My family had a wild night recently. We were invited to a pizza party at a neighbor’s house in honor of their son’s birthday. My boys (N who is 7 years old, W who is 3 years old) were excited.
A little background…
I have been having a rough go with W over meals lately. I don’t battle with him over what he chooses off the plate or how much, but I am enforcing attendance at family meals. Ignoring the rest of us to play upstairs is not an option. So if W doesn’t want to eat with us, he must sit on the steps and wait it out. He almost always chooses to eat with us. However, sometimes things go the other way.
Back to the pizza party…
I knew W would be less receptive to eating when playing at a friend’s house, but this was a pizza party. Pizza is one of the only things W will eat anytime, anywhere.
When it was time, I tried to get W to the table. He wasn’t having it one bit. When I removed him from the area to review his choices, things escalated. Often, W will calm down and work through it, but not this night. Finally after 30 minutes of W yelling and a horrendous diaper situation, I decided to cut my losses and leave the party. I let my husband know I was driving W home and asked him to walk N up the street when the party was over. No need for everyone to leave.
I was disappointed, but I’ve been in this spot before. I knew if I drew a line in the sand over something important to me, I needed to hold that line.
Once W realized that I was making good on my threat to leave the party, things really went off the rails. The grand finale of the tantrum came at the end of my friend’s driveway when W barfed on us both. I wrestled him into the car and drove home. Once we walked in our front door, he calmed down instantly. He knew it was over.
I got him bathed, dressed in pajamas, and tucked into bed. All was calm. I called my husband to ask him to check if there was barf in the friend’s driveway. My husband responded, “We have a situation.”
Our older son was on the losing end of a toy light saber battle. After a hard knock on the head, he had a huge goose egg and needed a ride home. So I got W out of bed, drove back to the party that I had just dragged him out of against his will, and picked up N and my husband.
Back home again, I left my husband and N downstairs to enjoy their to-go cupcakes and research head injuries online while I tucked W back into bed for the second time. That’s when the real screaming of the night started. A band aid covering N’s goose egg was caught in all the little hairs around his forehead. It needed to be removed so we could clean the cut, and N was hysterical. I gave it to him straight: “This will hurt like the dickens.” Then I ripped the band aid off, taking the tiny hairs with me.
Next, with the opening line “I know that this is a really bad time to ask..…”, my husband reminded me of his high priority package available for pick up at the local shipping center that was closing in 30 minutes. I knew he wouldn’t rest easy until the package was retrieved, and figured at least one person should feel at peace tonight, so I sent him off with my blessings. Then I got N settled into a warm bath.
Finally returning to W for the 3rd attempt at bedtime, I asked him to pick one last book to read. He insisted on “Curious George and the Pizza Party” by Margret & H.A. Rey, in which George wreaks havoc at a birthday celebration but gets to have pizza in the end. The closing lines of the book are: “It had been a wonderful pizza party.” When I finished reading, W looked at me and said, “I love pizza!”
Every mom with whom I have shared this story has thanked me, saying it made them feel normal. I guess we all feel like we work at the circus sometimes. On these most ridiculous of days, I try to remember that there are far worst trials in the world and choose instead to laugh at the absurdity of my chaos. Plus, I’m pacing myself because a wise friend reminded me that this will seem like nothing once we enter the teenage years.
Have you had one of “those” days? Share your stories and help other moms feel normal!
This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Tara B. of Washington (State) USA.
Photo credit to the author.