There's a part of the song that goes like this:
Motion (keep movin', keep movin', keep movin')
Direction (which way, anyway, uptown, all around)
Acceleration (let's go faster)
Acceleration (let's go faster)
This is Oscar, pure Oscar. Pure toddler, I think. He's high energy. Even off the food dyes and on very little sugar, he's a body in constant motion. And when he's not moving, he thinking about moving.
And I love it. I do. Most days. On the days where I can keep him safe and help him properly direct his energy and respond appropriately to his zest for life. On the days I can't do these things? I just feel like a useless failure of a parent.
Case in point:
Last week, I took the boys to the local farmer's market. Oscar had been complaining that his hair was "too curly" and that he needed to "go to the hair cut store" and there's a little salon at the market that does kids hair cuts for $9. That's way cheaper than the $25 I'd been giving my stylist to shore his lovely locks, so I decided we'd go for it.
Anyways, the market is within walking distance, but it was raining a little so I decided to put them in the car and drive over. When we got there, I opened the truck to get out our stroller to find it wasn't there. Huh. Not a big deal, but that meant I'd have to carry MW and hold Oscar's hand which is not ideal.
It started out so well. I was slightly concerned because the stylists spoke very little English and asked me to choose a numbered picture to indicate how I wanted his hair cut. All the cuts were wicked short, and that's not how Oscar wears his hair. So I explained how I liked it and they seemed to get it and they cut his hair. It looked great, but it took her a half an hour. That's a super long time for a preschooler to have to sit in a chair "not moving." He was quite the ball of energy when they were done.
I then made the mistake of letting him have the rainbow colored Twizzler they offered him as a treat. This is my fault because I did not tell them in advance that Oscar was not allowed to have sweets, particularly brightly colored sweets made of high fructose corn syrup and FD&C food dyes.
My next mistake was deciding that we would wait in line for Korean food. There were two people in front of me, so I thought it would be five minutes. I mean, the food is cooked, they just have to put it into containers. Really.
Well, forever reason it was not that simple. They ran out of rice, and even though this is one less step, it made things take even longer. Oscar was holding my hand but he wrestled out of my grasp. He started darting around, and that was fine as long as I could see him. I understand he needs to test boundaries and I let him do that, as long as he's safe.
Then, he ran around behind the cart where I could not see him. I went and fetched him and told him, "No, you cannot go behind the cart. Mommy needs to see you." And then he went behind the cart five more times.
And then, he started fiddling with the propane tanks attached to the cart.
And then he started trying to open the car doors of the market's vendors.
And then he tried to run out into the parking lot (!!).
Oh, AND, I was holding Miles this whole time, because it I was not, he was running in the opposite direction of Oscar making and equal amount of mischief.
Now, none of this would be cause for concern or even major annoyance if it weren't for the fact that I was holding Miles. This is really just normal toddler behavior. Holding Miles seriously hindered my ability to:
a) Keep up with Oscar;
b) Effectively manage Oscar's behavior;
c) Make good, rational parenting decisions (yeah, I know this does not really make sense.)
So, instead of playing peek-a-boo, or I Spy, or Simon Says, or practicing roars, or naming dinosaurs (all things that would have channeled his energy and distracted him from his misbehavior); or just LEAVING; I got frustrated and became this mom:
"Oscar! Get over here!"
"What are you doing? Come here. NOW."
"Stop that! Stop it now!"
"Oscar. Listen to me. Listen!"
"That's it! You are not getting a treat. Miles gets a cookie and you do not."
"Come on, we're leaving. No? Bye then!"
Oscar was laughing hysterically the whole time and the more frustrated I go, the more he laughed. All of this ended in Oscar having a meltdown at the market and me basically dragging him, kicking and screaming, back to the car.
Can I also tell you that there was a mom there with two children that were similar in age to my own and they were behaving like absolute angels? Me? I was the mean mom with poorly behaved children who had no idea how to parent.
I ended up being the mom I never wanted to be. And, I blamed the missing stroller, and terrible candy, and the ridiculous amount of time the food was taking, but lets be honest here. This was no ones fault but my own, and that is the worst part.
It's time for me to adjust my parenting velocity so that Oscar and I are going the same speed and direction, because I can do better than this.
(Oh, that TMBG CD is an Amazon Affiliate link. Consider it disclosed.)