Sunday, June 13, 2010

Washington Park Meltdown

Saturday we made plans to, among other things, take the kids to Washington Park. I wasn't really up for anything as structured as the zoo or any of the other attractions at this park, I just wanted to explore the area with the family and let the children be free range for a bit.We were having a nice enough time wandering the park when, inexplicably, the girl had a meltdown. First, she didn't like the speed or height of the teeter totter. (???) Then she had to go to the bathroom, then she didn't have to go, then she wanted to roll down the hill, then she didn't want to. Then she was mad that she forgot her bubbles in the car. Then she just wanted to scream like a psychopath near the Holocaust Memorial.

I've mentioned before that my daughter is definitely the more difficult of my two children. She's loud, strong-willed, and opinionated. Jay and I have mostly learned how to deal with this and can usually manage to diffuse the situation quickly. But this time it was over the top. Normally when this happens, my first thought is to figure out why she's acting this way. Is she thirsty, hungry, getting sick, tired, over stimulated? This particular child is sensitive to a lot of those factors and when she starts feeling any of those things, it definitely shows in her behaviour. But none of that was really the case this time. It was as if she was possessed and nothing we said or did was working to calm her.
She eventually calmed herself. Partly because the tantrum, whatever the cause, had just run its course and also because I threatened to sell her toys on the internet if she didn't shape up. Probably not my best moment as a mom, but I was desperate.

We ended up leaving the park early anyway because it seemed best to cut the whole outing short. Before leaving though, I did get this picture of Mt. Hood off in the distance: Gorgeous isn't it? It was such a clear, beautiful day.

I don't really know why I'm writing this. I guess because I feel I need to issue a public apology to everyone trying to enjoy the park while we were there (especially the couple at the Holocaust Memorial-SORRY!) But also because I was just so appalled by my kid's behaviour. Have you ever been out in a public place and you see a kid screaming over something, possibly ripping things from the shelves of a store, or laying on the floor kicking and screaming? And you think to yourself, "Man! That kid is a shithead!" Well, this Saturday, my kid was the shithead.

I'm sorry, Washington Park.


Carla said...

Oh Tammi, she sounds just like my daughter! It is so aggravating isn't it? I'm constantly worried people around us will think I'm the worst parent ever. For example: she will ask to go to the potty when we're in a public place just for something to do, whether she has to or not. We must sound so cruel saying "no" but when she is using it....
We do our best as parents and that's all we can do...right?

CT said...

oh gosh, Tam. Where do I start? my eldest is quite emotional and my youngest is momma's girl. You know how that goes. I am more charitable now when I see other moms struggling with their stomping/crying/tantrum throwing kids. Don't worry, almost all of us moms have been there. Sending you hugs!

Aleta said...

You know what I like about this post? Honesty.

You wrote it out like it was and I respect you for it. I've seen kids acting that way and it happens. What I don't like is when the parents totally ignore it.

If my brother and I misbehaved in public as kids, my Mom didn't care if it was public, we'd get a spanking or at the very least, a strong "talking to."

Tammie said...

carla: lucy does the same thing and its beyond frustrating. it started on the drive to oregon, she'd say she HAD to go, we'd stop, and of course nothing. i tried to be understanding then, because we were in the car all day, but now i think she can handle a 10-15 minute drive to the city without us needing to scope out all the readily accessible public restrooms!

ct: i know, normally i look at "those moms" and think bad thoughts. NEVER AGAIN!!!!

aleta: your comment means a lot coming from someone without kids. ive seen the parents letting their kids get away with murder and i always try to, at the very least, make it known that its not okay.

nevertravelled said...

Oh, so not fun. I fully support threats in the right situation. :)

hester said...

I love your honesty, too, Tammie. Thankfully, Gret saves her worst behaviour at home. I'd love to know what your secret method is for "diffusing" the situation. Last week, she chucked a tantrum in the car, and in desperation I turned the CD up loudly so I couldn't hear her. A few seconds later, I saw the flash of a speeding camera and next thing I got a $130 fine in the mail! I guess I lost my concentration.

I think you sound like an amazing mother. She's a lucky possum, your girl.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Been there. My daughter is 16 and can be a nightmare still. She is so much more difficult than my boys. She has wrecked many a family gathering with her attitude. I keep thinking it's going to get better -- but it probably only will when she heads off to college. Sorry -- you've got a few years to go! Hang in there and be patient. I know it's trying. Man, do I know.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oh Tammie you always say you're a bad mom. If it were easy more people would do this for heaven's sake. You're doing great!!

Sometimes I wish that 16 yr olds could spend a day with children who aren't being their best self - it would be great birth control !!
Teenagers tend to romantize babies don't you think?

I know you give such comfort to other moms with your stories.
As for we, non-moms, I never ever give a mom dirty looks on a plane, store or anywhere. I don't walk in your shoes...I'm not worthy!

Penny said...

Is it horrible that I'm secretly (OK I guess not so secretly) sort of happy that it isn't only my kid who causes embarassing scenes?

I'm sorry though, I know that pain all too well!

Dani said...

Target brings out the worst in my children. It's as if an evil curse is put upon them...and *they* turn into shitheads.

The Boy is moody. And his blood sugar level will affect even the best of times. Things can go south in a hurry if there isn't a meal planned.

Motherhood. Ain't it grand?

kraftykash said...

Good thing, as Moms, we are equipped to move on. Kalen has been known to throw lots of fits over the yrs. If people cant handle it in public, thats their problem. You moved to beautiful country. I love the pics. :)

Theresa said...

I've been there. I am far less judgemental of other moms with tantrum throwing kids after having been through a few public ones with our girl. It happens to all of us at some point or another.