Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Day that Twilight Zone wrote

I had the absolute strangest day yesterday.  This post was meant to be about my 8K race on Sunday.  I will write about that...but instead TODAY...I'm writing about my Twilight Zone day instead.

It actually started off with a phone call in the late morning from a church member.  I use this term loosely, because they haven't been coming long and I'm not sure this family has taken that "plunge" to call themselves that.  Anyway - I never get prayer request phone calls...so that was odd.

And it was also odd because I had only just met them on Sunday - and I'm so glad I did.  She didn't know very many people and so I was able to identify myself...you know, since it was still pretty fresh in her mind.  (I greeted them in the parking lot AND during the meet-and-greet time at church!)

I then left work fairly early to take Ruth to her appointment.  I always expect to hear that everything is absolutely normal.  There was a question over whether there might be a problem with her head...and William was worried about it.  I'm not sure why - he just was.  Perhaps because I relayed the info and he didn't have a chance to hear the doctor's non-worried tone.  Turned out her head was fine.

BUT...a shock came.  Apparently she isn't growing taller like she should.  Is she taller?  Absolutely.  But she keeps dropping "curve brackets".  Basically, pediatricians everywhere keep little curve charts to ensure that children are growing in a normal growth pattern.  Ruth has not been following the normal growth pattern. Last time she was in the 50%, the time before she was in the 75% (or so).  Now she is in the 25%.

Even better?  Her head is 98%.  So she is short with a big head. ;-)  (Her big head is NOT a concern btw...per the doctor!)  I just find that funny.

Anyway...back to her height.  SO...the doctor said it is either genetic or there could be a hormone issue.  An initial test is to take an x-ray of the wrist and determine "bone age".  If her bones are normal 12 mo bones, then she it is genetics.  If they appear to be 7 mo bones (for example), then further tests will need to be done.

We are still waiting on the results of the x-ray.  I'm not really worried.  I tend to not worry about these things unless there is a REAL concrete reason to worry.  Besides, William tends to do enough worrying for the both of us.

After getting the x-ray (which we got in ONE SHOT...on her WRISTS!  Amazing!), I popped in to get Peter.  His teacher stopped me and we chatted about a bad drop off.  It had been pretty bad that morning, and she had wondered if anything was the matter.  DUNNO...but Peter has been off lately anyway.  (We had just had a colossal fit the night before where he ended up KICKING the thermostat off the wall as William tried to maneuver him to the bathroom for a bath...)  I told her we planned on chatting with him about it.  Then I chatted with the director...Ruth was supposed to start there in November.  But I don't believe that is going to happen.  Ruth really isn't close to walking yet.  (I'd like for her to be walking pretty well before she starts.)  So it has been pushed to December and we are taking it month by month.

I picked up Peter, then got Rebekah and decided to take them both to Target.

Yes...I had all 3 kids.  And honestly, I've taken them all 3 by myself to many many places.  It isn't something I give a second thought to anymore.  Do I have problems?  SURE!  But I've never had a problem I couldn't handle by myself.

Until this particular Twilight Zone Day that is...

I had planned on getting the kids some PJs.  Rebekah really needed some anyway and Tuesday was PJ day at school.  She didn't really have any that were appropriate to be out in public in.  (They were all small...LOL) 

We started with the girls because it was in the front of the store.  We looked at some and she picked out a few pairs.  The gloves happened to be there too.  Peter found a pair of Batman Gloves that he just absolutely felt he needed to have.  I told him to put them back, wait paitently and we would discuss it.  He was attempting to put them on, but a tag was in the way.  I told him he absolutely should NOT take the tag off to try them on, repeated to put them back etc etc.  I went back to Rebekah.

Well, he took the tag off.  And he didn't put them back.

And since he wasn't listening, I told him he couldn't have the gloves.  This is where the crying started.  I then told him he could either go look at PJs, or we could leave...which was it?  He just screamed he wanted the gloves.  I repeated the choice...more screams.  GLOVES GLOVES GLOVES.  So I told him fine...we would just leave.  I could see this escalating, so I ask Rebekah to put the stuff back...that we were going to have to go.  She was upset - but I assured her we'd get it later.  She complied, but was convinced I'd forget.  (I do deserves that...I am forgetful! LOL)

Peter is flopping in the floor scooting around at this point.  He wouldn't stand up.  I tried walking off without him and he wouldn't follow.  In fact, he kept running off.  I could tell he was in his blind furry...and when he is there really is NO talking to him.  I continued to try to get him to stand up - he'd just flop over without regard for himself.  I was concerned over his safety and Ruth's.

