Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Addie Outburst

Monday morning Addie, Preston and I headed off to run errands. First was a stop at Toys R Us to buy a new little picnic table. Our old one was a hand-me-down and the table top was cracked and getting worse so we got rid of it awhile ago, but I have missed it! With Joy School starting this week I couldn't wait any longer to get a new one. While picking it up we found a little stuffed cat that was on clearance so we bought it to be Addie's next reward to earn with her magnet chart.
Then we headed across the street to Walmart to our weekly grocery shopping. The trip was going well at first, although Addie had been very whiny since being sick at the end of last week. Towards the end of shopping I had to have Addie walk with me because the cart was getting full. We got into line at a register that was towards the front, which meant that all the toys and magazines were a ways behind us near the back registers. I was unloading groceries onto the belt and looked up and didn't see Addie around me. I spotted her back by the little toys and told her to come back by me. She said no and I told her to come here again. When she ignored me I went back to get her quickly (around all the other people in line behind me) and when she saw me coming she starting screaming, and I mean a full-out LOUD Addie scream, and running away. I grabbed her and brought her up next to me again. She continued screaming and crying, yes SCREAMING, the entire time I unloaded groceries...the entire time the cashier scanned and bagged them...the entire time I paid. I didn't say anything to her, although I did smile at all the people who looked in our direction (and that was a lot).
She was one of those kids and I was one of those mothers.
I've had my fair share of embarrassing behavior from her and have called her my humbling child more than once (when talking about her, not to her), but this was hands down the worst ever.
We walked to the car in silence. I buckled her in and told her that it is not ok to act like that. We don't scream and cry and run away from mom ever, and especially not in the store. I told her I was embarrassed and upset and that we were taking the cat back. We drove back to Toys R Us. I made her put him back in the bag and we walked in and I made her hand him over to the cashier (the same one who had helped us by it only an hour before). A crying Addie gave up the cat and we went home. I told her if she started acting nicely again we would go back and get it so she could earn it.
After lunch and getting Preston in bed we had a nice time coloring together but then after a while something else happened and she started flipping out again. Afraid she would wake-up Preston I sat her in our closet for a little while before talking to her. My patience was very thin at this point! I got her out and was talking to her about what in the world was going on with her when Mike came home. He took over the cuddling and she instantly fell asleep. I hope most of it is because she is still recovering from being sick, but she had a rough time at Joy School yesterday too, so maybe it's a phase. Whatever it is I hope it ends soon!
Adeline has moments of saying the sweetest, most genuinely kind things to people and then moments where she can't seem to resist the urge to push someone for no reason. I try to compliment her when she is making good choices and being nice, and then be firm, but not overly upset when she doesn't (which gets harder as the day goes on), but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. All I know is I hope in a couple years she will be long over this stuff and we'll think back and say, "Remember when Addie would flip out about everything? She was so crazy!" and laugh :-). We'll see.
In the mean time, here are some things I love about our little Addie Cat that keep me going...her cat obsession (you really can't get too mad at a little white fluff haired girl who is constantly wearing cat ears), her desire to be nice to Preston (sometimes when Preston takes her things she says in a strained nice voice, "Oh, that's ok Preston, I need that!" I know she wants to do the right thing), her beautiful artwork, her random "I love you mom!", her cute laugh, her silly faces, her fierce independence, her blue eyes, her amazing imagination, the back scratches she requests each night, hearing her say "Play with me Ella?", enjoying a rare cuddle with her, and her great sense of humor.
I love you Addie...ALL the time!
(please don't do that at the store again though, ok?!)


Adams Family said...

so funny how much alike our 2nd borns are!! haha.

i love that you posted this...we had a similar incident at church last sunday. i have seriously been struggling with katy and her volatile behavior lately too!

i'm so hoping it's a stage she will outgrow soon...she too is such a sweetheart...but she can sure turn on the crazy lately!!

good luck. you are such a great mom. thanks for being so real and encouraging and inspiring. ;)

Laurie said...

I don't know why, but this almost made me cry. I think part of it is because I'm pregnant, and another part is because I've been there. And another part is because it is the hard parts that make us think of all the reasons that we love our kids, and the reasons for loving kids are so sweet. Sorry, hang in there.

Leighanna said...

Oh, we've all been THAT mother. William isn't much of a screamer... however - he made it certainly known to the entire front of Hobby Lobby about a month ago that he hated me and that I was a mean mommy. I don't even remember what it was about. I do know (as I stood in the returns line for a half hour) that it seemed to last forever. I just told him that I was sorry he felt angry, sad for how he was acting and that I deserved an apology. I then ignored him after that. About 20 minutes later, right before it was my turn at the register - I heard this little voice say, "Mom, I want to say something... I'm sorry." I was pretty surprised but it was a great learning moment for ME. I realized I have one of THOSE kids... that needs to hear no and then be given space to figure it out on his own. We mothers are all together in the war - even though the battles are all a little different!

Amy said...

I'm sorry you had to experience that. It's no fun to have people watching you when your child is misbehaving. I hope it doesn't happen again!

Diane said...

This tugged at my heart too. It is just sooo hard sometimes. When I had a rough time like this with my children, it sometimes made me cry too (after I got home, of course) because I really feel that the most important value I have to contribute is in being a good mother and if one of my kids is going haywire, then it must somehow have a reflection on me, even though I know better.

Addie was definitely being one of 'those' kids, but you were not even close to being one of those moms. 'Those' moms don't stay calm and make eye contact with others that are looking. 'Those' moms say horrible things to their children, because they are embarrassed and want to appear in control. They end up humiliating their child and themselves. I have seen tired, stressed parents say and do heartbreaking things to their children, especially when they are shopping late, after work.

Katie B said...

I'm so impressed by how you handled that. Calmness, reasonable consequences, clear statements- all hard to do with a high stress emotion. I guess all kids have to push the boundaries at times to see what behavior is acceptable. And you did a good job of guiding her.

rusted sun said...

I feel your pain. I had an experience like that a couple days ago. I left the store with two screaming kids and no groceries. I just didn't have enough energy for the fight and I thought it was better to just retreat. We all sat in the car and cried.

A few days later I ran into a woman who had witnessed the whole scene. She told me that her kids never have tantrums.....great.

Thanks for helping us all feel like we aren't the only ones.