When I was childless I’d often see frazzled moms out with their misbehaving kids and think, OMG, that will never be me. Nick and I would gawk at the temper tantrums and the screaming parents and the three year old at the 4-star restaurant glued to a DVD player with ear phones the size of donuts (true story—it was on our honeymoon in Maui) and we’d talk about how we would never allow that. We were going to be Perfect Parents. Well, now that we have kids of our own, I realize that all bets are off….
Yesterday I took Alex, my two and a half year old son, and Andrew, my six and a half year old nephew (and Alex’s personal hero/BFF) to the library to pick out some books. On the way I had to stop at CVS to drop off a prescription (for birth control pills…how perfect is that?!). Despite the fact that I gave them both a pep talk before we went in about how we were not buying candy or toys, the asking began before we even stepped into the store. Alex was secure in the cart, driving the little car on the front, but Andrew took off down the aisles and came back with a bag of M&Ms. Without even realizing it, I’d said yes (he’d asked so nicely!) but he’d have to get Alex one too and they’d have to wait until we got to the car to eat them. What?! I said yes? And I was going to let my two year old eat a bag of M&Ms? What about the pep talk? What about their teeth? When I was little the only time I ate M&Ms was on Halloween or Easter—or when my grandfather snuck them to us without my dad knowing (he was and still is the sugar police). This was a Monday afternoon. Right before dinner, no less.
I'll admit, I have a tough time saying no to this guy
Well, despite my “cool aunt/mom” gesture, the boys got even more out of hand when I let Andrew push the cart and he “accidentally” found the toy aisle. Alex started with the gimmes so we hightailed it to the checkout, which, of course, is basically a wall of candy with cash registers on top. Next thing I knew Alex was out of the cart running up and down grabbing every shiny package he could get his hands on. What did he grab? Peanut M&Ms, Reeces Pieces, Peanut Chews and every other candy made with peanuts, which he is off-the-charts allergic to. I ran after him, put the candy back, snatched him up and yelled at Andrew to stay in line. As Alex whined and tried to wiggle out of my arms, I attempted to push the giant unwieldy cart to the register with my hip and then load and pay with one hand (all while growling at Alex to quiet down). In other words, I made a scene. I had lost control of the situation. I was totally that mom. The one you feel sorry for and annoyed by at the same time. The one you swear you’ll never be.
I was so defeated—and sweaty—by the time I got back into the car that I almost started crying. When I looked in the rearview and saw the boys eating their bags of M&Ms, I felt like such a bad mom that I had to call my mom and confess. And now I’m telling all of you in hopes that you’ve got some less-than-stellar mom moments to share. Do you remember when you looked at yourself and realized you were THAT mom? Do tell!