Thursday, May 21, 2009

McDonalds Mommy

I did something yesterday I didn’t even know was possible!! I spent about 20 minutes reading a book and answering questions that talked about my role as mother, where the “me” is in mommy. It’s a book I’m reviewing for my MOPS group. The reading itself was not the surprise task…it was that those 20 minutes in personal reflection about myself made me “think” too much! I think I work better in my survival mode that doesn’t allow time, nor the interest in reflecting on the past or looking toward the future. As with many mom’s that time of reflection can begin with beating yourself up, thinking of all the things I should do, all the things I’ve done “wrong”, etc, etc putting me in a negative mind frame.

Take that mindset on a day where nothing was going as planned anyway. Every activity with the kids lead to a fight. As the day progressed Emma got naughtier by the minute. As each parent picked up she challenged me more and more until I was spent. I was stepping up to the podium to receive my “World’s Worst Mother” award as Matt came home 2 hours earlier than expected!! God is good! Yeah! He came home ready to set more fence posts. The night before the kids “helped” him which involved me attempting to keep them out of the cement and guard the freshly set posts that were all leveled up from the hands of E & A. After how the day had went that simply didn’t sound like something I was ready to do again. It would be an evening of counting down the minutes until bedtime and probably losing my cool using angry words.

AHH…gotta have a plan!! Where’s a mother to go when she needs something her children love with an activity that is safe??? Ugh…I guess… McDonalds!!?? (I’ll spare you the rant I could go on about my mommy guilt that is in overdrive as my kids have eaten there too much the last 2 weeks…) We order a few nuggets and fries (btw they tasted really, really weird) and head to the (germ infested/stinky) play place. My goal was to gain a few minutes of peace as they played together. Little did I know what I’d learn from my dinner out:

- People will actually spank their children for not cuddling them on demand.

- Apparently 2 year olds can be issued probation type tracking ankle bracelet OR the bracelet the child was wearing was a hospital bracelet implying he was recently released from the hospital and is now playing at McDonalds. I’m certain more than ever my kids will be sick within 3 days!!

- The discipline technique of counting to a child…you know it the 1,2,’d better stop…can be carried out in many, many ways. I’ve seen it done where the parent continues counting beyond 3, even had a neighbor back home that would sometimes reach 20!! I’ve seen where you slow down and add in the ½, ¾ to lengthen, or the 1 “you better stop”, 2 “I mean it”, 3 “!#&(&^%$”. But these kids had to be confused. One time they’d get to 3, other times the woman would say “1” and then go get the kid. All the while I could have been “bleeping” most of her words like on a VH1 reality show.

-An 18 month old can climb unassisted into a McDonalds highchair that is on wheels.

- An adult can fit up in the McDonald’s play place.

- Sitting in the play place separated by glass from the main eating area must be what it feels like for the caged animals in the zoo. Everyone watching, staring at the mothers and their wild “cubs”.

- 2 adults and 6 children can fit in a small 4 door sedan “safely”.

McDonalds was just what I needed. A safe…notice I did not say healthy…place for my kids to run. Downtime for my brain. I’m not here to say I have the parenting thing perfected. FAR from it, but sometimes watching others can make you appreciate your situation. What you learn from others can pull you out of your pity party. When we packed up to go we left all the stress and tension we walked in with. I had gotten my bit of time where the kids played, smiled, climbed on the equipment so excited to wave and say Hi or Bye mommy as they came and went. The kids had a dinner they LOVE and got to play without interruption from their grouchy mother.

I was then blessed with a trip to Wal-mart w/out kids (thanks Shonda!) to grab a few things…the day definitely ended on a great note!! Now for today…. :)


thepartridgefamily said...

Teresa you do a great job, kids are just challenging all together. It is a learning experience for each and every moment. You just never really know what is going on in their head. You have more patience than you know. I'm glad your trip to McDonald's helped you relax and realize you know what you're doing. :)

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