One thing that I have learned through parenting three children over the last 5 (almost 6) years, is that you should NEVER, ever acknowledge that you have triumphed in a certain field. As soon as you start feeling smug about your incredible parenting skills, your children will revolt and plot against you in order to show you up – preferably in public.
Always in public.
There’s nothing that you can do about it – this is a trait that all children are inherently born with. Like I said, don’t think you are exempt – your children will prove you wrong. Case in point:
It’s the one thing that you have no control over but it still leaves you feeling like you are the worst parent ever. Unless that phase is over for you. In which case you feel like the best parent ever because you made it through with everyone still happily in tact!
But actually what has happened is that they have lured you into a false sense of security. It could be months since your last tantrum enduring experience. In fact it’s been so long that when a colleague mentions that they are struggling with their two year old, you smugly comment that they will be over it by 4 – because it’s been 265 and 30 minutes since your ears were last subjected to the Earth shattering experience.
And then it happens.
Catching you off guard and ill-equipped to deal with it appropriately.
In fact it starts because you have parked a full 2 metres further along the road than you usually do during the morning school drop off. Well that’s what triggers it anyway. How flipping dare you make them walk even just that little bit further.
You eventually pry them out of the car while they are emitting blood curdling screams that make the neighbour putting out his dustbin cover his ears. His wife is hiding behind the gate wondering if she should call the police.
What are you supposed to do in situations like this? I’ve forgotten. Well, let’s be honest I wasn’t very good at them when they were happening regularly either.
I ignore her and Kyla and I walk to the corner, with a screaming 4 year old following at a distance. We eventually all make it to the corner and I try and talk sense into her. Because that always works soooooo well. “My girl, this is not on. There is no reason to be acting like this – there was no other parking. Stop it. Seriously just stop it.” Obviously this results in her turning around and making a bee line back to the car – the desired effect yes?! In an effort to not make this take any longer than it had already done, I ran after her and proceeded to rugby tackle her before picking her up into the most awkward carrying position ever.
At this point there were a number of parents also in the process of dropping their kids off – all staring. Some in judgement (your day will come) and others in sympathy.
I couldn’t carry her anymore and when I put her down she starts screaming “Mommy you hurt me” at the top of her lungs. Making an embarrassing situation a mortifying one.
We eventually make it into school where she is suddenly as calm and obedient as a guide dog leading the blind. In an effort to enforce that this must NEVER happen again, we have a little chat in her classroom where she clings to me in her way of apologising without words. Then I had to leave and she cried as her teacher took her away.
Against all logic telling you otherwise, you still find yourself stunned, wondering what you could have done differently to stop it. I had to leave without talking to anyone in fear of doing the ugly cry that was building up inside.
So despite this morning being number one on my list of worst school drop offs ever, it has taught me that parenting will forever keep you on your toes.
It’s the easiest thing to have an opinion about but really is the hardest thing to actually do.