Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Three Year Old Tirade

At a better moment during the day!

It started out with a "no." No, you can't have money to purchase candy at the pool concession stand. The three year old who uttered the request was floored at my rejection. But he recovered, and appeared to have moved on despite his disappointment. I heaved a sigh of relief and resumed monitoring the other boys frolicking in the water.

A few minutes later I spied Cooper scavenging through my pool tote. He located my wallet and proceeded to retrieve several shiny coins from its chambers. I immediately confronted my kleptomaniac offspring. He first denied any and all malfeasance (but he was still clutching the coins!). He suddenly realized the holes in his "didn't do it" defense and then decreed the injustice of it all. How could I deny him candy? At this point, his transgressions were mounting: lying, stealing, anger, and it kept going.

Now Cooper was at the point of no return, something I haven't witnessed in a long time and especially in public (by any of my kids). He was in a tizzy...a meltdown....a rage. He cried. He screamed. He began a tirade. He flailed around with arms and legs swinging.

I scooped up my inconsolable child and declared to his siblings we were leaving the pool. Fortunately, his brothers quickly fell in line (I think they sensed the magnitude of the situation). I'm sure we were quite a sight. I was balancing the baby on one hip, grasping the stroller and pool tote with a free hand and clutching my screaming three year old with my remaining limb.

Of course there were stares. When you're in that situation, you'll always catch one or two eye rolls and sighs. But, I'm always impressed with the bystander moms. I believe a mom sisterhood emerges in those situations and genuine support oozes from the pores of sympathetic mothers and lands on the afflicted mom, strengthening her core. One such "sister" approached me during the chaos and said, "I've been there. Keep it up." Her words were golden to me; a beacon in the midst of the storm.

We all made it to the car (fortunately). Cooper voiced his disappointment for the remainder of the car ride. Eventually he admitted the errors in his ways. Apologizes were forthcoming. Reconciliation was swift. But, I could sure use a little rest after the ordeal!

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