Lord have mercy.
Today, the weather was perfect. About 70 degrees and full of sunshine. So, the kids and I took a short bus trip to our favorite playground, peanut butter sandwiches and strawberries in tow. We were excited.
About a half an hour into our adventure, Natalie decides to have a meltdown at the very tippy top of the playset.
You see, some parent thought it was okay for a little boy to bring his barely-any-eyes-open-way-too-young-to-take-anywhere kitten to the playground. Yeah, I know. Pardon my language here, but what the shit?
So, every child at the playground swarms around this tiny creature. They pick it up, pet it, then the gentle pets turn into freak out moments where they finally figure out that this creature has needle-like claws, so they drop it.. oy.
Luckily, James and Natalie actually listened to my pleading of "please guys be gentle..it's a tiny baby". They were really great. But when this (maybe) 6 year old boy sees that enough is enough with the swarming of kids around his new pet, he goes away.
So, really the only alternative for Natalie to deal with this is to scream and cry... mixed with some kicking.
Again, at the very top of the playground equipment. She screams words I can't understand and then I finally do understand... she wants me to climb up there to get her... but not for fear, but because she's angry.
So, I don't. I explain, "nope Natalie, you know how to get down easily, you are not a baby.. you are a big girl" and that makes it worse. But dudes... my god I will NOT give in.
Hmm... I wonder where Natalie gets her stubbornness from....?
By this point, every parent.. every guardian..every whoever are all staring at me.
Deja vu sets in of the terrible 2s and 3s. I sort of panic a little but know that I can't give in just because she's screaming. All the while this happening, James is making friends left and right. Helping smaller children with climbing..thinking up really cool games to play.. basically being a saint. Even while Natalie is screaming and crying... oozing with snot and boogers.. I make sure to tell James "thank you" for being so good.
I even resorted to loudly telling Natalie that I will "spank" her if she doesn't come down. Spank... ugh.. what a joke. I don't even use that word at home.. it's more of "I will beat you down if you do not listen". But in a nice tone.. mixed with hugs and kisses.
Trust me, I know what I am doing. Sometimes.
One of the moms who had very quickly taken a heroic-like shortcut up to the top of this same playground set to intervene when all of the children were seriously considering pushing that tiny kitten down the slide, kept looking at me with concern.. more a "ah... yeah, sorry fellow mom" kind of look.
By about a half an hour later, she came down on her own after I just gave up and walked away.. making her think I left the park. Watching her the entire time, she climbs down, with me not in her view, and immediately stops crying and looks for me.
Her audience had left.
And that... was my day. A grand revisiting of THE tantrum.