Keep in mind that what happened yesterday morning was proceeded by a less than stellar daycare pickup Thursday evening. To start, I was in a hurry. I was smack in the middle of a three-day-long work meeting, two nights of which involved dinners out with colleagues. Normally, not a big deal. Except when getting to said dinner means you must leave work, pick up your toddler from daycare, drive him thirty minutes home and then turn around and drive thirty minutes back to the dinner spot. Right, not ideal, but necessary for reasons that don't make sense to get into and don't ultimately change the outcome of the story. The point is, I was in a hurry.
As it turns out, Dallas decided to be a total a$%hole at school that day. A fifteen minute conversation with his teacher (for which, I did not have time) revealed a day that included unnecessary meltdowns, throwing toys at her, and being generally disruptive during music class. At that point, I thanked her for the information, collected my child and his things, sternly explained to him that "Mommy doesn't like to hear that you haven't been listening at school" and that "We don't ever throw toys at our teachers or friends" while bundling him into his coat and hat, belted him in the car and kept it moving. It's totally fine (Again, not fine). Tomorrow he'll be back to his normal, angelic self, right?
Flash forward to yesterday morning. Dallas, apparently still in a mood, was having all kinds of trouble settling in at school. He was specifically irritated about having to wash his hands. I forced him through it, so now he's pouting. The following is what I did not expect. One of Dallas's super cute daycare buddies came hopping over to the Wiggles' "Fruit Salad" looking for a dance partner. Dallas looked at him, eyes blazing with a scowl, and meanly said, "Leave me ALONE." I froze, absolutely STUNNED. I quickly recovered and swooped in to abruptly pull Dallas aside. I rambled on for what was probably thirty to forty-five seconds about "using nice words" and not "making our friends feel sad". Long enough for super cute daycare buddy to have long since walked away and start happily playing with a different friend. I stood for another minute, paralyzed somewhere between my feelings of anger and some crazy compulsion to see my discipline through. As "Fruit Salad" raged on the in background, I snapped out of it, begrudgingly said my goodbyes and fought tears all the way to the car.
OK, so you're thinking, "Get your life together and stop crying. That's what kids do. It wasn't the worst thing he could have done." I know, I know. Here's what I think was also going on...
I was already in a fragile place. Two full days of hosting out of town colleagues and facilitating work meetings had left me a bit on edge where my child was concerned. I hadn't been home for dinner or put him to bed for the past two nights, and I had been rushing him out of the house and out of the car in order to get here or there by a certain time. Testy tears.
I couldn't stay and make it all better. This was the text book definition of feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was already running late but wanted desperately to stay and make sure Dallas was going to mind his manners and play nice. We all know, though, that a watched pot never boils. My leaving was most likely going to help this situation, which is hard to reconcile when you want to stay and fix things. Frustrated tears.
Most importantly, I had never seen my son be purposely mean (to anyone other than me). It is one thing to know that "kids will be kids" and to imagine in your head that they are doing these types of mean things to each other every day. It makes it way easier to rationalize. They are two. They don't really understand that they're being mean or hurting each other's feelings. Fair enough. For me, though, seeing Dallas be intentionally mean to another child with my own eyes made me an insane mix of sad, guilty, embarrassed, and totally f%#*ing pissed. Angry tears.
And although I was able to hold back tears all the way to the car, not so much once I was in the car, driving to work or in the office. So distraught I was, that when I coincidentally ran into Dallas's super cute daycare buddy's mom five minutes later at work, I proceeded to ridiculously and apologetically word vomit the events of the morning all over her. And even though she must have thought I was having a psychotic break, she sweetly entertained my crazy by making me laugh and reassuring me that they were probably groovin' together to "Fruit Salad" two minutes after I left. Perspective.
This mommy knows who she is. Thank you!
Moral of this story? There isn't one. I'm pretty sure that so long as I am Dallas's mommy, this type of thing is going to happen about a thousand more times. If anyone needs me this weekend, I'll be at Costco stocking up on Kleenex and waterproof mascara.
What embarrassing thing(s) has your kid done to bring you to the brink of tears? Comment away!
Stay sane and dry-eyed!