I can see that we really had to go and we had to go NOW...so I told Rebekah to just put the stuff on the floor.  She wasn't too sure about that...but at this point Peter was screaming non-stop and it was clear I had to get out and get out NOW.  She was a trooper though and left all the stuff.

I managed to get Peter over to the edge of the clothing where I stopped and tried talking to him again.  I really tried everything - but simply put he was a siren...going off loud and non-stop.  He wasn't listening and of course I wasn't going to give him the gloves.  I wasn't even going to PRETEND.  I was really quite furious at his behavior.  I kept my cool though, took a deep breath and continue to try and talk to him.  It was really no use.  So as I talked, I began to strategize on how to get out of the store.

People stopped and starred at me as I tried to work with him and figure out how to get out.  I was keenly aware of all the eyes.  They didn't even try to hide it.  I'm not sure what they were watching for - entertainment or judgement.  It didn't matter much.

With Ruth in the Ergo, it made it difficult to carry a child who was so clearly out of control. 

I thought about calling William and asking him to get over there.  It would have been a 30 minute drive if he left immediately...and that just seemed like too long.  I went through a quick mental list of others I could call who could have been there fairly quickly - none.  I asked Rebekah if she thought she could carry Ruth to the car.  She wasn't sure - and I didn't want to compound the situation with a dropped baby.  I thought perhaps if I could get to the front of the store I could put him in the cart and wheel him out...so that became my goal.  Get to the front of the store.

I took a deep breath and got the best hold of him that I could...I'm sure he wasn't comfortable.  My arm was wrapped under his arm pits and chin.  It wasn't exactly a solid hold, but it was enough that I could move him.  He slipped out near the front door and made a break for it.  I grabbed him up again and attempted to put him in the cart.  It became apparent very quickly this wasn't going to work - he kept standing up and trying to climb out.  He wouldn't sit down and I certainly didn't want him FALLING OUT on his head.  So I grabbed him again, this time using my other arm.

And yes - he was screaming the entire time at the VERY top of his lungs.  There was no lack of gawkers at Target this day.

I was about 10 parking spots away from the car, on a sidewalk that went down the middle.  Ruth started wailing - and I wasn't sure what happened.  I set Peter down to ensure she wasn't hurt.  Of course he tried running away and I had to grab him again.  THIS time...my arms were SO WEAK that I couldn't get a firm grip.  I handed my purse and keys to Rebekah and told her to go to the car and leave the door open.  I again tried talking to Peter.  He wouldn't even cooperate enough for me to look Ruth over.  Any time I loosened my grip, he'd bolt.  I attempted to pick him up a couple times again, but my arms were jelly.  He'd outmatched my strength.  I sat there, again trying to talk to him as I waited to see if my strength would return.  Of course he didn't listen.  He just screamed.  I kept eying the car - thinking about how CLOSE it looked.  The end was in sight - yet I wasn't sure how to get there with everyone safely.  If it wasn't a parking lot, I would have left him and put Ruth in the car.  As it was, I certainly couldn't have him running away.  It was much too dangerous.

And here is a proud mommy moment - in a moment of desperation and frailty, I threatened to take Peter back inside and leave him.  I told him he would become an orphan.

It didn't phase him.  But I sure felt bad afterwards.

I looked up and there standing before me was a security guard smiling politely.  He squatted down and spoke to Peter.  "Hi there bud!  Is there a problem?"  I honestly wasn't sure what to think at first.  My gut reaction was to recoil.  I wanted to ask him "Why are you talking to my SON and not ME?"  And granted, there may have been merit with those thoughts - but I checked myself rather quickly.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity for help.  His motivation at this point simply didn't matter.  I smiled and said "I'm sorry, but my son started throwing a fit in the store and I'm trying to get him to the car."

Security guard smiled and said "Yes, I saw that."  Really?  And you are JUST NOW coming to help?

[Deep breath]  "My car is right there - the one with the door open.  I've sent my older daughter there already."

