying the feeling of writing a coherent sentence, catching up on blogging, properly maintaining my About.com site and being able to market myself and my writing in a more powerful way. Thank you for your interest.

Christy @ 3:46 pm
Filed under: Blogging andBusiness Stuff andRandom and Weird
Three Wishes

Posted on Monday 23 February 2009

This year, I have three wishes above and beyond generic things such as health and happiness. They’re small, but I want to put them out there because they’re also goals.

1. I want us to figure out how to pay for the kids’ daycare two days a week. They’re doing so well and I’ve already seen a positive impact for them and our entire family. I’d hate to have to pull them out.

2. A selfish wish.. I’d like to go to BlogHer. (As it turns out, I’ve been selected as a panelist so I’m going. Check!)

3. I want to take a family vacation to DisneyWorld this fall for Bug’s 4th birthday. I know it’s cliche’ and corny, but I think it’s one of the most magical places. I’ve even been entering sweepstakes for trips. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I’m just plugging ahead like it will!

So, there. Maybe putting them in writing will help me make them a reality.

Christy @ 12:45 am
Filed under: Me andMy Family
I Guess Brunch is Out

Posted on Tuesday 10 February 2009

Bug had his allergy check-up this week. His blood tests for eggs were negative, but he had shown a strong skin reaction. Still, the allergist suggested that we try giving him a cookie or other baked good with eggs. I started envisioning breakfast out for pancakes (made with eggs) or waffles (made with eggs) or even pastries (also made with eggs).

We decided to bake cupcakes for a party we were attending (we’ve still got nut allergies to worry about). We gave Bug a few bites before we left and everything looked great, so off we went to the party. At cake time, one mom tried to hand him cake and ice cream which kind of freaked me out since he couldn’t eat either one (the ice cream had egg in it, too). I’m not used to things like that since all of our family and friends know he has food allergies. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was already feeling bad that we hadn’t planned for ice cream for him. Luckily, he was too tired to care by that point!

Anyway, long story short, the experiment failed. When Big Guy wiped the frosting off Bug’s face, Bug had a rash all around his mouth. I think he’s had the frosting before and it should be safe, so that means a relatively severe skin reaction to the cupcake considering how much cupcake you get on your face! We gave him Benadryl and he was otherwise fine, but it was still disappointing. Back to square one…

Christy @ 1:32 am
Filed under: Bug (aka Little Guy) andFood Allergies
Mother Love

Posted on Sunday 8 February 2009

We took the kids to a birthday party at Jump on In! today. LadyBug LOVED it. She went on the slide over and over with whoever would take her. Bug… not so much. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle with things that his peers find easy. It’s all that much harder now that LadyBug is showing us what “normal” means. I don’t care if Bug is “normal” or not, but I want him to be happy and he has such a hard time that he can’t enjoy many activities in his life.

Tonight I read some very sad news. The McClenahan family lost their daughter Cora. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (neuroblastoma) on January 25 and passed away today at only 11 months’ old. I discovered this news while checking in on Yummy Mummy who lost her baby Aiden at 38 weeks’ gestation.  I can’t really imagine what these families are going through, but it does put my concerns in perspective. My kids (knock on wood) are healthy and relatively happy.

As I was mulling over the situation, I heard crying. It was Bug. I ran into his room (suffice to say that I was already feeling a bit freaked out) and found him sitting up in bed and looking distraught. Since he hasn’t been feeling well today, I was concerned. When I asked what was wrong, he told me that he needed his teddy bear and turtle. He was only missing his stuffed animals! Once they were restored to their rightful place on his bed and I had showered him with hugs and kisses, he promptly informed me, “I’m going to go to sleep now, Mama.”

I’m not sure I would have chosen to have kids if I had known how much I would love them. That probably sounds stupid, but you can’t help but be vulnerable when you love someone that much. I hate being vulnerable. Anyway, it’s too late. =} I’m smitten.

Christy @ 11:16 am
Filed under: Me