I have to remind myself that I create the situations that foster the behavior that my toddler exhibits. To be upset at my kid for things he doesn’t understand isn’t fair to him. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking doesn’t occur to me until well after the fact that the situation occurred, and I am beyond upset.
There was a toddler situation that happened a few months back that felt like the worst day ever since becoming a mom. However, I forget whatever happened. The only memory I have of the day is cuddling with my toddler when he’s already asleep. So I selectively remembered the good.
Upon asking where Aidan wanted a cheeseburger and a toy, mom, we went to Sonic to fulfill his wishes. He ate in the car on the way to the hair cut place, which was just a few minutes down the road. We played with his toy, a plastic Mohawk, while he ate the rest of his cheeseburger in the parking lot.
Aidan, Owen and I went inside of Great Clips. They had two people in chairs receiving haircuts, but other than those customers, we were next in line. There was a man getting a buzz haircut, and I figured the wait for Aidan would be short.
BUT! It felt like forever. Aidan played with toys, Owen went for hair care products. If Aidan saw Owen being bad, he had to do the same. Aidan proclaimed he was a baby and proceeded to walk like a baby and knock stuff over. I distracted Owen with the toys, and of course, Aidan had to scream “those are my toys.” Owen will let out a scream, and Aidan would let out a louder scream or two…or three. I would scold Aidan, then Owen would scream again. I tell Owen “no” but he doesn’t understand. REPEAT. And REPEAT. And REPEAT. After an eternity, the hair dresser was finally ready for Aidan.
AJ always tells me how great Aidan does with a haircut. He tells me the haircut only takes a few minutes, and Aidan sits still. LIES LIES! Aidan did not sit still. Aidan did not listen, Aidan’s haircut took forever. While the hairdresser was patiently distracting and asking Aidan to listen to her directions, the second hairdresser said she was ready for Owen.
Owen does not want his hair cut. He is screaming, crying, and moving all around. He’s in a booster seat with me closely by waiting to grab a lunging baby, errrr, toddler. Then I hear “momma” from the first hairdresser. I turn around to see Aidan has a nose bleed. He kept rubbing his nose because the hair was irritating him. He rubbed it and accidentally pushed pointy hairs up his nose.
Like a deer in the headlights, I froze. What do I do? Aidan is upset his nose is bleeding, and Owen is mad about his hair cut. The first hairdresser has given Aidan tissue, and the second one is telling me she has Owen, not to worry. Okay, run to Aidan. I calm him down and told the tissue on his nose while the hairdresser is brushing off the cut hair. I get the bleed to stop, so I rush back to Owen to give him his pacifier. Aidan rubs his nose like I told him not to do, and the bleeding resumes. Owen is moving his head left and right, up and down, and squirming in his chair. I grab Owen, hold his head, and the hairdresser finishes with Owen.
The first hairdresser takes Owen from me so I can use a cold, wet towel for Aidan and his nose. I sit Aidan down in a chair while I fetch my purse to pay for the haircuts. I generously tip the hairdressers, take Owen, and am about to leave when Aidan asks for a sucker. The first hairdresser promised him one (with my permission), and he wants to pick it out. But she hands him a sucker instead…cue a meltdown. I calm Aidan down, walk him to the counter, and I offer him the suckers. He picks one, looks at it, and cries. Nope, he picked the wrong one. He eventually finds what he wants (the same color as he originally chose), and we all leave NOT crying.
I’m outside, feeling like I escaped the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and I take a deep breath. We survived.
I remembered I forgot cream cheese for a dip I am making tomorrow, so I think we can make a short walk to Publix since Great Clips is in the same shopping center. We walk to Publix on the sidewalk, grab a car cart, and enter the store.
Aidan wants a balloon. Aidan wants candy. Aidan wants his cheeseburger toy. I want out of here!
We check out, park the car cart with the other carts in the store. I pick Aidan up first and place him on the ground. I grab the two grocery bags, the diaper bag, and my purse. I unsnap Owen and pick him up. Aidan is at the toy and candy machines, you know, the quarter machines. He wants this and that, and he doesn’t even know what this and that are. I tell Aidan to take my hand. He refuses. I tell Aidan “let’s go.” He refuses. I squat down to look Aidan in the eyes and give him the directions firmly. He refuses. He runs. He runs out the automatically opening doors. I yell for Aidan to stop. He runs towards the cross walk, and I’m yelling. I grab his hand and yank him away from the cross walk. He escapes my grasp and runs back into Publix. He runs in circles at the entrance of Publix where I see the looks in people’s eyes. You know “control your kid” or “you poor thing”.
Aidan runs back outside again. Again I grab him. Again he escapes. Again he runs back into the store. Fortunately for me, he stops to stare at the quarter machines, so with my one empty arm, I pick him up. So now I’m probably toting 80 lbs in both my arms, with two kids struggling to get free. At this point, I have tears in my eyes because my kid will not listen, my kid endangered himself, and my kid is uncontrollable.
Aidan starts to cry and scream. Walking out of the store, a man says to me “I would be crying too if I had to wear that much orange.” Thanks dude, I needed a laugh, but I sort of feel like punching you in the face. Lucky you, I don’t have a free hand.
I can’t walk the entire way back with both boys. Honestly, it’s 100’ give or take, it’s not far. Great Clips is the next store down from Publix. Fortunately, Aidan walks, crying the entire way. Crying in the car seat. Crying on the way home. Crying at home.
I turned up the radio, put the widows down, and drove the whole way home not talking to my toddler who kept saying “I want to ‘pologize. Mommy, I’m sooooorrry”. I needed a mental break. Fortunately for me, the radio was playing all the good music, so I sang. Owen smiled.