Friday, September 2, 2011

Choosing Your Battles & Having McDonald's On Your Side

We set out this morning around 7:45 to drop kids at school and then on to an OB appointment, followed by an appointment with our investments representative, then a quick stop for one last item on my grocery list. By "we" I mean my youngest, Declyn, and myself. If you would like a recipe, here's a very easy one:

31lb of Two Year Old Boy
2-4 Hours of Intermittent Periods of Confinement (Dr.'s office, exam rooms, car, etc.)
Car Preheated to 90+ degrees
Breakfast Food Optional (According to my two year old, who only ate one bite of breakfast burrito)
Throw in Some Peanut Butter Crackers and a Baggie of Pretzels

Oh, did I forget to mention that this is a recipe for a melt-down? That's what we have come to call the "I''m tired and hungry and fed up with sitting still and I don't understand why I can't climb or run or play now but I can't explain that because I've reached the point of no return and my good humor expired 30 minutes ago" tantrum. While we have never allowed tantrums, and thankfully, my children aren't often given to these outbursts, periodically the planets all out of alignment or something, and you get a look at the beast hiding inside all of us.
Today, I was singing like a maniac, at the top of my lungs, over the screaming of my fit-to-be-tied little angel. I was doing this because he was acting up in the store and I decided to put off this errand until he had lunch and nap. He did not agree. What I had not anticipated, was that the only thing that would make him more upset than sitting in the cart would be to get back in the car to head home. So I, while singing his favorite song, did the math in my head. I figured how long he's been going, how little real food he'd had all day, and decided that we would need to make an emergency stop at McDonald's. There is something soothing in the fries there. Now, not to be accused of bribing a child to stop screaming, I must explain further. I told him he must stop screaming or he would miss out on those fragrant, salty fries. He was still stubborn and whimpering, but 5 minutes after we pulled back onto the highway for home, he finally apologized and asked for fries. And that beautiful silence that set in. As we got off at our exit, he said, "Thank you, Mama, for the fries." Aaaahhh. The sweetest sound next to silence. We got home and got a nap. He awoke his usual sunny self and I stopped considering sedatives (for me, not him).
I'm thankful we don't have these days often. It's hard sometimes, trying to fit in everything you have to get done, while working around the needs of a young child. However, even if I add up all the days like these, when I start to question whether I should even be allowed to have children, it doesn't compare to the many other days. The real joy is in the attempt, and the payoff is totally worth it!