Sunday, September 8, 2013

"Parent"dox: The Marker, The Lobby & The Book

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #22:  The Marker, The Lobby & The Book

This may be one of the most classic "parent"doxes we've had around here in a while.

And it happened in public, so that makes it so much better.

And by better, I mean worse.

The week before school started, I was at the library with my 5-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter, enjoying the last storytime of the summer.  We sang.  We danced.  We listened to a couple stories.  Life was good.

Once the official storytime was over, we headed over to the children's section of the library to play with the toys, check out some books, and maybe color a picture or two.

This is where things went horribly awry.

My kids were both coloring pictures, when all of the sudden, my daughter realized she absolutely, most definitely, positively needed the yellow marker that was in her brother's hand.  She needed yellow, she needed the one her brother had, and she needed it now.  Nevermind you that there was a tub of 16 yellow markers that were EXACTLY THE SAME as the one in his hot little hand.  No no...she needed that one.

So what's a 3-year-old to do?

Well, reach over and pry it out of her brother's hand while he is using it to color in his picture, obviously.  

Let me tell you how well this went over with my perfectionist, borderline OCD son, when his picture got goofed up at the hand of his little sister.

Lead balloon, people.  Lead.  Balloon.

Amazingly, he pulled himself together and got right back to his coloring pretty quickly.  That miracle falls in the category of "God never gives you more than you can handle" as you can see by what transpired next.

My daughter lost her mind.  Completely lost her mind.  Temper tantrum, fit, meltdown...whatever you want to call it, she was having one, then and there.  You know how sometimes you can tell if a thunderstorm is there to stay or is just going to blow over?  In the same way, sometimes I can tell if my daughter is totally committed to the meltdown or if she can be talked down.  Let me tell you, there was no bringing her back from this one.  The National Weather Service was calling for an emergency evacuation this time.

So evacuate, we did.

I ended up having to pick her up, and carry her out to the lobby of the library, after telling my son to just keep working on his picture and reassuring him that I'd be back soon.  Once away from the toys and the marker and the audience, I thought she would start to calm down.  

For the 4,582,319th time in my parenting career, I guessed wrong.   

While sitting on the bench with her, two -- count 'em -- TWO different librarians very sweetly came over and asked if there was anything they could do to help.  That is basically librarian code for "Please get your kid to SHUT UP.  Quickly.  Please and thank you."

Something else happened while I sat there, holding my daughter, letting her know that when she could calm down and be in control of herself, we'd go back into the library.  Enter my latest "parent"dox moment.  My phone vibrated in my pocket, and taking it as happy distraction from the screaming toddler I was trying to restrain on my lap, I eagerly checked my new message.

It was a text message.  

From the library.

That the book I had put on hold about how to parent a strong-willed child was now on the shelf and ready to be picked up.

I'm not kidding.  I can't make this stuff up.

I'm fairly certain the librarians went back and ran my plates or library card or whatever and looked me up in their system and decided we need to get this woman some help -- now -- and went and got that book for me right then and there.

Oh, "parent"dox, how you keep me on my toes and make me laugh and just in general remind me I will never, ever have this parenting thing totally figured out.

You can rest at ease.  My daughter did calm down, we did go back in the library, my son was still sitting at the table coloring and away, and my daughter very sweetly apologized to him.  

She also had no further interest in the yellow marker.

Needless to say, I have a lot of reading in my near future...

When timing is everything, You Are a Good Mom.


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