Today was one of THOSE days with the kids. They’ve all three been a little fussier than usual because Zack has been out of town since this weekend, so naturally my mom and I have been looking for ways to distract them. We came up with the genius (or so we thought) idea of going to the biggest mall in town that is not usually too crowded, letting them run off some energy, ride the train through the mall, and get a treat, of course. My mom had my dad call one of his driver friends and everything was set up for us to leave after Thaddeus’ nap time. It was going to be just perfect.
Then the trouble started. Thaddeus decided that he wanted to sit by the window (we don’t use car seats in India). I made him sit in the middle and to put it mildly, he lost it. High-pitched shrieks, screams…he even managed to squeeze out a few tears. Right when we started to think that the mall idea was a bad one, the driver turned around and said pleasantly, but loudly, “What happened?” For some reason, it startled Thaddeus into silence and he behaved for (almost) the whole ride to town.
I have to add here, too, that this driver has a rather interesting voice. He is a super nice guy but he might be a little scary to small children. At one point while we were riding, Sakshi announced, “He has a really funny voice.” My mom and I looked at each other nervously and tried not to laugh out loud. Thankfully, the driver didn’t seem to register what she said.
So, we finally got to the mall and got the double stroller out. Instantly, Sakshi burst into tears when she realized that there was only enough room for Paisley and Thaddeus. I won’t bore you with every last detail of every meltdown we experienced, but that’s just to give you an idea.
The confession part of this story comes out when we get to the coffee shop. The only thing we could find for Sakshi to eat was some chips, so we bought a bag for the kids to share, along with a bottle of juice. We sat down at a table and opened the chips while we waited for our coffee. The first problem was that they were too spicy for Thaddeus. The second problem was that he happened to see the cookies that I had bought for myself. When I told him that he couldn’t have them, he started pitching a fit – a REALLY loud one.
There were some guys at another table that were looking at us. They didn’t look annoyed, but rather concerned about what could be ailing the poor child. They were giving me looks that said “What are you doing to that baby to make him cry so pathetically?”
At this point, I must confess that I decided to throw any attempt at discipline down the drain. I know, I know. I’ve been reading two different parenting books this month. I am generally a consistent mom when it comes to keeping the kids in line, but their behavior today wasn’t reflecting that at all! I was tired and didn’t want to get kicked out of the coffee shop, so I tried doing all I could to appease him (except for giving up my cookies 😉 ).
My mom jumped up and bought some cookies to try to get him to be quiet. At first it seemed to work, until I made the mistake of tasting Thaddeus’ cookies. He went into some kind of psycho mode, taking his screaming to a new level. I tried to do everything possible to appease him, and something finally worked. He shut up and we breathed sighs of relief.
I then started eating my own cookies and right away, Thaddeus saw that my cookies were different than his. Here we go again. The screaming continued as Sakshi’s scoop of ice cream arrived. We had ordered her one once we realized that it was something they served that she wasn’t allergic to. Right away, my mom ordered more ice cream in an attempt to stop the screaming. It seemed like ages until they brought more ice cream, even though it was only like two minutes.
And what do you know?
Thaddeus was so mad about not getting my cookies that he wouldn’t eat the stinkin’ ice cream.
This is the shortened version of the story, believe it or not. Oh, and to end the story – Thaddeus also screamed the ENTIRE WAY HOME.
It was pretty much a parenting fail, but praise God for His mercy and grace! Each day doesn’t look like this, and for that I am very thankful. On one hand, I want to beat myself up for not making the effort and showing Thaddeus who was boss, but then there’s the flip side: Nobody is perfect, especially me. We all have days where we lose the battle, but that’s okay – as long as we don’t let it become a habit.
And on a side note, I am proud to announce that I never let him have my cookies. #WINNING