Friends & Family

Mommies Can Have Tantrums Too!: Your Guide to Becoming as Insane as a Small Child

I know how you feel, darling.

Step One: Stay indoors. A lot. Lock yourself inside with your kids and tell yourself it’s such a relief not to have to go anywhere, especially now that there are coats and hats and mittens to keep track of. (Bonus: Avoid adult interaction. Tell yourself playdates are too much of a hassle, too far away, etc. Speak only to children for at least eight hours at a time.)

Step Two: Be optimistic. Your child WILL poop on the potty today, he WILL NOT knock his sister down and take her toys, and NO ONE will take ornaments off the Christmas tree. Believe in the power of positive thinking.

Step Three: Be ambitious. There is no reason you can’t make your daughter’s intricate triple vanilla cake with diplomat cream filling and the two dozen star-shaped sugar cookies (with intricate blue and white icing) while your kids are still awake. No one’s going to put their sticky fingers in your buttercream or eat all your nonpareils. You’re just being paranoid.

Step Four: Never sit down for a meal, and eat only simple carbohydrates: mostly M&Ms. Maybe a piece of bread if you need some vitamins. You can’t stop for a salad. Too much work! Plus, lettuce doesn’t offer nearly enough instant energy.

Step Five: Really invest in the little things. Every Cheerio dropped must be picked up immediately. Lost mittens? Form a search party. Screen time? Set a timer. Cut them off even if they’re in the middle of an episode. Wash every dish immediately.

Et, voila! You’ll be a fraying bundle of stress in no time. You’ll begin to snap at your children when they dawdle in the bathroom, growl during diaper changes–you might literally cry over spilled milk. And when they decide to get up on the bathroom counter, find a bottle of hand soap, and soak your bedroom carpet with it? Well. You’ll already be on the floor to clean it. You might as well kick and scream a little.

Friends & Family

Dropped Off and Picked Up

samschoolMonday was the boy’s first day of preschool.

No, it isn’t September. Yes, he only just turned three. But it’s a developmental preschool. You see, on his third birthday he aged out of his regular speech therapy, and after a series of tests, he qualified to go to a preschool that will take its place. Because he requires special help, he gets special circumstances.

He was so excited to go to school. I did my best to make sure he knew that it was something he’d be doing on his own, that though he had been in his classroom playing with trucks a couple times while I had meetings with the teacher, today would be different. He kept saying he understood. But, with his speech delay, it’s often hard to tell whether he’s saying something he understands or just parroting me. Also he’s three. Three-year-olds aren’t exactly reliable.

I was prepared for tears and screams. The tantrum of a lifetime. I had contingency plans.

But then, as I explained the situation for the fifteenth time, he looked at me and said, “kiss,” and planted one right on my mouth. Then the teacher showed up and he said hi, and he gave me a hug and followed her to the school bus to pick up the other kids, eager and happy and so grown-up. I didn’t allow myself to linger. I went right back to the car and packed up the baby and the stroller and drove away. Continue reading “Dropped Off and Picked Up”