Husband and I went with one of the daughters on an outing today. To a very large flea and craft market. Mind you, I’ve dealt with children for a very large portion of my life. They don’t scare me!
Daughter has a two year old and a five year old. And as far as kids go, I have to give them credit. They do two and five very, very well.
There were temper tantrums. Melt downs. Moods. Sugar highs. And sugar crashes. (This was not my fault. I did not buy the fudge or the ice cream they ate. I only suggested that Po go get it.)
We saw very little of what we wanted to see. But more than we expected we’d get to see.
While we sat in the diner trying to entice the children to eat something relatively sugar free they had other ideas. None of our ideas matched their ideas. And they thought their ideas were better. So they acted on them. Personally I found their antics quite funny. And found myself laughing at them while telling their mom she is the boss, not them. But when I looked at my daughter, who at the moment was their mom, I saw a very familiar face. A face I had felt many, many times. When she, the daughter now mom, was my daughter only a few years ago. I recognized the embarrassment. The wanting the kids to respond to that not really veiled threat of “sit down right now and I mean it” with the mom tone. Which translated by any child any where actually means: you are going to get it as soon as we get out of here and I don’t mean maybe.
But, they didn’t care.
I didn’t care either to be honest. I’d have let them scream their bloody heads off if it was just me. But the diner was full. And I felt the pain in my daughter’s mother’s heart. I stood up and said I was taking them out. But the young waitress came running to the table with 2 cups of grapes. And followed up shortly with the kid’s full orders. I told her she was a good woman. She said she has a three year old and a five year old at home. She got it.
No one was rude. Actually, when I finished eating I took the 2 little ones out so Po and Daughter could eat the rest of their meal in peace. Every single adult I passed I said “I’m sorry” to. Every single one of them smiled and said “don’t you worry”. And I know that they were all grateful they didn’t have the screaming kids. And they were all sympathetic to the mom trying to make them behave.
I took the 2 little ones out and told them I didn’t know why they couldn’t just relax and have a good time and let Mommy have a good time. I was really just talking to be talking. I’m pretty sure they were not listening. But each of them held my hands as we walked to the building with the big wooden chain saw carvings. They were fine. They were good.
A few years ago I would have been getting red in the face, I would have put their butts in the car and gone home. Today. I just carried one when she would let me. Led one when she would let me. Pointed out things to see. Kept telling Daughter she is bigger than they are. Today it was obvious to me that two year olds and five year olds do not have the same idea of fun that we do. Or the same idea of adventure. Or the ability to have any ideas like us.
And when another tantrum ignited. I just laughed and told her, or her, again, I’m not scared of you.
I wish I’d of had that kind of perspective a few years ago.