Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Who's Crazy?

I often forget how cranky children can be when they are tired. We were running errands yesterday, and decided on a whim to go by the grocery store and pick up a couple of steaks to grill out since it was Labor Day. For some reason, I get the strange urge to cook something on the grill on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

We had only run a couple of errands, so I thought the kids would be good to go for a speedy trip to the store. I was quickly reminded how any little thing can send a tired child into a complete psychotic episode.

Georgia was a little fussy, so Eli handed her a piece of paper to play with. (Yes, a piece of paper.) After about 10 seconds, he decided he wanted it back. Georgia was actually quiet, so I told him that he had given it to her, and he needed to wait until she was done with her turn. You would have thought I told him he could never watch TV again ever.

He started screaming. “IT’S MINE! IT’S NOT HERS! I WANT IT BACK NOW!” Oh, sweet Jesus. I tried to reason with him. And despite watching several episodes of Supernanny, talking calmly to your child NEVER works for me. Eli then started launching himself out of his car seat at Georgia and trying to rip the piece of paper out of her hands. All the while screaming, “GIVE IT TO ME! IT’S MINE!”

This caused Georgia to start her own screaming because Eli was trying to rip away the only thing that had entertained her all afternoon. (Be damned Baby Einstein! Just give your child a piece of freaking paper!) Then I started yelling for them to quit screaming. I am yelling at the top of my lungs (because I had to be heard over the children). “WE DO NOT ACT LIKE THIS! I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR SCREAMING IN THE CAR!”

At this point, I realized Eric had pulled up to a stoplight. The windows were down on the car. I looked on Eric’s side, and there was a 50-something couple looking at me like I’m an abusive mother. So, I turned around in my seat, and then noticed the three motorcyclists on my side looking at me in a cross between shock and amusement. The children were still screaming.

I waited until the car started again before I turned around, and our debate started all over. Unfortunately, I didn’t seem to realize those damn stoplights, and by the time we pulled up to the next one, I was yelling, “ELI! QUIT ACTING LIKE A CRAZY PERSON! DO YOU WANT ME TO SPANK YOU IN PUBLIC!” Oh, Christ! I’m sure Child Protective Services is going to be showing up at my door any moment.

We did finally make it to the store. The arguing pretty much continued the entire time. At this point, Eli didn’t care about the piece of paper anymore. He was just mad, and when he is mad, there is no calming him down. I forced him to ride in a cart, which he hates, after he threw himself down in the parking lot declaring that he didn’t want to go in the store.

Like most mothers, I have learned to block out my children when they become crazy. So, we quickly shopped for steaks, baked potatoes and sour cream, while Eli was screaming, “I WANT OUT OF THE CART! LET ME OUUUUUUT! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!” (repeat several times) Of course this created a domino effect, causing Georgia to cry and attempt her own escape from the front of the cart. Luckily, we were fast and got out of there before management could ask us never to return.


Justin said...

I've come to the conclusion that most people who think that parents in public are abusive probably have never been parents.

ian said...

And to put a spin on the perspective:

1 kid is difficult.
2 kids are four times as difficult
3 kids are nine times as difficult.

You see the progression?


Penny said...

No kidding, Ian! The more kids u have the hard it gets. Luckily, right now my 7 month old doesn't do too much to act up in public but I know it's coming. Sometimes you just want to look that person in the eye and hand them the kid and say:"here he/she is, you solve the problem and calm him/her down!" People should just mind their own business!

cassandra said...

Two words... DUCT TAPE! ;)