We began happily enough. She had a smile on her face while running out the door and to her side of the car. We were headed for "testing" to get her ready for school next year. Little did she know Mommy was PRAYING today went well. Her father and I pray on a daily basis that things will be normal when we venture off into public places, but alas... she is her fathers daughter and this is how she acts...
Fine at first actually. We have a nice conversation on the car ride over about seeing our teacher and listening and playing nicely. We get to the testing center on time I might add (we had to be there by 8:15 a.m. ~ both kids awake, fed, clothed, AND driving time was accounted for THANK YOU VERY MUCH... two mommy points for ME) We sign in, Landon goes to play, and Hailey and I head with her teacher to the testing room.
Now we are walking to another office, which means we had to go outside. Something about being outside makes her think of RANDOM things. Today it was a baby... We enter the new office, and she protests being there. It was a cold day so I am carrying THREE jackets... hers, Landon's and mine in one arm WITH my beloved Coach Diaper bag. This leaves only one available arm to get her inside... There are FIVE adults and myself watching her the second she enters, and she FREAKS. She starts talking about her baby, whom is obviously outside and that is where she needs to go... I try to stay calm (have I mentioned I really hate being in public with my children acting out, I mean honestly, WHAT mother enjoys that?) so I put down the jackets and my bag and take her outside to get her beloved baby. She grabs my hand and heads for the car...
"No, Hailey... we need to go back inside..."
She starts to cry and looks at me with those puppy dog eyes and proclaims "No Mommy, let's go home."
I then tell her " Hailey, I don't have my keys or the diaper bag, plus brother is inside we can't leave him here alone."
After a minute of our back and forth banter I talk her inside, and one of the teachers is holding a toy baby. THANK GOODNESS, she calms down and we head to the testing room to get the baby a bottle because she is hungry.
The testing goes fine. She plays well with the teachers and she enjoys the games they are trying to get her to play. While she is playing they are asking me questions. Almost too many questions. They start asking about home life, and family backgrounds, and for some reason I begin to cry. I told them I am a very emotional person, and this is normal. I was telling them about all the moves our family has been through, the two job loss situations which include me being alone with a newborn and toddler while packing up our house to move back to Fresno... moving with a baby less than a month old was VERY taxing on me. We have very frank conversation regarding me possibly never really being able to "mourn" those things and experiences because I was just on "auto pilot mommy" to get through life. They tell me they think some counseling will be good for me. I agree... in the beginning of our marriage Matt and I saw a counselor regarding "problems" with family and marriage and we both learned things about ourselves and the people around us that helped us understand how WE are going to do THIS...
I truly appreciate the teachers and I am very thankful for their help, but I can't help but worry that they think I am one of those "crazy mothers" that can't handle anything and cries at the drop of a hat. I mean I am a "crier" don't get me wrong, but I don't try to cry in front of my kids too often... I begin to think... Am I really crazy?
Anyway, our testing session has come full circle and we are ready to go. Actually WE are not ready to go... I am. Hailey was not done playing with the baby, and she has a MELTDOWN. Not just a little temper tantrum either... no sir A MELTDOWN... (you mothers know what I am talking about right?)
Her emotion apparently creates a toxin in her head which moves to the section of her brain that oversees large motor skills, particularly the ability to move her legs. This toxin immediately shuts down that area, effectively paralyzing her legs, causing her to collapse on the ground. It then makes a lightning-fast jump to the area that oversees tear production and loud, wailing noise making and switches them on. Not only is this physical handicap irritating to me because I want to get home, but since we are in public on a testing trip for my daughter who will be in preschool next year, and she is acting like this... I just know that all of the people in the many offices we pass on our way out are observing this medical condition, misdiagnosing it as a show of rebellion, and looking at me like WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MOTHER? It did not help that I had just had a nice cry session about LIFE with them, and I have tears streaming down my face in embarrassment as I walked out the door. But I was not able to head to my car... OH NO.. I had to go get my son from the playroom... she calms down a little bit while I let her play with brother, but the WRATH of HAILEY comes again when we go to leave...
At home when she has these outbursts, and or when she's collapsed on the floor laying there like a limp noodle; I would stop and wait for her to hopefully get bored, get over it, and start moving again. She has absolutely no sense of the passage of time today. She's got all the time in the world! So I have abandoned that tactic, and now I immediately hoist her up by her upper arm and hold it in such a way as to make it uncomfortable if she doesn't keep pace with me. She goes limp again so I grab her around the tummy and carry her out like a football. Only I do not look like a tough football player going to the car with fierceness, I look like a helpless mother, crying, and in need of help... The ladies help me out with Landon and the MANY coats and beloved Coach Diaper Bag.
So anyway, we get to the car and she refuses to get in her car seat. She plops down on the sidewalk kicks her boots away, and starts wailing. It's time to face off. Methinks, in the background, I hear the Mortal Kombat song, her theme song, floating on the breeze. Only, since it's Hailey, and she's still just a tiny terror, it's actually a music box version of it. I pick up the boots and stare her down as I grab her arm, lift her up, and proceed to put her into her car seat. She arches her back, the other ladies are watching me FORCE her into her seat, "This is going into my permanent file for sure" I say under my breath. I finally get her in, slam the door, and turn around to grab Landon and my stuff from these helpful ladies. Round One is over.
Round Two begins as we pull into home. I go to get her from her seat, the whole way home she is crying about her beloved baby, and I just want to scream. She hits me and then kicks me as I get her out. I get down on her level and we talk about not hitting and kicking and she just stares at me like I am making no sense... I grab her arm leaving poor little boy in the car and drag her to the front door. Say "uncle," little demon! But the adrenalin rush of a toddler tantrum has made her strong, very strong. She feels nothing but the surge of hot resentment from my refusal to bow to her whims.I get her into the house and head to the car to get the precious things I had to leave behind... End of Round Two.
Round Three. I get into the house and put things away. I still have tears at this point, but they are turning into anger tears. She comes into the front room where I am crying on the couch and she asks me "Why are you crying mommy?" I look up at her thinking is this kid for REALS?... I tell her mommy is sad because Hailey has not been a good girl today... she pats my head and says "I sorry mommy..." and runs off to the playroom...
"Oh no, Missy! After that embarrassing display, you have a timeout! Go to your room!" End of Round Three. And the winner is Mommy,
'CAUSE I SAID SO!
Does anyone else have the "child from H-E-double-hockey-stick?"
~ I read a similar story on a blog of a friend, I copied her story, and pasted it here, changed locations, added an emotional mother, and was baffled at how TOTALLY opposite yet same our situations were... I am sure you could all do the same with my story. Delete a few things, add a few and we are ALL in the same boat! Stay at home mothers with CRAZY kids deserve more than just ONE day a year... can I get an AMEN?