I had a "moment" yesterday where I wished I could pretend my kids weren't mine. You know, where you can look at the crying child at your feet and say, "where's your mommy, honey?" secretly glad that the child isn't yours.
Before I go any further, I have to say that I adore my children and wouldn't trade them for all of the sleep in the world.
We were running errands yesterday and I forgot to pack snack foods in the diaper bag. It got to be way past lunch time and Nathaniel was getting cranky. Since he has already been pushing his limits this week I knew better than to let him go too long without something in his stomach so I stopped by the Starbucks in the Target store to get him a little something. Remind me to have the workers at Starbucks put in a quarter of the syrup they normally do for chocolate milk, because I ended up giving my cranky boy super sugary chocolate milk while we ran a quick errand in Target.
It wasn't too bad until we were at the very end of the trip. We were standing in line and Nathaniel kept running away from me into the next aisle. I told him that he needed to stand near me. I don't remember all of the details but he ended up crying and yelling at me (which is his new m.o. anymore. He yells, "I want *whatever it is he is crying for* RIGHT NOW!!!" Which makes no impact on me whatsoever if I've already said no). I could feel the eyeballs of people on me. Their judgmental glances were burning into the back of my head as I tried to hold my head up high and parent my cranky child.
As I looked down to quiet Nathaniel I saw the epitome of what an outsider would dub a spoiled brat. Nathaniel had chocolate around his mouth, snot running down his nose (this darn cold just won't be shaken!) and was stomping his feet and crying.
Rather than allow people around me to judge and get all, "If that were my kid..." on me I simply burst out laughing.
I know my son. I know that he was hungry, tired and probably on a sugar high that was created by my own lack of planning. I also know that he had been awesome while we were actually shopping. He stayed right by me the whole time without a cart and didn't run off at all. He was simply done with running errands.
I told Nathaniel, "Wow, you look awesome like that. If I didn't know better, I would think I was a terrible parent!" Then I hugged him and kissed him, paid for my purchases and headed out the door.
Let those other people judge me and think my kid is a brat. I know better. I know that he is just having a time where he is testing his boundaries. I also know that if Sam were around this would be easier because we would be sharing the load and it wouldn't all be on me to make sure our kid can act right in public. I also know that Nathaniel is a pretty great kid and mostly well behaved. He has every right to have a bad day (or week).
I just wish I could laugh more...