Yesterday I turned 30 weeks pregnant. 30 weeks! Which means I’m tired, hormonal and emotional at times. Just like any other pregnant woman.
The thing is, I have a toddler too. This isn’t my first baby. My first baby is soon to turn 3 and seems to have hit the ‘threenager’ stage. My pregnancy has to be put on the back burner. The tiredness has to be ignored. I have to fight my emotions and keep a smile on my face. All for my son.
Sometimes toddlers are too much to handle. Sometimes no amount of pleading will get them to listen. Lamb kinda skipped the ‘terrible twos’ and wasn’t too difficult to handle from the age of 2. (We did have a tough time around the age of 1 though). Now he’s turning 3 he seems to have hit a phase of him demanding things, screaming to get his own way and becoming almost unmanageable, and this breaks my heart. My precious boy has this side to him I just can’t control.
Wednesday was a tough day, but you would know, you watched the whole thing.
I had an appointment at the doctors at 1:40 to have my whooping cough jab, but before that I decided to quickly pop to my local B&M store to buy some baking ingredients. Lamb and I had decided to have an afternoon of baking Captain America cupcakes. This was a big mistake.
For some crazy reason I took Lamb down the toy isle. If I’m honest I was looking for a particular toy for his birthday that I had seen the week before and there was only one left. I was kinda hoping it would still be there. It wasn’t, but of course there were a million other things Lamb would want.
Why, oh why did I think I could cruise down the toy isle without him asking for something?!
I was battling with his begging for what seemed like hours. People coming and going watching this poor pregnant woman beg her toddler to put the toy back and leave so she could get to her doctors appointment. Actually one dad did sympathise with me, he was struggling with his son too. We joked about who would start crying first. It was comforting to have someone understand how difficult these situation can be.
You know what, I’m normally pretty relaxed in these situations. I can normally bribe him with a kinder egg or something (yes I’m one of those mums and I’m not ashamed to admit it), but today I was panicked. Today I was in a hurry.
In the end I let him take the toy to the till with every intention of taking it off him and giving it to the cashier to put back. Of course this made things worse, but hey, I was that little bit closer to the exit and getting the hell out of there!
I carried Lamb and my heavy shopping bag to the car, go on, tell me off for doing that while heavily pregnant, but like I said, sometimes pregnancy is put on the back burner when you have another child to look after.
Finally I got to the car. I dropped the bags, items spilling onto the concrete. Struggling to get Lamb into his seat I could feel the dark cloud hovering over me. I think I did quite well to struggle and fight with him as long as I did, I mean, he was literally thrashing around, snot streaming from his nose, tear drops covering his cheeks.
In the end I gave up. I couldn’t fight anymore. I was late for my doctors appointment, I had no choice but to call them and explain what was happening. Embarrassed about my excuse I felt myself crying down the phone to the receptionist. “I can’t make my appointment because my son is having a huge tantrum, I’m heavily pregnancy and I can’t get him into the car.”
Whilst I was on the phone Lamb had decided to climb into the front of the car and lay, yes lay, himself across the dashboard kicking and screaming. I hung up and sat in the drivers seat, tears streaming down my face.
I now had no where to go, no where to rush to. I could let him have his tantrum, while I cried about failing as a mother.
After a few minutes he calmed down, he was my little bubba again. Talking to me like nothing had happened. I casually glanced out of my window, and there you were staring at me from your car. At this point any normal person would turn away, as if they weren’t staring. Or maybe they would smile; a reassuring smile. No, not you, you were just staring. Making me feel uncomfortable.
Luckily for me, my bestie was in the area. She had already text me asking what I was up to, my reply “having an emotional breakdown in the middle of B&M car park”. Next thing I know she’s pulled up beside me, blocking my view of you staring. (Luckily I have quite a distinctive car, she found me straight away). A wave of relief rushed over me.
Bestie managed to get Lamb into his seat by promising him cake and juice at her house, and lots of playing with her daughter; his bestie. He was happy. I was happy. My child was restrained in his seat finally. Shame it took someone else to get him in there.
After bestie pulled away I sat for a moment to compose myself. I wiped away the tears and explained to Lamb what he had done was wrong and when we got to his friends house he needed to say sorry and give me a kiss and cuddle.
Ok, it was time to go.
I looked out of my window ready to pull out of my space, and oh look, there you were, still staring.
I don’t know if you thought what was happening to me was entertaining. I don’t know if you thought it was strange. I don’t know if you thought I was an unfit mother. Whatever you thought, it made you stare at me during an extremely embarrassing situation.
You see, parenting is tough, bloody tough. There are times when the kid wins, probably a lot of times. This was one of them. Lamb had won and I had finally cracked in a public place.
I was plenty aware that people might be watching me, or might catch a glimpse of me struggling as they walked across the car park, but I couldn’t see those people so I could pretend they weren’t there.
But I saw you, I saw you staring at me, and you saw me. You saw me struggling. You saw me crying. Yet you still stared.
Perhaps next time you see a young mother battling with her child in a public place, slowly melting into an emotional breakdown, try looking the other way, try pretend it’s not happening. Because trust me when I say, we’re trying to pretend it’s not happening too.
If you are going to stare; maybe you’re concerned and wish you could do something to help, then flash a reassuring smile our way, anything to make us feel ‘normal’.
Soon I’ll have another human to be responsible for. Soon I’ll have something so delicate it will need my 100% attention. However I’ll also have this other little person, slightly less delicate, but one that also needs my 100% attention. How will I cope with that?
I’ve never had a 3 year old before. This is my first time. I might not be doing everything right, but I’m trying my bloody best. Soon I’ll have a newborn and a 3 year old, also something I’ve never done before. Again, I’ll try my best.
I was trying my best in B&M car park; the day your were staring. My best just wasn’t good enough that day. But that’s ok, us mums aren’t superheros with superpowers. We’re human and we struggle.
But that’s ok too.
So, nosey, old woman, staring from your car. I’d like to see you do better. Maybe you never had kids? Maybe you did and they were angels who never had tantrums (although I highly doubt that). Either way keep your staring for space and bugger off.