Today I had to return some things to the mall and thought it would be fun to take Jp to ride the carousel that he usually loves so much. It would only take me a few short minutes to exchange the items for bigger sizes (Thanks, Mother-in-law, I am thin but not THAT thin) and I figured during the week it would be less busy so maybe we would have the carousel to ourselves. I just love taking him on little fun mommy/son adventures, it was one of those things that I dreamed about when I was pregnant, and I missed out on a ton of that when he was younger because I was always so worried about his behavior. Though lately, he seems to be doing much better now that I have some tricks up my sleeve.
When we got there, the first thing he wanted to do was ride the escalator. So we did. Six times up and down until I could finally get to the service counter to handle the errand function of the trip. He seemed a little edgy so I knew I had to keep it quick and get to the fun part. Bing, bang, boom! Three minutes later we were done and off to ride the horsies. I was proud of myself for getting through it without so much as a peep.
Celebrated a little too quickly, however.
He started yelling, “On!” (which really means off), the minute the carousel started up and he realized we were going in circles. No big deal, he’s always a little iffy on things like this so I flagged the operator to stop and let us off. Yeesh, kid. So since we were already there, and he loves it, I decided to let him go play at the little indoor playground that they have.
Shoes off and there he went, having a total ball, playing with the puzzles.
I watched the parents and kids come and go and come and go again. I still had to run a few more errands so I thought (silly me) it would be a good time to leave. I tried calling him over. Um, not working. Shock, shock, shocker. So I reached into my purse for my “luring candy” (think Hansel and Gretel) that I pretty much have to use every time we transition because he has a really hard time with it.
What the heck?! Am I a rookie here? What was I thinking taking my son to a playground with no candy to lure him out with? Ugh. I knew it was going to be a nightmare getting him to the car without it but what I did not know….was just how bad it was going to be.
I started to pick him up and he immediately threw himself to the floor and started kicking me. Awwwwwwesome. With every mom staring at me like you know you would stare if you saw this debacle on any normal shopping day, I hefted his big self up to my side to avoid the wild blows in every which direction, all while averting my eyes from the equal amounts of “That poor mom” and “Wow, she is letting him get away with murder” looks from the other moms. I gave a “What can you do?” smile and started making my way to the exit.
Then out comes the repeating Mr. Manipulator. I had his back to me so he could not kick or hit me and to every person that passed us, with arms outstretched for help, he yelled “HUG? HUG? HUG?!”
Yeah, looking like a great parent, here. Oy freakin’ vey.
I finally got him off to a small, quiet corner in the attempt and small glimmer of hope that he would calm down. But he was utterly hysterical and there was just no hope at this point. So I gave up, strapped him in the stroller (all while he kicked and scratched me) and started wheeling my own personal Regan from the Exorcist to the car.
Thrashing, screaming, and going balls to the wall ballistic all while I was wearing a plastic happy smile and pageant waving to the midweek consumers. My bad, I forgot the candy, enjoy your shopping, folks.
As I am trying to get him into the car seat, he reaches up, grabs a fistful of my hair and tugs out a giant handful. Is this happening right now? I just keep repeating my mantra. Just get home. Just get home. Just get home.
The entire car ride he screams like a lunatic and yells, “Hugs?!”, in between huge, gasping sobs. But I am in no mood for hugs, my little friend, and guess who is going to take a nap today whether they like it or not? Thankfully, I only live a few minutes away and the rest of my errand list be damned. I was getting this kid straight home and stat.
Out of the car he came -steam coming out of my ears- and straight to the naughty step he went. I unloaded the purchases, let the dogs out, and caught my breath for a blessed moment. I mean, I understand he has comprehension issues and that he is unable to control his emotions in a way that other children do. I understand that he is not neurotypical and I am more than willing to work on each issue with him with patience and kindness.
I am NOT going to get the crap kicked out of me doing it, though. I am a mother, not a saint, for goodness sakes.
I changed him into house clothes, had a (totally fruitless) talk with him about him about his behavior and turned off the light and told him it was bed time. Which, for him and his cognition level, is pretty much the worst punishment one can bestow since he never has to take a nap and it is what he hates most.
I do not know if he will be headed to the mall with me again any time soon and, so help me, I will certainly never forget the candy again. Live and learn, right? Now, where is the Neosporen?
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.