Monday, August 07, 2006

guilty.... i feel guilty

Today was a hard day to be Tino's mom, he had the biggest melt down ever. I'm not saying he's perfect, but he's usually very laid back, yes, he throws tantrums on a daily basis but they are usually very short lived and most of the times he just goes though the motions, like he'll just fall to the ground on his knees for dramatic emphasis but won't even whine and will quickly get up and continue with whatever it was that he was doing. Not today. Today it was the mother of all tantrums and it was scary. It started when we drove to the grocery store but then realized that I didn't have my wallet with me so I pulled out of the parking lot and he started crying so hard, as if we were driving away from Disney World's parking lot without having gone in first. So I thought I'd make him feel better and instead of going straight home we stopped at the park. He swung in the swings for a bit but he didn't want to do much else, he went down the slide once, back to the swing and he kept on wanting me to pick him up. Then he was walking around and on a bench there were some toys that belonged to another boy and I told him that he couldn't take them because they weren't ours and he started crying, threw himself to the ground and then he wanted me to hold him and I did, I tried to comfort him and he did calm down. Once he stopped crying I walked towards one of the slides that he likes and I tried to put him down and he started fricking out again. So then I told him that we'd better go home and as I started walking towards the car, with him in my arms he started crying so hard, and flailing his whole body so vigorously I had to cradle him in my arms and hold on to him super tight so he wouldn't hurt himself or both of us, I think his hand got tangled in my hair so he started yanking my hair so hard that he ended up with a bunch of my hair wrapped around his fingers and it was so hard to put him in his car seat. It was so scary! I had no idea how to help him calm down and how to make him feel better. By the time we got home (a mere 3 minute drive) he was o.k. and as soon as we got home I popped in a Wiggles dvd and everything was fine. And here's where the guilt comes in, not only because I felt so inadequate at handling his melt down but also because the solution that I ended up recurring to was the fricking TV! What kind of lame parent am I?

After an hour or so I put him down for his nap but I was still feeling so shaken about the whole thing. When he got up I almost felt like I was afraid of him, maybe not him but his reactions. I think I feared that maybe that one episode was going to become a regular thing, like that was going to be the new Tino. I felt horrible and tense and jumpy. Then I decided we needed something that we both could enjoy together, so I thought swimming would be the perfect thing because we would have to be holding on and paying attention to each other the whole time. So we went to the Y and it was great! It really helped to relax us both (although I doubt Tino remembered the whole park episode 10 minutes after it happened), and we had lots of fun and I was able to see my usual laid back, sometimes stubborn but always fun Tino. We all have our days, don't we? Why would toddlers be any different? right? ...oh yeah, but the guilty feeling is still there.

Well, I know it's probably hard not to, but you shouldn't get down about it. You are right- toddlers will be toddlers. And everybody has cranky days! This morning, I threw a tantrum right on the elevator. Seriously! (Ok, so I didn't really throw the tantrum.... but man did I want to!!) Love ya! I hope we see you on Wednesday, but if not enjoy your dancing show!
Don't worry. It has nothing to do with your mothering. That is what children do, especially at Tino's age. You are a good mother. Colleen
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