Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Meltdown

So...apparently it's feast or famine around this blog. 5 posts in one week and no posts the next. Oh well...

We've had a lot of company lately...The Boyd Gang, Kristin & Madison, and Eva all came to see us. Then last week, I decided on Wednesday evening that I would go to my mom's for the weekend, so Eli, Landon, and I left Thursday and got back Sunday. Yesterday, we were all sick so we didn't make it out of our pajamas, much less leave the house.

So today it was imperative that we visit the grocery store. I was feeling pretty good about this outing. As soon as the boys woke up from their nap, I got them dressed and we headed out the door. We hit the McDonald's drive through for a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait off the dollar menu, ate it in the grocery store parking lot, and headed on in...full and happy.  Note: Pride goes before a fall (Prov. 16:18).

As soon as the boys were settled into the basket (Landon in front, Eli in the back), it became very obvious that this trip was going to be a challenge. Eli would not stay seated in the back of the cart (quite shallow compared to your standard shopping cart.) After reminding Eli to sit down no less than 15 times, the boys switched places. Landon immediately unzipped my purse and started dumping the contents, but at least Eli was strapped down and immobile.

We were only about 5 feet into the store at this point in time and had already caught the attention of a couple of nosy, middle-aged women who are obviously so far removed from child-rearing that they have forgotten the challenges it brings. It took an obscene amount of self-control for me to not verbalize the comments that were popping into my head in response to their loud sighs and disgusted glares. I only mention this because I feel like the self-control I exercised in that situation was my one victory today.

I very quickly gathered the produce I needed and we were about to move on when a sign for strawberries caught my eye. I was weighing the benefits of buying two pounds instead of one when it was brought to my attention that I had pulled the cart a little too close to the stacked containers of strawberries. Eli had reached out and knocked two containers to the ground. One of them came open and strawberries rolled everywhere. As I'm trying to contain the mess and gather the fruit, Landon is now climbing out of the back of the cart. I scold him, which sends him into a screaming fit. I put all of the strawberries back in, throw the container up on the stand, and get out of there. Note: if you are buying strawberries in Snyder, I suggest getting from the bottom of the stack.

Moving on to the baking aisle, I grab a bag of sugar, but by the time I had made it to the next aisle, I feel something grainy between my toes. Eli has chewed a hole through the paper sugar bag and a steady stream of sugar is pouring out. I scold Eli which sends him into a screaming fit, I throw the bag of sugar on the nearest shelf. Landon starts screaming just for the fun of it and we officially have an audience.

I finally make it to the back, right corner of the store. I just need a few more items and we're home free. I am reaching for a tub of yogurt when I see, as if in slow-motion, a jar of spaghetti sauce being hurled from my shopping cart. To my horror, I don't catch it, it crashes on the ground, the glass breaks, and spaghetti sauce is everywhere. Everyone in the store stops what they are doing for the chance to stare at the freak show that is me and my children.

And that's when it happened. That's when I had a total and complete meltdown. The screaming, the crying, the crawling out of the cart, the disgusted stares of strangers, the strawberries, the sugar, and now the spaghetti sauce...it was all too much to take. Right there in the middle of the dairy section, with at least 20 strangers (I hope, but I'm forced to conclude that we knew some of them...it is Snyder after all) staring at me, I started to cry. I called Dustin and told him that I didn't care what he was doing or how important it was...he HAD to come to the grocery store or all three of us might not make it out alive.

It's a helpless feeling...being outnumbered by 18 month olds. And as mad as I am at them for the way they acted, I'm really just mad at myself.

I taught them that it's okay not to listen to me. At some point in time over these last few months that are so crucial in discipline, they got the message that it's okay to disobey, to throw fits, and to be defiant. It's never the child's fault - they are just conditioned to act a certain way. And I would be over-reacting if this were just about today's trip to the grocery store. But it's more than that... it's about behavior that I've been observing for a few weeks now.

I know I haven't been as consistent as I should be with them. It's really hard to be consistent. It's exhausting to be consistent. It takes a lot of self-discipline to be consistent. But, they deserve better than what I've been for them and I'm sure it's worth it. I can't be a prisoner to Eli and Landon's behavior. I have to get it back under control now because it only gets harder from here.

