It has been 3 days since “The Incident” and the trauma has not yet fully dissipated. Yes, my rebels – it happened. The moment I’ve been dreading since the day I found out that baby no.2 was en route. The moment I have diligently avoided by calling in the troops and ensuring that all hands are on deck – helping me to supervise, to love, to keep alive, and to not lose my shit on the 2 tiny humans I’m responsible for raising. But on Monday, it went down. And it wasn’t pretty…
The day started innocently enough. I did what I do every morning: I got up at 6am with my newborn, strapped him into his sling (which, I’ve discovered is basically baby Ambien) and made/consumed a cup of coffee in peace while scrolling through Instagram and checking Facebook – standard (I like to have at least an hour of quiet before my energetic toddler wakes up and it’s officially go time).
I had an errand to run in my neighbourhood that involved about a half-hour of walking, so after milk had been drank, breakfast had been eaten, diapers had been changed and a variation of last night’s pyjamas had been put on, I ventured out with baby in his stroller and toddler “helping” me push it. The walk was seamless. I remember actually thinking how awesome it was that I didn’t have one of those toddlers who required a leash. No, mine is calm and obedient. He stays close to mommy and we chat about the cars and the bikes and the birds that all buzz up and down our street… what an angel I have.
Post-errand, baby was TKO’d, so I decided that since my little dude had been such a good boy, I would take him to his favourite park that was just around the corner from where we were. He was pumped (lately we’ve mostly been frequenting the parkette across from our house, so the “big park” was a big deal).
We played and played and played and we had a lovely time… that is, until a little boy hopped into the filthy little red scoot-car that my son was CONSIDERING playing with at that very moment. You can imagine my shock when my mild-tempered child marched right up and attempted to remove said imposter from “HIS” car.
I ran over. I interveined. I reminded him that park toys don’t belong to anyone. Park toys are for sharing and we all need to take turns: “You had a turn, and now this boy gets a turn, and when he’s finished, you’ll get a turn again. Now, why don’t we find another thing to play with while we wait?”
Tears were wiped away and he decided he’d settle for the slide.
Fine. Slide it is.
Well after whizzing down once, he zeroed in on a spinny airplane thing that he decided must be his next venture… even if it meant REMOVING THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS PLAYING ON IT!
OMG WHO THE HELL IS THIS CHILD AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH MY SON?
Over I ran. I took him by the hand and reminded him once again that park toys don’t belong to anyone. Park toys are for sharing and we all need to take turns and since you’re not following the rules of the park, we can’t stay at the park. So I scooped him up, put him on my hip, released the lock on the stroller and walked toward the exit.
Once we got out of the park, it happened. Total fucking meltdown. Yelling, screaming, flailing, kicking, hitting, turning into dead weight – the whole shabang – not a stone left unturned.
And there I was – hair in a nest on the top of my head, wearing giant reflective sunglasses, sporting a breast-milk stained tank, pushing a stroller, while carrying a tantruming toddler under my arm… on a main road… in 30 degree weather. It was the longest 10 minute walk of my life. My face felt like it was on fire, my head was pounding, my arm was killing, and all I kept thinking was, “Holy shit… WHAT WAS I THINKING HAVING 2 OF THESE THINGS?”
Of course, once we arrived home, the crazy had all but dissipated. The tears had been wiped away with a cool wash cloth and all that was left was a sheepish toddler, who was “sorry, mommy” and who kept reliving the incident between bites of a PB&J sandwich: “push boy, not nice, leave park.”
I’m not going to lie, I was glad for the reassurance that the sacrifice of my dignity on the streets of Toronto was not for naught. I’m still glad I stuck to my guns and showed him that even though mommy has a new baby to take care of now too, that doesn’t mean he can get away with being an asshole… because isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? Not raise a bunch assholes?
Now – I’m not going to end this post with some neat and tidy paragraph about how having children is hard but it’s also the most rewarding and beautiful experience one can ever have. I’m not going to attempt to remind myself that I’ll miss these days when they’re older because I know for a fact that when my boys are smelly teenagers and we’re sitting around the dinner table reminiscing about when they were tiny, I’ll be saying, “We had some of the best times when you were little… but you know what I DON’T MISS?” *insert above story here*
P.S. If anyone stumbles across an “Open Letter to The Mom Whose Kid Lost His Marbles on Dundas Street West,” let me know; it’s for me.