Monday, October 8, 2012

Tantrums we (and by we, I mean FAITH) threw

We interrupt this sugar coated version of summer to tell this story.  (It was so bad when it happened I almost broke my non-blogging streak to tell you all, but was too traumatized at the time.)

So if you’ve been reading a while, you all know that Faith is one of those girls that “when she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid”.  The girl knows how to throw a tantrum.  She is getting better and better as she ages but she definitely will have phases where it gets worse.  Mid-June to mid-July was one of those worse times.  It was pretty much every day for 30-45 minutes for a few weeks there.  Awful.

But this one takes the cake.  I can think of only one or two tantrums that even compare (and the girl has thrown, literally, hundreds of them).  So this is what happened:

We are in downtown Spokane with sisters in law and cousins.  We’ve parked about 2 miles away from Riverfront park so the kids can scooter/walk on the trail.  We make it to the park, played for a while and decided to go eat in the food court on the 3rd floor of the mall.

I make the STUPID STUPID mistake of buying 2 (refillable) sodas for 4 kids and, duh!, fights ensue.  Faith began to scream really obnoxiously…people are looking.  I head over to grab her and she begins to run away from me around a large pole. 

Major anger trigger #1:  When my kids make me chase them.

Major anger trigger #2:   In public.

Major anger trigger #3:  When I think people are judging my parenting.  Which somebody does…loudly and rudely…while I’m chasing Faith and man walks by and says “Are you just going to let her yell like that?!”

I am now beyond embarrassed and mad.  I finally get to Faith and begin to carry her SCREAMING out of the mall.  It is an open center and all 3 floors of the mall can see and hear us as we ride down the escalator.  (I tell Heather to bring my kids to the car whenever they got done as I am scooping her up.) 

At this point in the summer, Faith has her broken arm but no hard cast, just a huge splint wrapped in brown bandage.  In order to carry her anywhere, I have to manuever around this huge thing on her arm…all while she’s screaming, “You’re hurting me!  You’re choking me!”  Plus I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do, since the car is a 30 minute walk from the mall.  It’s awful. 

We get outside to the wagon we’d brought and I say “Do you want to ride or do you want me to keeping carrying you like this?”  She chooses to ride.  I know she’s going to change her mind and try to get out, so I begin walking as fast as I possibly can to deter this.  The route back to our car takes us by, easily, 5 outdoor restaurants and it’s dinnertime.  She is yelling “I want to get out!” at the top of her lungs and I’m doing my best to ignore and book it to the car. 

And then I here a huge bump-thump-bump.  I know she’s jumped out.  With her broken arm.  I front of the whole Olive Garden patio crowd.  What I don’t know is that she looks like this:


Yeah.  She’d somehow stripped herself completely naked.  She is (listen closely) laying   on   the   ground  stark  naked  screaming   bloody   murder  with  an arm in a soft  splinted  cast  wrapped   in  ace  bandage.  Do you understand how horribly embarrassing this is???

I try to put her clothes back on but between the fighting and the cement and the broken arm, it’s impossible.  I toss her back inside and tell myself “I don’t care, I’ll never see these people” again.  After about 2 blocks, I decide “YES I DO CARE!!” and wrestle her to the ground and am able to get her into one layer of clothes. 

As we walk the 30 minutes back to the car, her screaming turns to yelling a repeated phrase that goes like this “I’ve ruined my life!  I’ve ruined my precious life!”  Over and over.  For 2 miles.  Past probably 150 people.  So awesome.

We made it to the car.  Everyone else got treats and went on rides while she waited in the car with me (I blasted super soothing classical music so I could calm down).  She had to choose a toy to “sell” because I’d had to miss my dinner and waste our money dealing with her, so she had some consequences. 

The tantrums continued (not that bad) for about another week, but I started super cracking down and doing immediate, consistent consequences and she moved out of the phase (like she always does).

My sister in law who was visiting was amazed at how calm I seemed as I handled her.  She told me that night that she was impressed.  When she said it, I began to cry and I said “Brooke, it’s because I’ve done that (taken her out, screaming, from a public place with tons of people watching) at least 100 times.  I do it ALL. THE. TIME.  I hate it that I’m good at it.  I hate that I’ve done it that many times, because it’s always embarrassing and always stressful and it always sucks.”

Anyway.  It was a bad day.  It’s not fun to have this issue with Faith.  It’s getting better and I’m learning a lot and I love her tons no matter what.  I just felt it needed to be part of family lore:

Faith, screaming “I’ve ruined my life! I’ve ruined my precious life!”, naked, on the ground, with a broken arm in front of a bunch of people out for a nice quiet dinner.


Michele Alger said...

BRAVO!! I have to say, that through all my seven children, I thought I had experienced it all...until NOW! The one thing I've never had happen, was the naked part while exiting with the screaming, crowd attracting child. You did marvelous! I won't even begin to tell you how I feel about the man who felt it his duty to say anything to you. Heather and I have had conversations about that. Just be rest assured, now a days, he wouldn't have a head when I was finished with him! You have blessing awaiting you in heaven, Good job Mommy!!

Christie said...

You are mother of the year. Seriously. I don't know that I could have kept walking without abandoning her or killing her. You win.

Also? The photo of her nekkid ride in the wagon made me laugh so hard I spit cookies all over the monitor. Laughing WITH you...

Ashley C said...

Oh my gosh, that is a nightmare! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry reading this, only because the picture is hilarious. I am so sorry you have to deal with that. Parenting is HARD. It's great that you document stuff like this. Way to keep it real. :)

jessica said...

