Before I was a parent, I was an expert on raising children. It was very easy as an onlooker to watch and rate another parent ‘s attempts at calming a tantruming child or judging the appropriateness of a movie. In my head, I knew all the answers. I suppose this is human nature. You know the brain ‘s way of classifying information and forming groups…calm and effective parenting or in my case today…hope for the best!
I shared previously that we were going to brunch for Mother’s Day…and we did. However, it was really touch and go. Knowing that my son hates crowds, loud places, and too many smells at once should have clued me into the fact that brunch could be tricky. But honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as hot, crowded and loud.
As we weaved through all the waiting people to get to our table, I sensed the anxiety start to bubble over. He repeatedly said that he couldn’t stay and that he WOULDN’T stay! He grabbed onto the edge of the table as if he was hanging on to the edge of a cliff…which looking back, I think it felt this way to him. We all looked at each other and were thinking the same thing…uh oh! We couldn’t leave! We had to get him through this and weren’t sure we could. We were about ready to call it, when the waitress brought him an icy drink and he saw the IPad that we had taken out of the valet parked car. These distractions were enough to buy us time for eating, talking and celebrating the 5 mothers at the table.
Here’s my point…If the “old me” would have seen a child start to tantrum and then get a Shirley temple and video games on the IPad, I would have had a lot of judgemental things to say. Now I know that I certainly DON’T know it all and I won’t pretend to! If I ever rolled my eyes at you in Target or talked about your unruly child at Starbucks, I am sorry. I get it now! Oh do I ever!!