In case you're wondering...this story has a happy ending. Dustin arrived in record time, took Eli and Landon to the car while I checked out. We had grilled vegetables, pork chops, and potatoes for dinner along with homemade ice cream for dessert. Dustin and the boys "worked" outside right up until dark and I got a good two hour break from them with some therapeutic cleaning.

I do believe I'll be going solo to the grocery store for a while. I certainly need to go back and pay for two pounds of strawberries, one bag of sugar, and one jar of spaghetti sauce. And then purchase those items all over again as I did not make it home with any of them.

10 comments:

Stephen and Larissa said...

Poor thing!! What a rough day! I can't imagine how hard it is to have two boys that age. I know you are doing great with them Amy, it was just a rough day!

Crystal said...

You are a great Mom. Have you witnessed the fit throwing on my blog? I think at some point, all children take a step back in what we have taught them. You are braver than I am...I don't go to the store by myself with the boys unless I have under 5 items to pick up.

Mom said...

I'm speechless and....in tears. I know how hard it is to be consistant with ONE much less two. Amy....just keep plodding along, knowing you will falter, gaining control again and forging forward. You're an amazing mom with many challenges and rewards ahead for you. Take in every moment....the good, bad and ugly.
You also have an amazing husband that is everything you need to be successful as a wife, mom and christian. What a lucky girl. I love you.

Micah and Jennifer said...

I've been having a rough day today and your post just made me feel better! I'm sure you wanted to endure all of that just to make me feel not so alone! Oh, and I have noticed that any time we come back from a trip...especially grandparents...it takes a couple of days of spankings, time outs, and good naps for Ava to be her usual semi-obedient self.

Kristin said...

Amy- you blog made me cry, b/c I have been there,not with twins, but the fit-throwing, disobedience and so-on. It is very hard and exhausting to be consistent- but we have to be. You and Dustin are doing a great job from what I read on here. It takes alot of prayer to raise kids- for strength, consistency, self-control, patience, etc. Keep up the good work and I promise it does get better as they get older. You will see that all of your hard work does begin to start paying off- and that will give you a gret feeling. Keep it up.

Kristin said...

Amy- you blog made me cry, b/c I have been there,not with twins, but the fit-throwing, disobedience and so-on. It is very hard and exhausting to be consistent- but we have to be. You and Dustin are doing a great job from what I read on here. It takes alot of prayer to raise kids- for strength, consistency, self-control, patience, etc. Keep up the good work and I promise it does get better as they get older. You will see that all of your hard work does begin to start paying off- and that will give you a gret feeling. Keep it up.

Cheree Tate said...

OK, here's the deal. Every mom has the meltdowns. Every kid throws the fit. Two at a time HAS to be more challenging. NO ONE deserves two blessings like those boys more than you do! You are doing an amazing job with them! That being said, once a week (more or less often if you need it) I will come to your house and watch the boys play with my boys so that you can do WHATEVER it is you need to do! That includes, but is not limited to: grocery store time, Walmart run, shopping for yourself, date with your husband, massage, or whatever you deem you need at the time! I'M SERIOUS! USE ME!!!!

I love you, Amy! And I am SO glad you and Dustin moved to Snyder! What a blessing you all are to our church family!

T.Ervin said...

I'm sorry Amy, but I was not having a good day until I read your post. This not only put a smile on my face, but I made a scene laughing so hard about your adventure in the grocery store. I never had children of my own, but I did take a couple of grandsons to the store one time that ended up having weiners and buns spread all over Isle #4. Anyway, I love your story, and so glad you shared it on your blog. It makes my day. And, as far as being a good mom....I have watched you with those boys and I am AMAZED. You "appear" to always "have it together", and that blows me away. So glad you now have this written down and hope it also goes into the baby books because this will be a great story one day for both boys and "your" grandchildren.

Matt Hall said...

I feel like I'm looking into my future when I read your blog, good luck with the boys...it is a challenge that I barely know yet!

A and E Gourmet Candles said...

Ohhhhhhhhh! I wish we were closer! As excentric as you may feel we are, we are 100% in your corner. You are doing an awesome job with your boys.....you ARE amazing, as everyone points out and what a blessing it is to have Dustin close enough to come when you need him.

Snyder will never be the same!! LOL! Love you all so much! Grams

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