My chest was tightening as I read this...I have had some rough moments with C since we started this crazy life transition we are going through but nothing like that! I have witnessed some of Fatihy Faiths tantrums and I have seen you in action. I love that girl and I love you for being such a trooper with her :)

Paige said...

Thank you for posting this. It made my day as I "gently remind" (scream) kids to do homework and practice piano and I ignore them while I "work" (read your blog). The "precious life" part is my fav. Were you a little impressed that she could use that word "precious" appropriately? And thank you for getting that awesome picture so we didn't even have to visualize. I'm sure it was not easy to think to get it, but you had the foresight to know that it would be important! Also, about people judging your parenting- once someone said something to me when my kid was being crazy in an airport and that may have been the only time I dropped the F-bomb in front of my child, telling this individual where to get off. Worth. It. And I don't think my kid even remembers but I sure do!

heidi said...

thank you. today was really rough for me. solidarity sister.

Lindsey said...

I love this post for so many reasons. So so so many reasons. I feel you. Kaylie pushes me beyond what I think I am capable of almost everyday. It's a challenge, but the days that are good make it all worth it.

Nikki said...

I have to keep scrolling up to that hilarious picture because I just keep laughing every time! Someday this girl will have to do hard things and you are going to be grateful for her strong will! And she will be grateful for her mother's example of what strong women are capable of.

Total random note...Todd ran the St. George marathon on Saturday. Lots of uphill and he improved his time by over 15 minutes. Thought you could appreciate that :)

Rebecca said...

Words fail me. I am SO glad you took that picture. That is just all kinds of awesome. You really are mother of the year, and I'm sure that she was sent to you because you could handle it (I probably would have thrown her in the river!). Thanks for sharing so we could laugh with you!

Annemarie said...

Can I just tell you how much I love you for sharing this...with a picture. This is motherhood at its finest.
I was laughing soooo hard at the picture. SOOOO hard!!!

Jeanelle said...

Oh gosh, I am so sorry but the visual is amazingly awesome too. I know someday she will apologize and mean it and she will be grateful you didn't do anything horrible to her (probably when she has Faith jr.) but I'm really sorry you have to deal with this. You certainly have done nothing to deserve it. But I'm thankful someone like you was given this child because so many others wouldn't be able to handle her. You are amazing and strong and I'm really proud to know such an incredible mother. Seriously. You should tattoo "I can do hard things" somewhere on your body. Oh wait. Dang church rules.

Carie said...

This kind of breaks my heart - that parenting can be SO hard. That sometimes you (and Faith) have such a rough go at it.

But mostly I think what an amazing example you are to me as a mom. Seriously - I'm certain I would have failed that parenting test. Just when I think I can't admire you any more - you raise the bar.

Lastly, it reminds of my new favorite quote, which is becoming my mantra for the year: "The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them." You know how to parent your daughter. Who cares what the patio Olive Garden crowd thinks?

Lauren in GA said...

I am the same if I think someone is judging my parenting. I want to die...and kill the judgmental comment giver with my bare hands.

Oh, my starry eyed surpise. That. Picture. I am so glad you had the forethought to take it. Why do they strip their clothes off? Brian used to. I always wondered why.

Jessica, you are absolutely awesome.

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, and the thing about her precious life killed me.

Bree Soncrant said...

I feel for you! So embarrasing... but I literally was just sitting at my desk reading this post HYSTERICALLY laughing. Huge Aligator tears running down my face:) this entire post although terrible is literally the funniest thing I've read in a long time! thank you!

Ashley said...

BEST. POST. EVER. Even though I'd heard the story it made me laugh and cry and snort Lucky Charms while I read it. I hate that you had to go through it but oh my goodness Jessica, you are amazing. I wish I had half of your patience with my "precious" ones. This story and picture must someday be included at her bridal shower. Thanks for starting my day with a smile and a lesson in patience. You are my hero.

♥Shally said...

Oh my gosh, I am dying laughing. Just because I have been there! Not in the naked way-- but every other way! Luckily, this will be something you can laugh at later, even though during it you wanted to dig a hole and bury yourself in it. (At least that is what I have wanted to do!)

Parenthood had a great quote about this. Max was having an episode, and people started staring. (BTW I can't believe someone said anything to you while you were chasing Faith!) Kristina looked at them and said, "Turn around! This is NOT your family." I have wanted to say that so many times it isn't even funny.

What I have had to tell myself is that more people have been embarrassed by a fit their children threw then not. Most people are understanding- even chuckling a bit knowing what you are going through. So don't let it embarrass you. (Easier said then done, I know!) I always say "What would I do if I saw someone going through that? I wouldn't judge- that's for dang sure. I would empathize, and for one moment feel like I am not alone in my parenting struggles!" I think that is what most of those people were thinking eating at Olive Garden. :) Anyone who wasn't is a jerk anyway. Haha.

Camden said...

You're a good mom. She'll be grateful one day (for one reason or another) that you recorded this. I've been there too. Maybe one day I'll blog about my strong willed daughter and her tantrum in Costco once at the same age. I literally helped myself into the stock room so I could just sit down and have a good cry with her.

Kristen said...

Jessica, you're awesome! Reading this helps me feel better about the time a man in IKEA told me that "from the demeanor of your child I know that you have poor parenting skills." I guess that wasn't offensive enough so I asked him if he was calling me a bad mother. His response? "Yes, and I can't believe you haven't heard it before." Seriously, these people have NO IDEA.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i have never loved a blog post more.


i wish someone had taken a picture of you taking the picture of faith. now THAT would be priceless.

Tammy said...

I need to go to the school of Jessica parenting, I totally learn something everytime I read these posts. I have struggles with my step boys and I feel worried about the mind races to them being teens. Its silly! I so need to hear more of these stories and what you did to resolve them!! Thank you