He smiled again, "Yes, I saw that too."  Is there ANYTHING this guy HASN'T seen?

"If you could carry my baby, I can carry this one and get to the car very easily."  The security guard agreed and so I took Ruth out of the Ergo.  We all marched the few paces to the car in silence...yes silence.  As soon I picked Peter up with both hands he stopped screaming and flailing.  I can't say if he was limp or not, because I had a death grip on him - he wasn't going anywhere anyway.

I stopped at Ruth's door so the security guard could put Ruth in her seat.  I then went to the other side of the car and put Peter in.  "Peter, you were SO BAD the police came!" He started crying.  "I don't want the policeman to come!"  I told him the policeman was gone - I think he thought he was going to be taken away.

I was prepared for a fight to get him buckled in, but surprisingly there wasn't one.  He was very compliant.

The drive home was silent.  I made Peter go to his room until William got home - and he stayed in there.  Again - I was shocked.  I let William deal with him from there - I felt I had done enough dealing.

After dinner was going I headed back out to get Rebekah those PJs...she actually really needed them.  I wanted to go to a different Target, but Rebekah was worried they wouldn't have one particular one she really liked.  I couldn't really argue with that - while there is a lot of common products among the Targets, there is also a lot of differences!  I hadn't even changed my clothes...I really didn't want to go back in.  So I moved through the store as quickly as possible.

We got the PJs and headed to shoes for some slippers.  While Rebekah was trying some on, I heard a woman in the next isle over judging another poor mom dealing with a crying kid.  Honestly the kid wasn't all that loud.  Maybe I had Peter's screams still ringing in my ears, but the noise certainly wouldn't have registered with me if she hadn't been yapping on about it.  "You should just leave your kids at home when you shop!" she said.  The guy she was with mumbled something and she replied "I don't care!  If it is illegal to have your radio to loud it should be illegal for your kids to be too loud!"  The contempt in her voice was so thick.  I couldn't really take it anymore.  My emotions were still pretty raw with having dealt with Peter...and if I had heard someone judging my parenting (while I was doing the VERY BEST I could!), I'm sure I would have lost it.  This woman was a loose cannon waiting to go off on some poor suspecting mother and staying quiet was just not something I was capable of at the moment.

I popped around the corner and smiled politely...."I'm sorry, I couldn't help but here your ridiculous complaints about the crying child..."

"They are MY opinions!" she said immediately defensive.

"You have no idea what that poor mom is going through...I was here just earlier with my toddler when..."

"Listen - I have kids.  AND I have a right to MY opinions!" she said!

I started again "Yes but you see you..."


"Yes well you are completely wrong..."

And with that off she stomped.  So I didn't even get to tell her how if she wanted to be constructive with her opinions, she could offer to help the mother instead of judge.

I've determined two things from my day...firstly, it clearly wasn't my day.  I wouldn't really even call it a BAD day as strange as that may sound.  I just had to deal with some colossally bad behavior.  I'm certain one day I'll be laughing when I tell the story.  I can see it now, Peter's girlfriend squeezed in between Rebekah and I..."Hey Rebekah, remember that one time Peter threw that MONSTER fit???" "Oh I sure do MOM!  And TARGET SECURITY came and escorted you guys to the car!!!"  [Said girlfriend bug eyed at this point...]

Secondly...I think it is going to be a long time before I return to that particular Target...

At dinner that evening I volunteered to say the prayer.  Peter was sent to his room because he kept interrupting me and was just plain obnoxious.  After we settled down...I started.  "Lord," I said..."Help us..." and with THAT William bust up laughing.  I started laughing (and couldn't really stop) and Rebekah sat there in bewilderment.  "WHAT IS SO FUNNY?" she asked.

"Sometimes you can't do anything but LAUGH..." I replied.


Anonymous said...

Oh Miriam. I checked your blog and just read detailed account of the horrible no good very bad Target experience. I am so sorry. We all have those mommy moments where we say things we regret, but you know, it probably didn't even register with Peter. I think you did everything right. You didn't give in. And that woman you ran into later sounds absolutely awful. Actually, it sounds like she's never had kids. (But of course she knows more about raising kids than all parents combined.) I also had to laugh at the ending to your post. :)


Miriam said...

You are sweet! And right on all accounts!