“Almost lost one today,” I posted on Facebook.
|Image courtesy of zirconicusso|
I had decided today was the day to conquer my fear of going out alone with both of the kids. After all, Big Guy is now a year old. “Maybe I’m being ridiculous,” I thought. A year of being stuck at the house if my husband wasn’t home for fear that I couldn’t handle it? Time to let go, right?
I started at the park. No big deal. Squeaker loves the park. I knew the hard part would be leaving. I didn’t have a stroller with me, this being a last minute decision and all, so if he went with a fight, there was no way for me to get him to the car. This kid is unbelievably strong. A force of nature. So if he wants to fight me, I know I’m not going to be able to carry him. Carrying him and a 12 month old would be out of the question.
We played for a while, but it was starting to get cool out. Convincing him to leave on his own was tricky, but somehow I managed. We got all the way to the car before he decided it would be more fun to play “balance beams” than get in. I put Big Guy in the car, and Squeaker was still going back and forth. Threatening to leave him and opening my car door was, luckily, enough to get him in. Thank God!
Suddenly, I felt brave enough to venture a restaurant.
So, we went out for dinner. Just me and the kids. For the first time EVER. Squeaker wouldn’t stay in his seat. He did loops around the nearby vacant tables. He ate a miniature bit of his sandwich, thinking that he would get ice cream for eating that way. He stole 4 of my onion rings, ate the breading on the outside, and gave the rest to his brother. He sat on the window sill. When I told him there would be no ice cream, he took shoes and socks off. I had to wrestle him onto the bench and get his shoes and socks on.
I was ready to go, but the waitress paid us no mind. It was one of those places that you go to the register to pay, but I wanted a “to go” bag for his food and for them to take payment at the table. I waited. She went to other tables, but not mine. I felt like she intentionally didn’t see us there. Frustrated and kind of ticked off, I went up to the register to pay, Big Guy on my hip, Squeaker’s food in one hand, diaper bag, purse, etc., while Squeaker continued to circle the room.
“How was everything,” the waitress that paid me no mind asked. I bit my tongue and simply answered, “I’d like a to-go box.” I was on the phone with The Manager (hands-free), who was just back in town from a meeting, and made clear that I didn’t think it was going to be easy to get to the car. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it out of the restaurant with him, as he was demanding ice cream, but he left willingly. He was getting closer to our location, but it seemed like things were going to work out. That was my mistake.
I had no hands available. I trusted that my 5 year old would stay with me. I got to the car, toting a diaper bag, a purse, a drink, Squeaker’s food, and a baby. I put the food in the car, the drink on top of the car, and the diaper bag on the ground. Squeaker is standing at this cement drop-off into another parking lot, looking mischievous. I’ve got his door open. “Come get in your seat,” I say, trying not to trigger a resistant response. He’s eyeing the parking lot. “Don’t even think about it,” I say. And the chase begins.
He darts off down the parking lot we’re in, to the end of the cement wall, and heads down the hill into the other parking lot. I’m still on the phone (again, hands-free) with The Manager, and he hears all of this. I’m freaking out because Squeaker’s in another parking lot and I’ve got to figure out how to get down there with the baby. He’s staring me at me from down there, grinning. This is a game to him. He runs. I start to run after him, finding a little hill to run down, but carefully, as I’m still toting the baby. He heads toward a side road, and I’m screaming at him to stop. Terrified that a car will come any minute. He just keeps going, laughing the whole time with no indication that he knows I’m mad/scared.
The Manager tells me he’s almost there, and my voice is panicky. What if I don’t catch him? He’s so fast! As I get closer to him toward the road, he circles back into the grass. When I finally catch him, I realize I’m not going to be able to get him back to the car. I direct my husband where to drive so that I don’t have to move, and clutch Squeaker’s arm. He’s trying to get away, but I’m holding on for dear life, determined that he’s not going to get away again. Then he sees his dad’s car and is excited. “This is like a reward to him,” I say to my husband. “He wants to go with you.”
He grabs him up in a way that Squeaker knows this is serious, and I feel a bit better because he’s no longer smiling and happy about it, but I realize that if my husband had not been close enough to come and get him, this would’ve been a worse situation than it was. And, honestly, I feel hopeless.
“Do you realize this means I can’t take you anywhere EVER again?!” I yell at Squeaker. But he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t get it. This was his “Mommy chase me” game. A game. We tried explaining to him at home that he could get hit by a car, and his expression is vacant. He has no idea what that means. None.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been physically capable of handling him. He’s too strong. Unless my arms are completely free, he’s going to get away from me. So how can I possibly ever take him anywhere with his brother again? I’ll have to wait until Big Guy is no longer a baby before I can do anything with them. Here I am, trying to have fun with my kids, and it was an epic fail. I’m not prepared to handle it.
I love this kid, but he scares me. Running after him today, I realized just how scary it can be. This was the worst thing he could do in public. Not the screaming, the biting, or making a scene. Running. Running like he did today is really dangerous. I will not be taking both kids anywhere by myself again. I just can’t risk it. He’s more than I’m willing to lose.
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