That Time I Almost Lost My Sh*t

Ostrom

I have yet to completely flip out at my daughter, although the urge has risen several times. The Terrible Twos is a real-life actual phenomenon and I remember thinking I couldn’t wait for my toddler to turn three, effectively ending this rein of irrational and absurd behavior.

Three came and I remained patient. I calmly explained that milk from a yellow cup tastes exactly the same as from a red one. When my daughter scolded me for finishing (and ruining) the monkeys jumping on a bed song, I took it in stride. (I do have a pretty awful singing voice.) I didn’t even take it personally when she told me once with a straight face, “I love Daddy and I love Brother, but I don’t love you.”

Yesterday was a true test of my level of stamina when it comes to remaining calm and adult-like in the face of three-year-old nonsensicality. We were leaving my son’s nine-month-old doctor’s appointment, during which my daughter was well-behaved, even shy. After waiting patiently for her to buckle her own seatbelt (“I’m not ready yet, Mommy!”), I backed the car out of our spot. There are two exits from the parking lot. Apparently, I chose to exit the incorrect one.

Holy sh*t.

“BACK THE CAR UP, MOMMY!”

“I WANT TO GO OUT THE OTHER WAY!”

“TURN AROUND, MOMMY!”

“I’m not turning around.”

Recognizing she was tired, I continued driving, expecting her to end this charade soon and pass out. Not the case. Ten minutes of weaving around the streets of Medfield, I was still being berated. I have never heard her scream so loudly or so passionately. My son was unfazed and snoozing, no doubt thinking, F this, I’m going to sleep.

“TURN THIS CAR AROUND NOW, MOMMY!”

“ANSWER ME!!”

“You didn’t ask me a question,” I told her in an annoyed and snarky, but otherwise peaceful, voice.

“TURN. THIS CAR. AROUND. NOW.”

“I WANT TO GO OUT THE OTHER WAY!”

“STOP!”

*Abruptly stops car* (Relax, we were on a neighborhood side street.)

Finally, she paused before yelling one more time to turn the car around.

I jerked the car into reverse and then jerked it into drive, heading in the other direction. I had no intention of returning to the doctor’s office parking lot, but somehow this act appeased her. She sat drooping in her car seat for a minute, head bowed and eyes half shut. We were almost to Sleep Town. A few more turns and we were there.

Staring wide-eyed at the road, I took a few deep breaths. What just happened? No seriously, WTF? I slowly drove home and sat in silence in the driveway for a minute to reflect.

Three plus years of parenting had taught me never to let a toddler get 1) too hungry, or 2) too tired. Was this outburst my fault, stretching nap time too late? Was I wrong not to consult my daughter on our route home? Is my child insane?

So much of parenting is remaining logical when your children are not. But when a situation is so illogical, it’s pretty impossible not to lose yourself a little in the madness. Luckily, I kept some of my cool. And thank the sweet lord for making my daughter fall asleep when she did. Otherwise, I may have caved. Maybe I would have finally lost my sh*t.

 

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