Tag Archives: spirited

How Jason’s Deli ruined my day.

WineActually, they were all really, really nice, thoughtful, caring people who did their very best to soothe my bawling 3-yr old, but in the end, it just backfired on me.

I took the kids for two full hours of open gymnastics this morning to wear their little psychotic asses out. That was awesome. Then I decided to draw out the day a little more and knew everyone was hungry so we headed to Jason’s Deli. Everyone was in a good mood. We ordered our food and took our receipt & plastic table number with us. And then all hell broke loose.

My 3yr old escaped mental patient has a penchant for numbers. Numbers are everything. Today, he decided he didn’t like the table number we were given (32 in case you just have to know) . He wanted a number in the 100’s. As I carry him away screaming, I barely make it to the end of the counter line before three different staff have asked me if he needs a coloring book and crayons. I say ‘sure’ but I know that’s not going to appease the monster. I find a booth table. Another worker comes over to me and tells me to go grab some food from the salad bar for him, anything I want. Again, super sweet. Everyone is trying their best to make him happy and I finally explain what his problem is. Sure enough, they run off and come back with a glorious yellow number – 142. They hand it to him and he thinks it’s Christmas. We sit and have a great meal together. All good.

The manager comes over to us, to check how we are doing and I thank her for the attentiveness of everyone. Really, they were very good. But now I am thinking that the next time we go to Jason’s Deli,  he’s going to demand a specific number and Momma ain’t playin’ that game. I like Jason’s Deli too much to turn every visit into a dramatic affair. They’ve got such great food and the free ice cream is to die for. We’ve had a few near misses there regarding the numbers but I always prepare him that the numbers stay in the restaurant. They don’t come home with us, but I guess I hadn’t prepped my 5yr paroled mental patient because while the manager was talking to me, my daughter piped up, “Can we take this home?” My eyes shot wide open in disbelief and my jaw almost hit the floor.

I respond quickly that we cannot, it belongs to the restaurant, other people need the numbers,  yadda yadda yadda. I finally take a deep breath and relax when the manager says to her, “well, since you asked, then yes you can take it home.” Oh bloody hell. While the excitement is temporary for today, the battle for future visits has ratcheted up a few notches.

Five minutes later, the same manager comes back and says “we can’t have only him having a number,” and hands my daughter number 143. Oh.My.God. I get a sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach. I know what’s coming and it’s going to be bad. The same sense of doom one has when perhaps walking through land mines. My daughter is squealing with delight, kissing her number. Actually kissing and hugging it.

We leave, and I thank the manager again for her kindness. She was exceptionally kind, all the staff were. But I know that hell is around the corner. The ride home was delightful and I allowed myself a glimpse of hope that maybe this had all worked out. Maybe it wasn’t a disaster after all and that it was worth the crap I’m going to get from the illogical little beasts next time I go there.

But then we get home. And within an hour, my escapee decides that he wants 143, not 142 and the tantrum that ensued was epic. Twenty minutes later, the puffy faced, hyperventilating midget is not letting go of the notion that his number is 143, even though he was specifically given 142.  After he had calmed down, twenty years later, I explained that 143 was his sister’s number but that he could have a turn holding 143. The beast was assuaged but the stage had now been set for a whole afternoon of territorial battles and trying ever so hard to find each other’s buttons. Unfortunately, they succeeded. A lot.

Now that the afternoon has come to a close, neither child gives a flying crap about their number and I’m opening a beer. Lots of them.

I’m a Schmuck.

994710_10151975608633860_692108589_nMy patience is not never-ending, and by the end of the day, I’m usually pretty frayed.  Which is why I absolutely suck at the bedtime routine. The slightest, always probable obstacle to a smooth bedtime process puts me in the foulest of moods and I end the night being angry at my children. I don’t ever want to end a day like that, and too often on the days that I put them to bed (thankfully rare), that’s how it ends up.

Normally, the spirited one (5 years old) is bouncing off the bed or doing handstands against the wall. The youngest (3 years old) is exhausted and just wants to go to sleep, but the squealing upside down tornado prohibits this. As I soothe him with belly rubs, the hurricane is belting out Jingle Bells and it’s only when I get angry that she slows herself down a little. Only then will she try to whisper Jingle Bells. So that’s how it ends. Me angry. Feeling like a schmuck.

Inevitably, my guilt burns at me and I have to go check on them a while later, to kiss their little faces and tell them how much I love them. Best case scenario is they are both asleep. But tonight, the typhoon was still awake. Frankly, I’m not sure tranquilizer darts would work on her. So I snuggled her for half an hour, kissed her face over and over, told her how much I loved her. But I still wish it was different. No, I wish I was different.

I’m tired of punishments. I’m tired of taking away whatever the flavor of the day is in order to get the behavior I want. I’m tired of making threats and having to carry them through. I’ve gotten much better during the day but I’m still ragged by the end of the evening.   I want an alternative to “do XYZ or else . . .” but I have no idea what that alternative is.

Ideas?

 

Today’s Battle.

I have a 5 year old daughter. Politely, she is called a “spirited child” but in reality, she’s a hurricane, and a tornado. An intense child who feels things everything passionately. Everything. She will love you hard, she will hate you hard, her anger parallels the wrath of God. She will outsmart you in the worst possible way, because she will do it subversively. Not until she is close to her goal will I realize what she has done. She will miss you, hug you, love you, like you’ve never experienced before. To me, she is awe inspiring. A force of nature. I look at her and she takes my breath away. But it’s not easy.

This week has been particularly hard because her little brother turned three years old on Monday. That means he received presents and she didn’t. My first glimpse of this joy happened last year when she was four, and he two. I’m hoping it gets better with age. On the day itself, she did pretty well. But the week has proved very challenging. She has taken to hiding his new games. And on reprimand, the attitude comes out. Oh my, the attitude. She’s a little body with a huge personality. Often times, she just can’t control what comes out, because she feels it so fiercely. Many times, she can astound us with how controlled she can be.

She just discovered that a friend of hers colored a page of her coloring book. The unused coloring book that hasn’t been given a second glance since she received it.  Ever. But suddenly, she was indignant that a page was used. Despite imparting to her that the page was used with my permission, she would not quit. There are just some things she focuses on and as with everything else of her nature, the laser beams are set.

In a fleeting thought, the ‘perfect parent’ would have sat her down and explained everything ad nauseam until she understood. Instead, I walked upstairs to do laundry after Daddy told her she couldn’t have the coloring book anymore (she never uses them, this isn’t a big loss here). She quickly followed me, hysterical, because I’m the easy parent. So I tried to do the right thing. I sat with her on my bed and I talked to her about how the used coloring page was a present from her friend, a surprise for her. But the only thing she could focus on getting that coloring book back from Daddy. Daddy took it away and she wanted Mommy to give it back.

Unfortunately, despite my calm discussions, she exploded and began something that she hasn’t done in years. She threw a tantrum. So now she sits in her room, quietly. Oddly enough, since she is an extrovert, sitting in her room (not a hardship here, there are toys and books in there) for a while seems to center her and she usually emerges a much calmer person.

I’ll take some deep breaths.

Is it bedtime yet?