Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making it until wine o'clock.

We've all been there. Those days that just seem to drag on, and you literally find yourself counting the minutes until bedtime (AKA "wine o'clock"). Some weeks seem to have more of these painful days than others, where patience with our whining, temper-tantruming, inconsolable little people is slim to none. Yesterday, I had one of those days. One of those days where 11:30 a.m. sounded like a good time for a cocktail, or a mild tranquilizer (for me, not the kid... or whatever). My 2.5-year-old has been sick with a bad cold, she's off nursery school for the entire month so I literally have NO kid-free time to clean, cook, do laundry, grocery shop, etc., and my husband has been working long hours. Yesterday, I had to go to the post office and grocery store, and I obviously took Linna with me. We literally got two steps out the door, when Linna decided to throw one of her most impressive temper-tantrums to date.

We don't have a car in Singapore, so we usually take the bus or a taxi. Since I was dragging my stylish "granny cart" (shopping bag with wheels - yes, I have one) along, Linna would have to walk. We've done this before, so she knows the drill. But yesterday, she decided that she wanted me to carry her.

Seriously Linna?! You're almost 3 years old, you weigh 30 lbs., and it's 100 degrees outside. I'm NOT carrying you. This whole "Mama carry me!" meltdown has become Linna's new "thing" recently, since it worked last week when she wasn't feeling well. I decided to NOT carry her, and I tried to make our walk down to the post office a fun "adventure". That went over well... or NOT! She screamed the entire way, and her dramatic meltdown continued as we walked inside the post office. I finally picked her up to calm her down, all while trying to address packages/letters with my free hand. She was so worked up that she almost puked. Awesome. I could feel the harsh judgement from all locals in the post office.

Alright. Onto the grocery store. This should be a treat.

I was finally able to calm Linna down, and I explained to her that I wasn't going to carry her through the grocery store. She agreed. But, of course, the moment I tried to put her down to walk through the grocery store, Act II of her incredible meltdown performance began. She screamed, she threw herself onto the floor (in the seafood section nonetheless), she clung to my leg and became dead weight, and I could have sworn I saw her foam at the mouth. I could not get out of the store quickly enough, but when I did, Linna threw herself onto the ground for her grand finale. Why?! Because she "didn't get to put a coin into the thing" (donation slot box for some non-profit). HOW could I BE so stupid, and NOT be able to read her mind?!

Is it wine o'clock yet?!

On this particular evening, I had booked a babysitter to come play with Linna until Papa Saigh was able to leave work. One of my girlfriends here in Singapore organized a "ladies night", and I desperately needed a night out with the girls, as we've been trapped in our "germ house" for over a week. I told one of my friends that after the day I just had, I wouldn't think twice about leaving Linna to fend for herself if the babysitter canceled for some reason. I was joking... kind of.

This whole situation brought up a good question from one of my mom friends back home in Minnesota. How do parents deal with stressful days at home with the kid(s), and find the patience to deal with their little ones peacefully... ESPECIALLY when you don't have a babysitter coming to give you a "break"? Jokingly I told her, "One word... booze.". Again, I was joking... kind of. But really, I think this is a great conversation that parents need to have with other parents. We've all been there, and it's helpful to hear other parents' stories and advice on how to deal with these situations. Although it's easier said than done, I try to remind myself of the following when I'm about to lose it with my kid...

1. Little ones don't know how to communicate their anger very well, and it's our job to teach them. Put yourself in their shoes.
2. Meltdowns suck, and public meltdowns are even worse. DO NOT worry about what other people are thinking, because EVERY KID DOES IT!
3. Before you know it, your kid won't think you're cool anymore, and you'll want your clingy baby back.
4. I am very fortunate to be able to stay home with our kid. While many parents HAVE to go back to work, I have the ability to be with my kid every day.

And if all else fails, just remember that you're getting closer and closer to wine o'clock. Parenting is much easier with a socially-accepted glass of vino in your hand... as long as you can hold off until wine o'clock;)

What time is your wine o'clock, and what do you do when you're about to "lose it" with your little ones? How do you handle the stress, and "peacefully" deal with your kids?

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