Thursday, March 4, 2010
I recently came across a thread in my mom's group from a mom who was befuddled by her constant battle to get her toddler into his car seat. I could totally identify with this mom's overwhelming feeling of complete frustration at this constant battle. As I read it, I couldn't help but reminisce about my own battle the other day...
As always, we are late getting out of the house. AJ is totally uncooperative. He does not want to get his toys ready to go or put his shoes on in fact and I get my purse together to leave I see him out of the corner of my eye in the process of removing his pants. I peek at the clock...ugg I should have left 10 minutes ago. I take a deep breath because I want to scream...at him, at the situation, at my utter frustration. At the fact, I gave myself extra time to ensure we got out of the house on time and instead my son is half naked...AGAIN! Instead, like a good mom, I close my eyes...count to five...breath deep and accept the situation. He is not even 2 I remind myself. I accept that fact that we will be late AGAIN...whatever. It won't be the first time and I guarantee it won't be the last!
As I near AJ and collect his discarded attire, he sprints off to hide under his train table. Evading capture, he runs to the other side of the island and we play a frustrating game of ring around the Rosie. He is laughing...me...I can feel the anger creeping up! So, I decide to just ignore the pestilence and decide to take him the way he is. So what if it is 50 degrees outside and he is in a shirt and diaper...
I tell him we are leaving. Put his clothes in my ever bulging bag and realized I have traded my school backpack once filled with 50lbs of books for a diaper bag/ purse/ lunch box/ kitchen sink. I grab AJ's Halloween bucket, throw in a few toys and walk out the door. As the door swings shut behind me, I hear AJ banging on the window. Ahh, he is finally ready to leave!
As I open the door, he comes running into my arms. I thankfully swing him onto my hip, so what if I am now loaded with a 50lb bag and a 30lb baby. We are out of the door! Success is so sweet!
I launch my bag into the front seat and open the back door to put AJ in. As I sit down and start to turn AJ to get him into his seat I notice he is starting to try to crawl over my shoulder and over the car seat into the front seat. Oh No, you don't! I twist and turn, push and pull. AJ is screaming...NO! NOOOO! He grabs my hair as he tries some evasive maneuvers to avoid capture. By this time, all limbs are involved even my head is being utilized to try to force this beast into his cage. I just freeze for a moment waiting as see some people walking by give me THE GLANCE. You know the one... not the "I know what you are going through" glance ...not even "the I've been there" glance, but the "Look at this Crazy Lady" glance. You know the one where they glance back a few time to make sure you aren't beating your child kind of glance! Uggh!
But, I can't let up! I seize the moment when AJ pauses from his back arching acrobatic moves for a brief breath. I slip the straps on despite this thrashing and hair pulling manage to get the click. Oh, the click...you know the one! In a full sweat, I slowly remove each body part banging my head on the ceiling as I get out of the back seat.
At this point, I am on the verge of tear. I just want to scream, curse...something. Instead, I just get in the front seat and blast the AC check out my mangled hair. Why did I even bother to do it this morning? I close my eyes for a moment to avoid the flow of tear threatening to break loose. Bruise and beaten, I long for the days of absolute freedom. The days when I would hop in the car, roll the windows down with no where to go and no time to be there and just drive. Imagining where I might go, I contemplate scrapping my plans and just taking AJ to the shop and dropping him off with his father. A few precious moments of freedom. But, just as think my mind is made up, I open my eyes to my smiling little boy calling out "Mama..wuve oo!"
It is all the motivate I need to put the car in reverse and start on our journey out. Only 15 minutes late...I can still make it!